Charging an electric vehicle as fast as possible depends on the temperature of the batteries, which is why a lot of EV manufacturers equip their models with systems that can warm or cool the battery pack.
Now, in a bid to aid charging speeds in its models, Rivian has filed for a patent that describes an air-conditioned EV charger that works in a rather unconventional way.
As noted by Teslarati, the patented charging stall is designed in such a way that it can blow hot or cool air underneath the car, helping the battery management system do its job faster than just by sucking in ambient air, which may be too hot or too cold.
Gallery: Rivian Air Conditioned EV Charger Patent
So imagine you park your Rivian in front of the charger, plug it in, and a flow of air starts making its way under the car. It’s definitely an interesting approach to fixing a common issue for EVs, on the one hand, because the cars wouldn’t have to be modified in any way to benefit from this solution, but on the other hand, it looks like there would be a lot of wasted energy going towards cooling or heating the ambient air.
There’s a reason why you close the windows of your house when you turn on the air conditioning, and that’s because there’s nowhere the hot air from outside can get inside or vice versa.
Rivian’s patent states that this innovation was brought about by the rapid increase in charging power for EVs over the past 5-10 years, adding that “with the rapid advance of fast charging technologies for vehicles, the cooling demand of batteries during charging has increased dramatically.”
The American EV maker doesn’t specify how much faster its trucks could charge with this kind of charger and it’s unclear if it will ever become a reality. But if it does, it would be a good fit for older EVs that don’t have battery preconditioners, like the first-generation Nissan Leaf, increasing their charging speeds by regulating the battery’s temperature.