Exponent Energy: Revolutionizing Fast Charging for Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles
(L-R) Arun Vinayak & Sanjay Byalal Jagannath, cofounders, Exponent Energy. Bengaluru. 13 September 2023. Photograph by Nishant Ratnakar for Forbes India

In the world of electric vehicles (EVs), charging the batteries is a multifaceted challenge that involves not only energy transfer from the grid but also intricate processes related to storage and delivery. Arun Vinayak, the founder of Exponent Energy, describes it as a two-sided problem, distinct from the straightforward process of filling a fuel tank in fossil fuel vehicles. While petrol or diesel simply sit in a tank and are burned in an engine to deliver energy, EVs require complex considerations, such as cell chemistries and thermal management, during both charging and discharging. Arun Vinayak, along with his friend Sanjay Byalal Jagannath, recognized this challenge and founded Exponent Energy in 2020 to address it.

Arun Vinayak, formerly the chief product officer at Ather Energy, and Sanjay Byalal Jagannath, previously a supply chain specialist at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), brought their expertise to the forefront to tackle the intricacies of EV battery charging. Their vision was to develop a solution that would ensure efficient and fast charging while preserving the longevity and performance of EV batteries.

One of the critical aspects that Exponent Energy focused on is maintaining the optimal temperature range for lithium-ion batteries, which is typically between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. It is during the charging process that batteries, including their constituent cells and associated electronics, undergo the most stress. To address this challenge, Exponent has introduced an innovative charging station and battery combination that shifts the cooling process to the charging station itself.

The key innovation involves the integration of an off-board HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system alongside a pressure system and a pump within Exponent’s charging station, known as the e-pump. This unique system allows Exponent to circulate cold water under pressure directly into the battery pack during the charging process, effectively regulating its temperature. Once the charging is complete, the system efficiently removes all the water, ensuring the EV is ready for the road.

Arun Vinayak highlights the significance of the connector within their solution. It features signal pins, power pins, and fluid couplers that create a secure seal to prevent leaks or disconnections during charging. From the driver’s perspective, the experience is user-friendly, requiring a simple plug-in action. The connector clicks into place securely, and a built-in lock prevents unplugging during the charging process. As the lock engages, the system pressurizes, pumps in cold water, and subsequently initiates the flow of current into the battery once it reaches the ideal temperature.

Exponent Energy’s breakthrough technology promises an impressive zero to 100 percent charge in just 15 minutes. Moreover, the company guarantees that its fast charging solution will not compromise the longevity of EV batteries, ensuring they remain viable for at least 3,000 charging cycles.

This revolutionary approach to fast charging has the potential to significantly impact the EV industry by addressing one of the primary concerns of EV users – the time required for charging. Exponent Energy’s solution not only accelerates the charging process but also ensures the overall health of the batteries, providing EV owners with greater peace of mind and convenience.

As the world transitions towards sustainable transportation, innovations like Exponent Energy’s fast charging technology play a crucial role in making EVs more accessible and practical for a wider range of consumers. The ability to charge an EV rapidly without compromising battery life is a significant step forward in promoting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, ultimately contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

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