Lithium-ion batteries with nickel-rich layered oxide cathodes and graphite anodes have reached specific energies of 250–300 Wh kg−1 (refs. 1,2), and it is now possible to build a 90 kWh electric vehicle (EV) pack with a 300-mile cruise range. Unfortunately, using such massive batteries to alleviate range anxiety is ineffective for mainstream EV adoption owing to the limited raw resource supply and prohibitively high cost. Ten-minute fast charging enables downsizing of EV batteries for both affordability and sustainability, without causing range anxiety. However, fast charging of energy-dense batteries (more than 250 Wh kg−1 or higher than 4 mAh cm−2) remains a great challenge3,4. Here we combine a material-agnostic approach based on asymmetric temperature modulation with a thermally stable dual-salt electrolyte to achieve charging of a 265 Wh kg−1 battery to 75% (or 70%) state of charge in 12 (or 11) minutes for more than 900 (or 2,000) cycles. This is equivalent to a half million mile range in which every charge is a fast charge. Further, we build a digital twin of such a battery pack to assess its cooling and safety and demonstrate that thermally modulated 4C charging only requires air convection. This offers a compact and intrinsically safe route to cell-to-pack development. The rapid thermal modulation method to yield highly active electrochemical interfaces only during fast charging has important potential to realize both stability and fast charging of next-generation materials, including anodes like silicon and lithium metal.
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