A research project in Germany in which Porsche and BMW are involved has successfully showcased demonstrated an ultra-fast charging station called FastCharge that has the capability to deliver charge times which are quite similar to the time needed for refueling at a petrol pump.
During the demonstration, the project team showcased a prototype 450-kilowatt charging station on a stretch of the A8 autobahn located between the cities of Ulm and Augsburg in Germany. The capacity pf this charging station is three to nine times as high as what is possible in the case of current DC high-speed chargers.
An electric test mule made by Porsche which was fitted with a 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery achieved a charging capacity of over 400 kW on the new charging station. The charge time needed was less than 3 minutes for the first 62 miles of range. This is the first time such charging speed has been achieved in the case of a passenger car. A special cooling system was needed to ensure even, gentle temperature control in the battery cells, so that their longevity would not be affected.
The charging station is meant for use in the case of electric cars which are compatible with the European standard Type 2 variant of the Combined Charging System (CCS) protocol. A consortium called Ionity which was formed by leading players in the field of mobility like Ford, Daimler, BMW and the Volkswagen Group is currently in the process of rolling out hundreds of CCS charging stations across Europe. Ionity is also planning to foray into other regions.
The FastCharge 450-kw charging station is a prototype, but it is safe and is currently free to use. Depending on the kind of model used, the charging station can be used for vehicles having 400-volt and those with 800-volt battery systems. In the case of both types of vehicles, the charging capacity that is provided automatically adjusts to the vehicle’s maximum permitted charging capacity.
Back in November, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume had said that the TAycan which is slated to come off the production lines in late 2019 and will have an 800-volt electrical system, can be charged to cover 62 miles in less than four minutes and will be able to get enough charge to cover 250 miles in less than 20 minutes. This is what can be done with a 350-kw charging station, which is the highest capacity currently in production.
It might be a while before cars can charge at 400 kw or more. The FastCharge project will help experts to determine what technical conditions need to be fulfilled in terms of vehicles and infrastructure in order to allow ultra-fast charging capacities to be applied.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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