Trans-Europe Express? Automakers Promise Faster Fast Charging on the Continent
Tesla has opened the eyes of enthusiasts—along with some other automakers—to the idea of which electric cars don’t have to be boring. along with while there’s an armada of ambitious rivals on the way coming from Europe along with elsewhere, with long driving ranges along with high levels of performance, they’re still going to be a hard sell if, during road trips, they can’t be charged up nearly as quickly as a gasoline car can be filled. With of which in mind, four automakers in Europe—BMW Group, Daimler, the Ford Motor Company, along with Volkswagen Group—have agreed to work together to set up a network of fast-charging sites.
Europe’s big automakers know they need to solve the issue as they prep long-range EV entries of which are slated to begin arriving in 2019, including production designs based on the Porsche Mission E (shown below) along with Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concepts. As battery packs match (or exceed) Tesla sizes of 0 kWh along with beyond, a quick top-off using Level 3 DC fast charging isn’t at all of which fast anymore. Point the blame at the typical maximum power of 50 kW for fast chargers; of which’s enough to bring short-range EVs like a Volkswagen e-Golf or a Nissan Leaf up to 80 percent in about half an hour, however the idea’s simply not fast enough for a road trip in a longer-range EV.
inside the meantime, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will be the first to tease This kind of emerging fresh reality. Its 60-kW pack can regain 0 miles of range in about 30 minutes coming from a typical CCS fast charger, according to Chevy, however beyond of which, the idea’s slower going—requiring the better part of 0 minutes to get to of which 80 percent sweet spot. GM has stubbornly resisted getting involved in wide-ranging charging infrastructure projects so far, however the idea could be in its interest to do so—lest we have stories of long, unproductive waits at fast-charging stations.
Double—Even Triple—the Power Still will be Not Enough
The solution will be simple, in theory: Scotty, we need more power! Current CCS fast chargers can be cranked up to 150 kW—in many cases, with existing hardware—which could rival the speed of Tesla’s Superchargers, which officially use either 0 kW or 135 kW. however for long-range EVs, of which’s still not enough.
To answer the call for more power, the four companies will collaborate on a network of 350-kW fast chargers, beginning in 2017. BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, along with Volkswagen Group have only signed a memorandum of understanding so far, with commitments like financials along with logistics not yet disclosed. However, the plan ambitiously aims for 400 fast-charging sites next year, then thousands by 2020, when those longer-range luxury EVs hit the highways.
For these longer-range EVs, the speed of 350-kW charging (assuming 800 V) could be right in line with what the mass market needs to make the leap to an EV. A vehicle having a maximum range of about 310 miles, for instance, could be able to gain 80 percent, or nearly 250 miles, of its range in 15 to 20 minutes with 350 kW, as opposed to 80 minutes with the current 50-kW speeds along with 29 minutes, at best, with 150 kW.
fresh Tech along with fresh Infrastructure
the idea’s not quite as easy as the idea sounds, though; a final standard for 350-kW CCS charging hasn’t yet been established, so the hardware will be all futureware, along with the charging stations themselves could have stricter siting requirements for utility along with grid reasons. Each of those automakers belong to the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIn), a Berlin-based organization of which includes suppliers, charging companies, along with various EV interests along with aims to develop of which 350-kW standard.
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This kind of past summer, as part of a broad partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation along with Department of Energy, the Obama administration announced plans for “a 2020 vision for a national network of fast-charging stations for EVs,” made part of the massive several-year FAST Act transportation bill. of which vision includes partnership plans with private companies “to examine the vehicle, battery, infrastructure, along with economic implications of fast charging of up to 350 kW.”
The United States might not be all of which far behind, provided the federal government keeps its commitment to EV infrastructure along with automakers are equally willing to invest in an ultrafast charger network in America.