The latest advancements in the FastCharge research project have been revealed as the industry consortium develops prototypes for fast and convenient charging stations.
A prototype for a fast charging station with a capacity of up to 450kW has been inaugurated in Jettingen-Scheppach, Bavaria. It is suggested that a recharge at this charging station could take as little as three minutes for the first 100 kilometres of range or 15 minutes for a full charge (10-80 % State of Charge (SOC)) which puts it on a comparable level to conventional petrol refuelling.
Suitable for electric models of all brands with the Type 2 version of the Combined Charging System (CCS), which is common for European EVs, the new charging station can be used for free.
The FastCharge program is run by an industry consortium, led by BMW Group, which includes Allego GmbH, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG and Siemens AG. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has also kicked in EUR 7.8 million to the project.
It is expected that fast and convenient electric charging will enhance the appeal of electromobility. FastCharge is focused on discovering the technical requirements that need to be met in terms of both vehicles and infrastructure in order to achieve faster-charging stations such as the 450kW prototype.
The project utilizes the Siemens energy supply system which enables researchers to test the limits of the fast-charging capacity demonstrated by vehicle batteries. Higher voltages of up to 920 volts are already achievable.
The charge controller is also adaptable to suit different electric vehicles meaning the infrastructure can be used by a range of brands like existing petrol stations.
Some challenges were faced when developing the new Allego charging station prototypes such as the need for cooled HPC (High Power Charging) cables, however so far the challenges are being conquered.
The new ultra-fast charging station can be used by vehicles fitted with 400 V or 800 V battery systems with the charging capacity automatically adapting to the maximum permitted charging capacity depending on the model. So far the BMW i3 research vehicle has been able to achieve a 10-80 per cent SOC in 15 minutes whilst the Porsche research vehicle with a net battery capacity of 90kWh achieves a charging capacity of more than 400kW, thereby allowing charging times of less than three minutes for the first 100 km of range.
Standardisation issues relating to interoperability are being investigated and submitted to standardisation bodies currently which should allow for reliable operation in the future.
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