An ultra-fast, 450kW electric car charger has recorded unprecedented charging times with an unnamed Porsche electric car prototype, in testing alongside BMW.
Unveiled by a consortium of companies that includes automakers BMW and Porsche as well as German tech company Siemens, the system is now available for the public to use free of charge, to give EVs a quick hit of 100km extra range in as little as 3 minutes.
The consortium hopes that the ultra-fast charging technology will resolve what has been a major barrier for many considering to “go electric” – a lack of speedy and convenient EV charging.
The FastCharge system, backed by a €7.8million ($A12.27million) grant from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and using an energy supply system from Siemens, claims to be more than three times as fast as a Tesla supercharger, and tops the speed of Australian-made Tritium Veefil-PK HPC 350kW chargers.
While it is still in testing phase, the actual speed of charging of the system depends on the voltage of any particular vehicle.
However, BMW says that the system can handle up to 920v (which it and Porsche anticipate will be a future benchmark for electric vehicles), automatically adapting to the individual vehicle charging capacities.
Due to the unprecedented high capacity of the charger, in order for it to be connected to Jettingen-Scheppach’s public grid, both a 450kW and a 175kW connection have been installed.
So far, both BMW and Porsche have conducted tests with their own research vehicles, including a 400v BMW i3 and what looks suspiciously like a new prototype electric vehicle from Porsche.
While BMW reported that its i3, with a 57kWh battery, successfully charged from 10-80 per cent in just 15 minutes, the unnamed Porsche vehicle, with 90kWh battery, received 100km worth of range in just 3 minutes at a rate of 400kW.
BMW says that it expects possible applications will be for highway and fleet charging stations.
The project, which has been dubbed “FastCharge”, was launched yesterday in Jettingen-Scheppach between Munich and Stuttgart.
The location of the test charger is not far from what is to be the world’s largest charging station, a project being undertaken by German company Sortimo that will service up to 4,000 EVs per day.
Brisbane-based Tritium’s 350kW chargers are already being installed in Europe as part of the BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW-backed IONITY project.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.