Australian high-powered electric vehicle charger maker Tritium has opened a new production facility in Los Angeles as it eyes a piece of the growing US market.
The Brisbane-based company has a growing global footprint in more than 30 countries with more than 3,000 DC high-powered chargers (HPC) installed including in the US, where demand has meant it has outgrown its existing facility in Torrance, California.
Investment by fuel dispensing technology firm Gilbarco Veeder-Root in October 2018 has allowed the EV charging solution provider to focus its efforts on further expansion in the US.
Most recently this has included a deal with the SSA Marine to supply high-powered chargers to the Port of Long Beach.
This deal will see Tritium supply a new 175kW HPC that the company has developed with the US market specifically in mind.
Named the RT175s, it will be available in late 2019 and according to Tritium will offer the lowest-priced and most flexible charger in its class.
President for Tritium in the Americans, Jeff Wolfe, says the need to open the new facility shows the potential of the flourishing electric vehicle charging market in the US.
“We outgrew our previous facility in Torrance faster than we ever expected, which is a testament not only to the team we have and the technology we can produce, but also to the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States and in particular California,” he said in a note by email.
“Following a number of significant wins in recent months, our new facility will allow us to provide customers with unequalled logistics capabilities, uniquely-tailored solutions and local production.”
The 175kW RT175s charger can add nearly 180km driving range within just 10 minutes, and is aimed at urban areas as well as vertical industry deployments, says Tritium.
It is based on the Veefil-PK system used in Europe for the rapidly growing Ionity network (a venture between BMW, Daimler AG, Ford and Volkswagen AG).
While deployments in urban areas will service the rapidly growing US national fleet of EVs (which is numbered at nearly 1.3 million according to US-based EV sales tracker Veloz), the modified RT175s units that Trtium will supply to SSA Marine will power its new fleet of electric-drive terminal tractors.
According to Wolfe, a 175kW charging rate was determined as the optimum DC charge rate given that no EVs on the US market can currently charge faster than this (the only vehicle that is able to is the recently released 2020 Porsche Taycan, which has an 800 volt electrical architecture, double that of standard 400 volt EV architecture).
“The market has determined what level of charge power it requires at the high-end of charging in the United States, and the answer is 175kW. There are almost no vehicles on the market that can charge beyond that range at this time,” said Wolfe.
“We’re providing what the market wants, while ensuring our customers can deploy these chargers both at scale and cost-effectively. With the proliferation of 50kW DC Fast Chargers, drivers will have all the choice in charge speed they require for the foreseeable future.
“The RT175s can be deployed anywhere and we see it being ideally suited to urban areas and within
industries requiring tailored solutions,” he said.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.