Australian charging company Tritium has unveiled its first electric vehicle fast charger that allows drivers to simply drive up, plug in and drive away, with payment for power made using innovative “plug and charge” technology.
The 175kWh DC fast charger, dubbed RT175-S by the Brisbane-based EV charging company, was revealed by Tritium CEO Jane Hunter at an online conference in the US on Tuesday.
It is the first EV charging unit made by the company that comes with the plug and charge technology that allows drivers to do away with RFID cards and smartphone apps to pay for power. The idea was first reported by The Driven in May.
Instead, the plug and charge technology uses a high level communications protocol to authenticate and bill drivers for power used via the charging cable itself, and is compatible with various credit card payment models, including fixed price, pre-authorized/post settlement variable pricing and charges based on elapsed time for kWh consumed.
The RT175-S, which will allow a vehicle to top up driving range to 80% in as little as 15 minutes, is designed to make the charging experience as close as possible to a fuel station stop, and is focussed on the Class 3-8 vehicle market which includes medium-duty and heavy-duty buses, vans and trucks.
With electric truck sales in the US predicted to soar from just 2,000 in 2019 to 54,000 by 2025, the demand for large vehicle charging is only going to continue to grow.
Hunter says the plug and charge technology combined with the 175kW charger is “groundbreaking technology for the market”.
“With more than 1.5 million EVs on the road in the U.S., this charger is a perfect solution to grow charging infrastructure and further the transition to electrified transportation,” said Hunter in a statement.
“The RT175-S is the ideal solution for high population areas and can easily be adopted for highway rest stop, fuel stations, municipalities, utilities, fleets, retail, education, destination centers, and heavy infrastructure such as mining and ports.”
With a small physical footprint to make it easier to install in for the above applications, the RT175-S uses liquid cooled cables, and is an all-in-one isolated power unit and transformer that allows it to be used continuously at its maximum 175kW operation up tp 104°F/40°C.
If ambient temperatures soar towards 122°F/50°C, the 175kWh charger will still be able to operate at 150kW output. It can also be fitted with a cold weather kit for operation at temperatures as low as -22°F/-30°C, as well as various security, safety and power management features.
“This technology requires minimal maintenance, maximizes uptime and has a secure payment system that allows customers to feel at ease when using the charger,” said Dave Finn, founder of Tritium in a statement.
“With the RT175-S, EV drivers will soon have a new level of energy freedom, finding more charging installations in convenient locations where they live, work and travel.“
Greening the UK pub scene
In addition to the announcement of the new RT175-S, Tritium is also cementing its presence in the UK, with a deal that will see its 50kW DC chargers rolled out across 2,700 pubs, hotels and restaurants.
The deal between Drive Energi and Greene King, a leading pub retailer and brewer in the UK, will see charging stations installed from now until 2040, to be powered by renewable energy.
The deal will play a crucial role in the UK achieving its goal to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035, and will also help the UK economy recover post-Covid, said CEO of Drive Energi James Moat in a statement.
“This is a significant milestone for Drive Energi and we are proud to be working in partnership with Greene King on this exciting project as the UK’s EV charging sector will play major role in leading a green recovery post-COVID-19.
“We are committed to the roll-out of accessible public charging across the UK and drivers can expect to charge from over 300 Drive Energi locations by the end of 2021,” said Moat.
Tony Hodgson, head of estates at Greene King said in a statement, “We’ve been working hard developing our sustainability plans as we continue to build a greener business. With more people buying electric cars in a bid to be more environmentally friendly, we want to support our customers who come to dine or stay with us by offering electric charging ports in our pubs that are able to do so.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter 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 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.