BMW and Porsche are working on a new charging station that could see electric cars replenished in a timeframe closer to a traditional refuelling.
The new prototype could add a whopping 100km (62 miles) to the range of a compatible e-car in just three minutes, the two German auto giants and their partners have claimed.
The 450kW charger, which is part of the research project ‘FastCharge’, will refill the battery above 80% in just 15 minutes, while the Tesla Supercharger takes twice as long to reach the same level of battery charge. The group charged a Porsche vehicle with a capacity of 90hWh and pushed 400kW to the car to achieve the addition of 100km range in under three minutes.
In fact, so powerful is the prototype, it would fry the batteries of the cars on the market right now. As such, the prototype will only provide 50KW of charge to the BMW i3, while 2020’s iW3 will take 150KW.
The new charging station is “suitable for electric models of all brands with the common in Europe type 2 variant of the world-wide Combined Charging System (CCS),” the group says in a press release.
The group hopes the advent of the new charges can minimise the range anxiety electric car drivers often experience, due to the relative shortage of charge stations compared to gas stations. However, there are still some challenges to overcome. The test car required active cooling of the cells in the battery pack, which currently doesn’t feature in road-ready cars. Even the cable supplying the charge requires active cooling.
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In the press release (via Nexus), Porsche wrote: “Fast and comfortable charging solutions increase the attractiveness of electromobility. Increasing the available charging power up to 450 kW allows a significant reduction in charging times. The charging power of the new fastchargers is three to nine times higher than that of the previous DC fast charging stations. Within the scope of the research project, it will be examined which technical requirements regarding vehicles and infrastructure must be met in order to be able to use the extremely high charging power.”
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