62 miles on a 3 minute charge

December 27, 2018 | 07:49
Wow — look at this ones battery capacity...
Wow — look at this ones battery capacity...
It’s probably fair to say that German car industry is currently not at the forefront of electromobility, but now a new design of charging station has been unveiled by BMW and Porsche, capable of fully recharging a large-capacity battery in 15 minutes.

In addition to vehicle range, the time taken to fully recharge the battery is an important criterion that has so far stymied the uptake of electric cars. On a long journey we want to waste as little time as possible at the recharge station; the current state of play means that gas guzzlers can be up and running in just a few minutes while electric car owners need to wait considerably longer. In the battle for market share in this future technology, it is not surprising manufacturers are investing heavily to develop new methods of fast recharging. 

For the consumer it’s important that manufacturers adopt some universal charging standards to guarantee vehicles will be compatible with the latest and future charge-station capabilities. In an effort to achieve this goal, a group of German car manufacturers have agreed to collaborate on charging station design and rapid-charge technology. The system is compatible with all vehicles using the Type 2 version of the Combined Charging System which includes the Volkswagen e-Golf and the BMW i3.

The original version of the BMW model i3, did not meet with universal consumer acceptance partly due to its relatively small 22 kW battery and relatively long recharge time of the standard model. Using current charging technology it takes 20 minutes to charge the battery to 80% full. The new design of charging station unveiled by BMW and Porsche is able to fully charge the battery in just 15 minutes. Vehicles of the future will most likely incorporate batteries with much higher capacity so 50 kW charging stations will not be up to the task.

The new 450 kW charging station design is the result of the ‘FastCharge’ research project and will be able to fully charge large 100 kW batteries inside 15 minutes. The FastCharge concept is supported by an industrial consortium of Siemens, Porsche and BMW. The first of these 450 kW DC charging stations will be installed in Bavaria and promises to outperform the 350 kW chargers available at the Tesla ‘Supercharger’ stations.

Porsche is particularly interested in this technology to support its latest research vehicle that can accept a 400 kW charge — a record for electric vehicles. The Porsche prototype vehicle has a battery capacity of about 90 kWh and needs just a 3 minute charge to store enough energy to drive 62 miles.
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