Electric vehicle drivers on Germany’s Autobahn can now recharge their car batteries almost as fast as filling up a petrol tank, using Australian made technology that is rapidly busting one of the few remaining barriers to EV uptake – range anxiety.
Brisbane based EV infrastructure company Tritium said on Tuesday it had exported and installed 12 of the most powerful electric car chargers on the market to a site in Germany, as part of a joint venture with BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group.
The 12 HPCs, which are able to add 150km of driving range to an EV battery in just five minutes, have been installed at Tank & Rast rest stops at Brohltal Ost and West either side of the A61 highway in Germany.
The chargers will make up part of the IONITY High-Power Charging Network, which ultimately aims to deploy a pan-European network of around 400 HPCs, to ensure EV drivers are always within 120km of a fast charging station.
Elsewhere, the IONITY Network has also tapped charging technology from ABB for the project, using the Swiss company’s Terra HP high-speed chargers in its home country of Switzerland.
For Tritium, the IONITY project marks the first time the Australian company’s HPCs (350 kW) have been deployed commercially, although the company has done plenty of business, already, in Europe with its world leading DC fast chargers.
Notably, it is the leading fast charger supplier in Norway, Europe’s most advanced EV market.
The HPC chargers – which are entirely Brisbane-manufactured – take fast-charge technology to the next level, however, offering the capability to deliver up to 475kW of power, and making them the most powerful EV charging units currently on the market.
“Increasing battery size and energy density means electric vehicles can travel further distances. But charging these larger batteries fast requires high-power charging infrastructure,” says Dr David Finn, CEO and founder at Tritium.
“Our HPC solutions deliver up to 475kW of power, making them capable of charging EVs in a very short time. And our goal is to bring charging times down even further, ideally to the same time as it would take to fill your tank with petrol,” he said.
IONITY executives are certainly impressed, with COO Marcus Groll noting that the two Tritium-equipped stations mark “the very first of our planned network ensuring that EV drivers no longer need to fear what used to be called ‘range anxiety’.”
Tritium says the new chargers are also better for the environment, using innovative liquid-cooled technology to make a “significantly smaller footprint” than other HPCs on the market – between 50-75% smaller, Finn says.
The HPCs also offer a Combined Charging System (CCS) that can be used by a wide range of vehicle manufacturers.
In Australia – where the electric vehicle market is moving at a glacial pace – Tritium has been slightly less busy.
Although just last month, the company was tapped to supply its Veefil 50kW fast chargers for a $10 million EV fast-charging network being rolled out across New South Wales and the ACT by the NRMA.
All of those fast chargers are also being manufactured at Tritium’s base in Brisbane, which was recently expanded to deliver a seven-fold increase in production capacity, from around 60 units a month, to 6,000 a year.