“We Want to Pioneer DC Fast Charging”

New charging points installed at IAV in Sindelfingen and Gaimersheim with a maximum of 150 kilowatts and 920 volts

In line with the applicable standard, today’s charging stations for electric vehicles deliver a maximum output of 50 kilowatts – not enough for the next generation of electric vehicles. In this automotion interview, Manuel Marques, Senior Vice President for Electric Mobility at IAV, looks to the future of charging technology and reports on IAV’s activities in this field.

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For many customers, recharging electric vehicles still takes too long. Is there any prospect of improvement?

Marques: Yes, definitely! At the moment, charging points have a power output of no more than 50 kilowatts. In future, though, this will increase to 100 or 150 kilowatts. This is an important step, particularly for future electric vehicles with a range of 500 to 600 kilometers. With today’s charging power, it would take about one to two hours (depending on battery capacity) to recharge their batteries – this is, of course, too long for most customers. But with electric vehicles of this type coming onto the market in the next two years, there is a certain urgency to take action on the recharging front.

How are you addressing this situation?

Marques: On the one hand, we are working on new standards for recharging batteries in cooperation with automobile manufacturers and component suppliers – such as within the CharIN e. V. initiative where we are driving forwards the Combined Charging System (CCS). On the other hand, we are proactively preparing for future customer projects. At IAV in Sindelfingen and in Gaimersheim we have just installed DC quick-charging points from Efacec, our Portuguese partner. Further DC quickcharging points will follow at other IAV sites. So, we are not waiting until we get an inquiry but are putting the new technology into operation at this early stage and gathering experience. The message is clear: we want to be the pioneers of DC quick charging.

What’s different about the new DC quickcharging points?

Marques: They deliver maximum charging power of 150 kilowatts, making them ready for the next generation of electric vehicle batteries. But that’s not all: the two DC quick-charging stations can also provide voltages of up to 920 volts. This is important because instead of today’s usual 350 to 450 volts, more and more manufacturers will be using up to 800 volts in their new electric vehicles. This saves copper and hence also weight, package and costs – however, it also demands new charging technology. So, with our new DC quick-charging stations, we are not only set for the future power-wise but also in terms of voltage.

How long will it take to recharge the battery in a few years’ time?

Marques: With the new charging technology, it will certainly be faster, noticeably faster. The DC quick-charging points installed will reach an eighty-percent battery charging capacity in no more than 25 minutes. The long-term aim is clear: recharging the battery is to take no longer than refueling does. Of course, this will require even higher charging rates, up to 350 kilowatts.

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