BMW and Porsche are currently working together and with other major automakers, like Mercedes and Ford, on an ultra-fast (350 kW) electric car charging network in Europe. But now they want to lay the foundation to improve the charge rate to 450 kW in order to enable quicker electric car charging.
BMW is leading the project through the “FastCharge” consortium in partnership with other companies like Porsche, Allego and Siemens. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the project with a € 7.8 million grant, which is supervised by the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Organization (NOW).
They now confirmed the bulk of their research will focus on improving charging rates using the existing Combined Charging System (CCS). But at a voltage of 900 volts and an amplitude of 500 amperes for a charge rate of 450 kW.
BMW wrote in a press release today:
“The collaborative project studies all aspects of fast charging in practical application, aiming to introduce and manufacture the required technologies on an industrial scale. This is why, alongside analyzing potential capacity increases in the charging process, the project also investigates the prerequisites and processes for the operation of ultrafast charging systems, including an automated registration and billing process for customers.”
They also specifically mention finding ways to cool down charging cables, plugs and vehicle power sockets during the charging process.
The rate of 450kW sounds reasonable for passenger cars. We know that larger battery systems in electric trucks and buses can take higher charge rates, but passenger cars will never carry such large battery packs.Charging time isn’t only matter for long-distance travel or commercial applications. Most charging is done overnight or whenever a car is parked for long periods of time. Nonetheless, being able to charge a car to full in 15 minutes will prove to be extremely convenient.