Norway’s Electric Vehicles Get a Charging Boost

(DGIwire) – Norway loves its electric vehicles (EVs). According to the Norwegian Road Foundation, about 60 percent of new cars sold in March 2019 in the country were EVs. A recent news item on reported some good news for all those EV owners: a new joint venture between to build ultra-fast charging units to sharply reduce the amount of time drivers spend recharging their vehicles.

“The intent of the joint venture is to commercialize operational storage units to enable ultra-fast chargers for battery EVs,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo Ltd, the developer of Carbon-Ion™ (C-Ion®) cells, a fast-charging and safe alternative to lithium-ion batteries. “The aim is to significantly reduce the time needed to fully charge a car, truck, bus, or ferry by enabling 350 kW to 1.2 MW charging without the need for costly public infrastructure investments.”

As the article notes, ZapGo is working with AS Green Cube Innovation of Norway and utilizing ZapGo’s C-Ion technology. Rollout of the two initial charging units at AS Green Cube Innovation’s existing charging stations in the greater Oslo, Norway area will begin mid-2020. ZapGo’s C-Ion technology significantly reduces the time required to charge batteries for cars, trucks, buses, and ferries, while also reducing the need for costly public infrastructure investments. The use of ZapGo’s C-Ion technology at fueling stations will cater to Norway’s EV owners by greatly shortening their charging time.

The design goal of a 350 kW charger is to transfer around 100 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy in 15 minutes to a vehicle, notes the article. One hundred kilowatt-hours is required to drive an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) 300 miles (or about 500 km) at freeway or Autobahn speeds, with more than one passenger and with normal air conditioning or heating. To transfer 100 kWh in five minutes would require a 1200 kW or 1.2 MW charger.

ZapGo is a member of the EV international standards body CharIN, which is also developing standards for 1.2 MW electric trucks with the design goal of transferring 1 MWh of energy to an electric truck in one hour. One megawatt-hour of energy is required to power a fully loaded 18-wheeler heavy truck for 300 miles (or about 500 km) at freeway or Autobahn speeds.

The new chargers, the article reports, have intelligence designed to recognize the type of vehicle and adjust the maximum safe charge rate. As vehicles become available that can be charged at these very high rates, the chargers will reportedly automatically switch to the higher rate. For existing vehicles like the NissanLeaf that can be charged at 50 kW or the Tesla Model S at 120 kW, the chargers step down accordingly. The ZapGo and AS Green Cube Innovation joint venture will store the electric energy at night and off-peak to provide EV drivers with cost-effective electricity. Vehicles will then be charged from the stored energy, not directly from the grid. This will also enable AS Green Cube Innovation to provide capacity to charge multiple vehicles simultaneously without upgrading the electrical connections to the sites.

“The benefits to Norway as a result of this initiative may someday arrive in other countries as the EV revolution continues to sweep the globe,” Voller adds.