Ultra-fast charging station in Bavaria: from zero to one hundred in three minutes
The research consortium FastCharge, which includes Bavarian heavyweights BMW and Siemens, has made a pioneering electromobility breakthrough with an innovative ultra-fast charging point.
In the debate on the pros and cons of electromobility, some questions are a constant. One such question is charging time. Cars with combustion engines take no more than five minutes to refill at a petrol station, and that is what users are used to. Two hours or more to completely recharge a battery seemed a fundamental obstacle to switching to electric in the early days of electromobility. However, the market is changing and we are now seeing rapid improvements in fast charging technology in both research and infrastructure.
Part of the current development is the FastCharge research project launched in July 2016, in which Bavaria's major industry players, BMW and Siemens, have a leading role. Other partners include Allego, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility and Porsche. The objective of the consortium is to make charging as quick and easy as filling up with petrol. Thanks to cross-industry innovation, FastCharge is already a whole lot closer to this target. The charging capacity of the recently launched ultra-fast charging station in Jettingen-Scheppach, on the A8 motorway between Ulm and Augsburg, is an impressive 450 kW. To compare: nearly 90 percent of current roadside charging points in Germany have a maximum output of 42 kW. The charging capacity of the new FastCharge system is therefore around ten times higher than the current average.
Of course, current e-cars are not yet designed to deal with that output. A special integrated charging and battery system is required. However, the Munich-based car manufacturer BMW has shown what future charging times might be on an i3 model converted for research purposes. The prototype charging point needs just 15 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 percent, and as little as three minutes to charge from a range of 0 to a range of 100 kilometres.
The Siemens power supply system used in the project proves how Bavaria is sustainably consolidating its position as a mobility centre, and how collaboratively the different players are working together on the electromobility of tomorrow. This is underlined by the fact that FastCharge has received 7.8 million euros of funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr Aiwanger, also recently announced continued funding for the roll-out of charging points in Bavaria. The target is to install 7000 publicly accessible charging stations by the year 2020. A list of the 3000 charging points currently in operation is available here: https://ladeatlas.bayern.