A consortium of firms, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, is working on a research project called FastCharge that aims to develop a charging system with significantly shortened charging times. German electrical engineering firm Phoenix Contact heads the consortium, which also includes BMW, Porsche, Siemens and charging operator Allego.
The charging time of EVs depends primarily on voltage and current: the higher the voltage and amperage, the faster the battery can be filled. The FastCharge project focuses on the technical and physical limits of all components and systems involved in charging, both in the vehicle and the infrastructure.
FastCharge is aiming for a charging capacity of 450 kW, three times today’s typical maximum. This will require a voltage of 900 volts and an amplitude of 500 amperes to achieve a charging time under 15 minutes, which puts major strain on all the components involved. The plan is to cool down the charging cables, plugs and vehicle power sockets during the charging process, allowing for the use of flexible cables with small diameters that can be handled like today’s fuel hoses.
FastCharge uses the CCS charging standard, which will allow vehicles with lower current and voltage demands to be serviced at the same fast-charging stations. The project is also investigating an automated registration and billing process for customers. The consortium hopes to have a prototype ready to be presented to the public as early as next year.
Source: BMW Group