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BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, Audi & Porsche JV for up to 350 kW CCS ultra-fast charging network along major highways in Europe

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe. The goal is the quick build-up of a sizable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers. This will be an important step towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.

The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology. The planned charging infrastructure expands the existing technical standard for AC- and DC charging of electric vehicles to the next level of capacity for DC fast charging with up to 350 kW. BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations will recharge brand-independently in a fraction of the time of today’s BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.

The projected ultra-fast high-powered charging network with power levels up to 350 kW will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. The build-up is planned to start in 2017, with an initial target of about 400 sites in Europe.

By 2020 the customers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points. The goal is to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major thoroughfares, which has not been feasible for most BEV drivers to date. The charging experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.

There are two decisive aspects for us: ultra-fast charging and placing the charging stations at the right positions. Together, these two factors enable us to travel in an all-electrically powered car as in a conventional combustion engine vehicle. As automobile manufacturer, we actively shape our future, not only by developing all-electrically powered vehicles but by building up the necessary infrastructure as well.

—Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG

The automobile manufacturers intend to make substantial investments to create the network, underscoring each company’s belief in the future of electric mobility. While the founding partners—BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group—will be equal partners in the Joint Venture, other automobile manufacturers will be encouraged to participate in the network to help establish convenient charging solutions for BEV customers. The Joint Venture is also open for cooperations with regional partners.

The Joint Venture formation is subject to execution of definitive agreements and merger control approval in various jurisdictions.

Comments

electric-car-insider.com

Wow. This is big news. Impressed to see Ford on the list.

With a 100kW battery, 20 min mid-point charge enables 8 hr, 500 mi trip.

That raises the barrier to entry for H2 FCVs substantially.

Account Deleted

I agree. This is reason for hope that the old auto industry will also do some of the BEV heavy lifting and not just Tesla. About time. Impressive that they think 350k watt is possible. Will definitely require liquid cooled charger cable or it will be too heavy.

Account Deleted

For comparison Tesla currently have 744 Supercharger stations with 4,703 Superchargers. It grows every week and it could be ten times as much by 2020. So 7000 supercharger stations with 50.000 superchargers by 2020. However, I do not expect Tesla to go to 350k watt until after 2020. Tesla need to redesign their cars to do that and they are more concerned about making their cars fully driverless and fully self-charging at the charger stations so that the cars can drive out at night and charge themselves for those Tesla owners that live in the city and does not have access to a parking spot with a charger.
Also Tesla has a lot of other stuff on their mind like scaling production to 1 million vehicles by 2020 and launching 5 new vehicles, Model 3, Model Y, a pickup truck, a minibus and a semi truck all before 2020.

Not to forget becoming the world’s largest producer of solar power and grid battery backup. Musk said he hoped to expand their new solar plant to 10giga watt off need panes per year up from originally planned 1Gwatt.

Dave R

Thicker cables shouldn't be necessary, but higher voltage charging will be. 1000V at a minimum, but 1500V would make cabling easier.

Difficulties now become safety of higher voltage systems.

HarveyD

This is what I expected for the last 2+ years. I doubt that it will stop there. People living in large condos without charging facilities could using a nearby 350+ KW public station to recharge their extended range BEV once or twice a week.

Double 700+ KW charging facilities, for large trucks and buses, with automated safer overhead connections will be around by 2020 or so.

Account Deleted

Tesla has 600 volt I believe and max 144k watt. Tesla is working on a cooled cable that will be thinner and more flexible than the current one they use without cooling. I guess if we want 350k w charging both higher voltage and cooled cables are needed.

Patrick Free

This was a critical step to credibilize the German Car makers fight-back vs Tesla in the Long Range all-purposes EV space. Till they set a comparable or better SuperChargers network across Europe, no European would consider them as an alternative to Tesla. 400 location sites (hope with several plugs in each) is a decent number, but they need to put that on a map with committed dates on when it will be available, and explain how this will connect to the local Grid to really deliver up to 350KW of power safely, and which car could take any benefit of this level of power, available when...
But this is a HUGE step forwards for sure.

Davemart

It is unclear whether the NCA chemistry Tesla uses will support this high a rate of charge, connection issues aside.
Everyone else is using NMC in their coming big battery cars, which is a lot tougher chemistry, save maybe for Nissan with its LMO but they have a CHAdeMO charger anyway, not the CCS these guys will use.
The reason for the lower charge rate of non-Tesla's previously is that they did not have big enough batteries to need it.
But the Kia Soul EV with a 27 KWH battery pack using SK Innovations NMC chemistry can charge at 100 KW, for a charge rate of nearly 4C.
An 80 KWH Tesla pack charging at 120 KW on a supercharger would only be running at 1.5C
Of course Tesla cars can charge and discharge fast for acceleration and regenerative braking, but that only last a few seconds, and managing a high sustained charging rate is a very different matter.
NCA chemistry is generally a lot tougher to manage thermally.
The bottom line is that we know that for a 100 KWH NMC pack it is possible to handle the 3.5C needed for a 350 KW charge, and we certainly do not know that about Tesla's NCA chemistry.

SJC

Dave R

If your car is 400 volts and the charger is 1000 volts, how is that suppose to help? The 1000 volts just gets regulated down with a switching regulator.

HarveyD

Many future extended range BEVs will use 200+ kWh battery packs. To reduce charging time, those large battery packs could be temporary split into two (2) 100+ kWh packs for quicker charging without overheating the chargers, cables and connectors.

A possible alternative solution would be 800 to 1200 volts battery packs for extended range BEVs with 200 kWh packs. Near future ultra quick chargers could easily match the voltages required. In that case, automated (hands free) ultra quick charging facilities would become common place, for quicker charges and increased safety reasons?

Darius

Aggressive goal. I like it. In general speed of charging depends on battery voltage. IMO battery voltage will grow. Existing 400 V dangerous quite enough. Probably voltage will not become more deadly since it is deadly know. Do not forget CRT TV sets are using 20 000 V and have been used on mass scale for several decades. 10 kV electric motors are quite common peace of equipment.

HarveyD

Like for heavy EV trucks and buses, users of extended range BEVs, using higher voltage battery packs, will not have to handle the high voltage cable.

Driverless ADV will easily find and park the e-vehicle in the proper charging place. Smart future charging facilities will automatically identify, connect & quickly charge the BEV. Financial charges will be fully automated.

FCEVs will also automatically find the proper H2 station and be refilled automatically in 3 to 4 minutes.

Account Deleted

I said above the Tesla uses 600 volt but I was not sure so I googled it. Very little info on the topic but those sources I found said Tesla uses 400 volt like most other BEVs.

Porsche has said they will make a BEV roadster with 800 volt probably for 2020 using A123 batteries. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/07/20160727-porsche.html

That Porsche may be able to charge at 350k watt as they plan it to be able to charge 80% of the battery in 15 min. That is exactly three times faster than Tesla and also using 3 times as much watt. Typical Tesla charger is 120k watt so times 3 equal 360k watt.

Porsche only doubles the volt compared to the Tesla so those charging cables has to be liquid cooled also to be manageable.

My bet is that when Tesla decides it is time to use higher voltage architecture for their vehicles they will go to 1200 volt in order to avoid using liquid cooled charging cables at their charger stations that could do 360k watt. When you add active cooling the cost goes up dramatically for the charger stations so you only do it if it is absolutely necessary.

Account Deleted

I read elsewhere that Tesla is part of CCS so future Tesla vehicles should be able to use the new European charging network as well. The 350k watt CCS could be the standard that everybody support for BEVs after 2020.

Arnold

SJC,

The V regulation needs to be on board. Many different sources should be expected viz A.C. 110V 240 etc.

While 400V may be the most common it is by no means the only standard.

I would not expect the delivery point to have the ability to interrogate the vehicles requirements. But the vehicle will be well served if it can manage a variety of sources.

The high 1000V will enable economical charging infrastructure with lower losses. the charge station will down regulate from mains @ say 3KV 33KV etc.
It won't be the other way I.E. up from 110 or 240 domestic levels.

Very scary to think in terms of holding a cable that carries the explosive energy of a Telsa on full throttle.

HarveyD

@Arnold:

Near future extended range BEVs (up to 500 miles) with 200+ KW battery packs will be structured to accept 1200 Volts ultra quick charging facilities, to reduce charge time to about 15 minutes.

Future very high voltage charging facilities will be fully automated. Users will NOT have to touch cables and will be charged automatically.

Hot coffee may be served at no charge.

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