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Ultra-fast electric car chargers to be installed at petrol stations

Published 07 June 2019

Electric car chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes will be installed on petrol station forecourts across the UK over the next two years.

BP Chargemaster, which operates more than 7000 public charge points across the UK, has revealed its new 150kW ultra-fast charger at the Fully Charged Live event at Silverstone.

>> New EV fast chargers will boost batteries in just 10 minutes

It will be the fastest electric car charger currently accessible to UK electric vehicle drivers, with the firm pledging to install 100 of them across 50 BP forecourts by the end of 2019. A total of 400 will be installed by the end of 2021.

While the chargers can provide electricity at a rate of 150kW, many electric cars on sale can't handle being charged so quickly. The maximum a Nissan Leaf can take, for example, is 50kW.

EV-charging

The latest generation of electric cars are capable of being charged quicker. The Jaguar i-Pace can take 100kW, while the Audi e-tron can handle 150kW. The upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 will be able to charge at a rate of up to 125kW.

BP Chargemaster's ultra-fast chargers (dubbed the Ultracharge 150) will be able to moderate the speed of charging to suit the vehicle - so cars unable of handling 150kW will be able to be charged at their maximum rate. They're expected to be offered as pay-as-you-go or on a subscription basis.

Rival electric charging network Ionity is trialling 350kW chargers at sites across Europe. These will be able to add around 220 miles of range in just 10 minutes - but there are currently no cars on sale that can handle this rate. The upcoming Porsche Taycan - due to arrive in 2020 - is expected to be the first.

Currently, Ecotricity holds the monopoly on motorway service station rapid chargers - charging at a rate of up to 50kW and able to charge most electric vehicles up to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes.

Tesla's Supercharger network, which is available exclusively to Tesla drivers, offers up to 150kW.

BP Chargemaster's Ultracharge 150 chargers feature both CCS and CHAdeMo connectors, meaning most electric vehicles will be able to use them.

Comments

Engineer Andy    on 7 June 2019

I'd love to see the results of indpendent testing done on otherwise identical cars that 'can take' ultra-fast charging - one on fast charge, the other on a far lower 'trickle' charge.

Then see how long until the batteries either die in sufficient numbers or their ability to hold charge reduces enough that the mileage reduces by a significant amount (to 2/3rds or less?).

I wonder how they are dealing with the problem of heat disapation from fast charging, especially in summer? And that (at least for household rechargable batteries) fast charging is normally less efficient because of this. Wasting energy in the name of convenience?

GerryS    on 7 June 2019

Quite a lot of data and testing already done and in the public domain, comparing fast DC charging with slow AC charging. e.g. INL in the States did testing back in 2012 on 4 identical Nissan Leafs, 2 fast charged (admittedly only 50kW), 2 slow charged and ran them on identical test routes up to 50k miles, without any failures. Yes - fast charging degraded the batteries slightly more by 50k miles, but insignificant compared to the overall loss in battery capacity experienced by all 4 cars. Also worth noting that they charged the cars twice a day, every day (against Nissan's advice of one charge per day), the test was performed in hot conditions in Arizona and the battery temperatures were constantly monitored (approx 4degC higher with fast charging). There is some mainly anecdotal evidence from owners that fast chargers in a coller climate like that UK actually improve battery performance (have a look on speakev.com)

They also cycled Leaf batteries separately in a test chamber to see how that compared with the charging in the cars.

Worth having a read:

avt.inl.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/vehiclebatteri...f

Engineer Andy    on 7 June 2019

50k miles isn't eactly a lot - they really need to be lasting at min. 2/3rds if not 3/4s capacity for 200k+, preferably a lot more, given the scarcity of battery materials and how labour (and thus energy) intensive recycling them is.

As regards the heat dissipation, I was more concerned about the need for additional cooling via the car's A/C (wasting electrical energy), and the potential fire/eplosion risk, as was seen in laptops and phones with Lithium-Ion batteries a few years ago. Also with some vehicles (ICE ones though) where poor heat shielding caused fires, and not just with the fuel - some poorly-shielded exhausts under the car set fire to pick-up trucks (including smaller ones) via them getting dry grass caught in the underside of the car when going off-road in the countryside. Less of a problem in the UK (it was from the US and Down Under) except perhaps from some farmers in drought conditions.

Thanks for sourcing the information though.

glidermania    on 7 June 2019

50k miles isn't eactly a lot - they really need to be lasting at min. 2/3rds if not 3/4s capacity for 200k+, preferably a lot more, given the scarcity of battery materials and how labour (and thus energy) intensive recycling them is.

As regards the heat dissipation, I was more concerned about the need for additional cooling via the car's A/C (wasting electrical energy), and the potential fire/eplosion risk, as was seen in laptops and phones with Lithium-Ion batteries a few years ago. Also with some vehicles (ICE ones though) where poor heat shielding caused fires, and not just with the fuel - some poorly-shielded exhausts under the car set fire to pick-up trucks (including smaller ones) via them getting dry grass caught in the underside of the car when going off-road in the countryside. Less of a problem in the UK (it was from the US and Down Under) except perhaps from some farmers in drought conditions.

Thanks for sourcing the information though.

Not sure why you think 200,000+ miles is a realistic number, many ICE cars never get that much mileage on them never mind before they suffer a major mechanical fault. The fact is there are numerous Tesla's in the US that have well over 200,000 miles on them since they have been used as hire cars. That means they'll likely have been abused since people who hire cars tend not to think about long term issues.

There's a fundemental misunderstanding if you think the car's AC is involved. Tesla uses a liquid medium to dissipate unwanted heat from the batteries which also doubles as an insulator to very cold temperatures.

I also think the comparison of a very few number of laptop and phone batteries is a bit of a joke. Cars are far more rigorously tested for safety than mobile phone and laptop batteries ever are. The real comparison here, is an ICE car's fuel tank exploding vs an EVs battery pack catching fire in a collision. Despite all the testing, even fuel tanks explode occasionally.

As for the comment about exhausts causing fires, honestly, you're comparing a very hot exhaust, which you wouldnt want to touch with your hand compared to an insulated and shielded battery pack. I can hold very heavily and quickly discharged lipo batteries, more than would be the case in an EV and while they are warm, they are nowhere near the heat of an ICE car's exhaust.

conman    on 8 June 2019

Any news how much is this superfast charging going to cost. Also how many times can you supercharge in a day. I'm sure the Nissan is only once. But interesting.

jchinuk    on 10 June 2019

Am I missing something, is this idea to install powerful electrical outlets on the same forecourts that don't allow you to use a mobile phone while filling up?

bobber    on 10 June 2019

Good news for the dealers who have to replace batteries that have been fried! Thinking up joined not, I fear.

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