One of the biggest complaints with GM’s Chevy Bolt EV is its limited fast-charging capacity.
Now GM is working to remedy the situation for future EVs through a partnership with Delta Americas to develop a 400 kW charging system for 180 miles of range in less than 10 minutes.
400 kW is nothing new. Several automakers and charging station companies have announced systems to support the charge rate, which has been referred to as “ultra-fast charging” instead of the usual 50 kW “fast-charging”.
But Delta announced the development of a new next-gen system that would feature several improvements including “a solid-state transformer, four times less weight and half the size of conventional DC fast EV chargers (DCFC)” and with “a grid-to-vehicle efficiency up to 96.5 percent.”
They are developing it through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):
“Delta, a global provider of power and thermal management solutions, today announces it has commenced work on a trend-setting research program, with 50 percent cost-share by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to develop a solid-state transformer (SST)-based extreme fast EV charger (XFC) with industry-leading capacity up to 400 kW to provide capable EVs a 180-mile range with less than 10 minutes of charging.”
Along with the DOE, Delta lists GM has one of its main research partners on the project.
M.S. Huang, president of Delta Electronics (Americas), commented on the announcement:
“We’re thrilled to lead such an important project and have a stellar team of researchers and partners in place that are more than ready to take on the challenge of setting a new standard for EV fast charging. By utilizing solid-state transformer technology, we have the opportunity to create unprecedented charging speed and convenience that will ultimately help support the DOE’s strategic goal of increasing EV adoption across the nation.”
While the project has some exciting implications for a faster and more efficient electric vehicle charging future, it is not expected to be commercialized soon.
They are planning to develop the technology over the next 3 years at a cost of US$7 million.
If GM plans to bring the technology to market in its own electric vehicles, they have several EV programs that could be prime candidates.
Last year, they announced an expansion of their electric car plans to add 2 new electric vehicles based on the Bolt EV platform within the next 18 months and then 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms within the next 5 years.