GAC Aion to reportedly debut 600 kW fast charger next week

EV manufacturer GAC Aion continues to tout its charging capabilities in China. Following a demonstration last month showing charging speeds of five to eight minutes, the company is reportedly about to introduce an even more powerful fast charger on Monday.

Aion is a sub-brand of Guangzhou Automobile Corporation (GAC) Group, focused specifically on electric vehicles. Currently, the automaker sells four EVs, including the GAC Aion S, which stirred controversy when it debuted, as GAC Aion claimed it would eventually “transcend” Tesla.

While we wait for that transcendence to happen, GAC Aion has already shared an upcoming Aion V SUV. This EV will come complete with a graphene-based battery, promising to deliver unseen charge speeds and 1,000 km (~621 miles) of range.

Many have already called GAC Aion’s claim a bluff, given that several battery experts feel that scalable graphene batteries are still a few years away. However, at GAC Aion’s most recent Technology Day, the EV automaker has displayed evidence of this charging technology.

Last month, GAC Aion showcased charge multiplier speeds of 3C and 6C to the public on an EV with a graphene-based battery. On the 3C charger, the EV charged 0-80% in 16 minutes and 30-80% in 10 minutes. On 6C, GAC Aion’s fast charger achieved charging times of eight minutes for 0-80% percent and just five minutes to charge from 30-80%.

With a new report, GAC Aion appears to have an even more powerful fast charger to share, assumedly offering even fast charge times.

GAC Aion
The upcoming Aion V SUV / Source: Weibo/GAC Aion

GAC Aion to introduce fast charger delivering 125 miles in 5 minutes

According to a report from CnEVPost, GAC Aion will debut a new fast charger on August 30 that is capable of delivering charge speeds even faster than what was demonstrated last month. GAC’s new A480 fast charger will reportedly be demonstrated alongside its proprietary graphene-based batteries.

This demonstration has not officially been announced by GAC yet. However, images from the GAC Aion fast charger station in Qingdao have been posted online and reveal some interesting specs.

GAC fast charger

As you can see above, the image shows a charging gun with a current of 600 amps and a voltage of 1000V, implying a charging power of up to 600 kW.

If that is indeed the power capabilities of GAC’s new fast charger, that would be quite a feat. For perspective, 600 kW is about twice the top speed of current DC fast chargers. Tesla’s Supercharger network currently peaks around 250 kW, although CEO Elon Musk has recently promised to up the power to 300 kW in the future.

Until GAC Aion confirms this technology to the public and actually demonstrates it, all these numbers remain theoretical, especially since the charge speeds coincide with EVs equipped with graphene-based batteries.

Consumers will supposedly see these batteries equipped in the Aion V, delivering in China this September with both 3C and 6C charging multiplier options.

Electrek‘s take

As with many theoretical specs in the EV world, take these numbers with a grain of salt. While it sounds enticing, we will have to wait until next week to see if GAC Aion does, in fact, reveal this fast charger with 600 kW of power.

With that said, GAC Aion has already demonstrated some pretty impressive charge speeds in China, alongside its graphene-based batteries. Last month, its EV showed a charging power of 481 kW while the vehicle was at an 80% charge.

It also reached a voltage of 855.6V and a charging current of nearly 563 amps. So it’s not completely unrealistic to ponder that the numbers on the new fast charger could surpass that.

GAC Aion might very well be onto something here with its fast charger and battery technology. However, when you get to those levels of power, it will be wasted on passenger EVs. There will be a limit to how quickly an EV battery can charge, given its battery size.

To that point, commercial EVs can truly benefit from these (potentially) tremendous charging outputs, something Aion’s umbrella company GAC is likely quite aware of looking ahead. My eyes will be on China next week to see if these reported numbers hold true. Stay tuned.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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