ChargePoint Express Plus Debuts: Offers Industry High 400 kW DC Fast Charging
Tesla has always understood that in order to succeed they needed to have a robust public recharging network available to their customers. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars building out their proprietary Supercharger Network, while owners of electric vehicles made by other OEMs could only dream about having the luxury to recharge their vehicle so rapidly.
Public CHAdeMO and CCS DC fast chargers typically max out at either 24kW or 50kW, which pales in comparison to Tesla’s ability to charge at 120kW.
There simply wasn’t any DCQC equipment available that could deliver near the level of power that a Supercharger could. However that just changed. Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, ChargePoint announced their next generation of DC Fast charge stations, the ChargePoint Express Plus, offering up to 400 kW of charging capacity.
Update (Jan 5th): Added video tutorial from ChargePoint on the Express Plus below
“Designed for the next 10 years in transportation technology, ChargePoint Express Plus charges up to eight times faster than today’s mainstream fast chargers”
∙ Platform adds hundreds of miles of range in under 15 minutes, charging today’s and tomorrow’s electric vehicles (EVs) at their peak rates.
∙ Offers the highest charging capacity in the industry, delivering up to 400 kW per port.
∙ The modular, highly scalable platform is designed to meet the charging requirements of current and next-generation electric cars, buses and trucks.
∙ Proprietary liquid cooling technology supports the thinnest, most flexible high-capacity charging cables on the market and creates a superior charging experience for drivers.
I had the opportunity to sit down with ChargePoint CEO, Pasquale Romano at CES on Wednesday to discuss the company’s new line of DC fast charge stations and it was clear he was excited about their new offering. The modular design in particular was a feature that he believes will make their system uniquely attractive:
“Express Plus charging centers can start small and grow as needed by adding charging capacity without further construction. Together with our commercial and residential charging solutions, Express Plus completes the technology offering required to make fully electric transit a reality.”
From the ChargePoint Express Plus product sheet:
“ChargePoint Express Plus employs a modular, scalable architecture that allows one system to serve up to a megawatt (MW) across as many as eight charging stations. It supports charging voltages ranging from 200 volts (V) to 1000 V including today’s 400 V cars and 750 V e-buses, and tomorrow’s 800 V cars. The innovative design of Express Plus lets station owners buy just what they need and scale up as demand grows with no stranded investment along the way.”
Even though there aren’t any production EVs available that can utilize such high power rates, Romano was confident there will be vehicles capable of accepting this high rate of power soon.
He also pointed out the chicken and egg dilemma. Now that there will be charging infrastructure to support high speed charging, the OEMs will be more willing to invest in designing systems to allow their vehicles to utilize it.
I remember my interview with Chevy Bolt chief engineer Josh Tavel last year. When I asked him about high speed DC Fast charging for the Bolt he responded that they worked with what was currently available, but if equipment is developed to allow vehicles to charge at a higher rate, he would absolutely look into that for future Bolt models.
ChargePoint Express Plus stations will offer CCS and CHAdeMO charging, but can support up to three connectors, leaving the possibility open for a third “standard” to be added. I doubt ChargePoint would have designed the stations with the option to add a third connector unless they believed there was a good possibility that it would be utilized.
In addition to the ChargePoint Express Plus platform, ChargePoint is also offering a lower cost alternative, the ChargePoint Express 250. These are standalone stations are capable of delivering up to 62.5kW. The lower power delivery eliminates the need for the complex liquid cooling system, which allows for a lower price point. These stations are capable of adding about 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.
The ChargePoint Express 250 and ChargePoint Express Plus charging stations will be available in July 2017.
Full spec sheets below, and further details about ChargePoint Express can be found here.