FastCharge Now Evaluating 450 kW Charging

DEC 6 2017 BY MARK KANE 46

German FastCharge research project evaluates fast-charging technologies at the boundaries of what is technically feasible.

450-kW charging sounds like the way off future, but is it really that far off?

A large group of German companies have joined forces in the FastCharge research project to evaluate fast-charging technologies at the very boundaries of what is believed to be technically feasible.


Participants in the project received support of €7.8 million ($9.2 million) from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure:

  • Allego GmbH
  • BMW Group
  • Phoenix Contact E-Mobility
  • Porsche AG
  • Siemens AG

The anticipated peak of electric car charging technology stands at 450 kW (using 900 V and 500 A) for less than a 15-minute recharge.

The prototype system is to be developed and presented by FastCharge in early 2018, using cooling of the charging cables, plugs and vehicle power sockets. That much juice generates a lot of heat, so cooling will be critical.

450 kW is more than the 350 kW targeted by Porsche for Mission E and by the IONITY charging provider. On the other hand, Phoenix Contact has already shown 1000 V/500 A plugs ready for sale.

Phoenix Contact – High Power Charging (HPC) – 500 A, 1000 V CCS Combo plugs (U.S. Type 1 and Europe Type 2)

“The charging time of electric vehicles depends primarily on current and voltage: the higher the voltage and amperage, the faster the battery can be filled. However, in real life application, these factors cannot be increased at will. This is why the FastCharge project focuses on the study of the technical and physical limits of all components and systems involved in charging, both in the vehicle and the infrastructure.

The anticipated charging capacity is up to 450 kilowatts, three times the maximum charging capacity available at stations today. A voltage of 900 volts and an amplitude of 500 amperes for a projected charging time of under 15 minutes pose major challenges on all components involved. Consequently, it is planned to cool down charging cables, plugs and vehicle power sockets during the charging process, allowing for the use of more flexible cables with smaller diameters that can be handled like today’s fuel hoses. For this solution, FastCharge applies the plugs and standards of the Combined Charging System (CCS), which has already stood the test of everyday operations in today’s series-production e-cars. This would mean that vehicles with lower current and voltage demands can easily be serviced at the fast-charging stations too.

The collaborative project studies all aspects of fast charging in practical application, aiming to introduce and manufacture the required technologies on an industrial scale. This is why, alongside analyzing potential capacity increases in the charging process, the project also investigates the prerequisites and processes for the operation of ultrafast charging systems, including an automated registration and billing process for customers. The combined expertise of the individual project partners ensures that the entire value chain is covered. It is planned that, as early as next year, the complete system will be ready to reach the prototyping stage and be presented to the public. This way, FastCharge will play an important part in increasing long-distance viability and consequently the market acceptance of battery electric vehicles.”

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46 Comments on "FastCharge Now Evaluating 450 kW Charging"

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with Samsung publishing its latest tech in Nature and claiming charging times of 12 minutes this charger might not be fast enough to utilise its capabilities ? but I suppose this battery will not be seen in EVs for 6-7 years if at all.

Depends on the batteries size. This charger can recharge up to 90kWh in 12 minutes. So if those 12 minutes are to 80%. You can recharge a 112 kWh car in 12 minutes to 80%.

Or a hypothetical 325 mile Model X110D in 12 minutes from 0 to 265 miles. So this charger is quite capable.

If this happens then gas cars are essentially dead, and in the future maybe half the gas stations will be replaced by fast charging stations (the other half will go under as people just charge at home).

I hope this is not “fake development”…

I wonder why this is coordinated by a hydrogen focused group.

Would anyone interested in fast and good results let a “technological competitor” coordinate a development?

Neither BMW nor VW nor German government compete to themselves, even if individuals may have varying opinions. They are not locked in using single technology or tool but cooperate a lot.

It is just Tesla cult that suffers from “us vs them” mentality.

Neither BMW nor VW nor German government compete to themselves, even if individuals may have varying opinions.

I have no varying opinion. In fact I am quite sure that BMW, VW, Daimler and the german government will do whatever they can to prevent a fast path to electromobility, so I guess we both agree?

If you actually read the information given under the link you provided you surely wouldn’t state the following: “They are not locked in using single technology or tool”

Come on. What’s the percentage of groups there that would have a benefit from developing a fast charging solution?

To me “NOW” looks like some anti-EV marketing tool. That’s all. Whatever you believe might be less paranoid, but it also might be plain wrong.

btw. I like hydrogen 😉

Sorry: Forgot “” on the first sentence.

This isn’t a hydrogen advocacy group, they just manage building and subsidizing government funded hydrogen refueling stations and R&D in that field. So I think they were selected because they already have the right people to do the same with fast charging. Because the basic problem behind it is the same. Where do you put them, to get to a sufficient network as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible? And they don’t seem to be biased towards BEVs or HEVs. On their website they even state: “Around 90 per cent of our transport is still oil-based. This doesn’t have to be the case – and was not always so: the early years of automobile development were characterised by totally different drive concepts. The first models drove with gas, with steam and there were far more electric cars on the streets than those with a petrol drive system. The combustion engine car has established itself over the past one hundred years until today because it has two decisive advantages: it is easy to refuel and with a full tank, can drive several hundred kilometres. And it is precisely in this regard that the development of the modern electric car is… Read more »
Thanks for taking the time to post some information about “NOW”. Too be honest I was too lazy to go into the details. I just took a brief glance at their website and totally missed the part that you quoted. You may be right with your guess why they were chosen. Nonetheless due to their name I still have some concerns whether or not they are biased. With all the money on stake big oil should do whatever they can to slow down progress on the BEV front. I’ve seen a lot of strange things in the german energy sector, so I might been quite biased in my perception. My first rule is to be as paranoid as possible with any information when large companies are involved. I never heard of this “national organisation hydrogen and fuel cell technology” so I was wondering. Gives some information about who is behind “NOW”. btw. “National Organisation” means nothing. Regarding the people in the Advisory Board and the companies behind “NOW” I do not get a clear picture whether biased or not. At least the infrastructure part looks interesting: “Infrastructure: Fuel industry Reinald Hieronymus, TOTAL Deutschland GmbH Hydrogen production Dr. Oliver Weinmann,… Read more »

How can this possibly work? It’s not made by Tesla!

Wait until the R8 eTron owners show them!.

This study focuses on technical feasibility which says nothing of the economics. Noone has been able to profitably deploy a network of 100kW chargers. I’m not sure whether it can even be done without some sort of subsidy (either directly or indirectly such as using it as a loss-leader for a restaurant or convenience store).

serial anti tesla troll thomas

Why shall charging the battery be for free? For fuel I have to pay too. With a fee to pay for charging it is also interesting for companies to build the charger Network.

The comment just made that there is only a 1% chance that any of this is seriously implemented seems right to me: “…To be honest I see a 99% chance that NOTHING USEFUL will be developed. We will see some overcomplicated expensive technology and the average reader will think: “The technology is not ready. I won’t buy any electric car for another 5 years.” The german car manufacturers need more time to go electric. Whatever slows down the progress makes money. ICE is an established money maker….” VW not so coincidentally is always ‘five years away’ from their next concept car that is then rarely released. If cars had decently sized batteries, they wouldn’t need as many fast chargers to begin with – and fast chargers are usually not very grid friendly – the proof being few can afford to run them. Tesla’s game and business plan uniquely allow it to provide 60-120 kw charging systems impressively continent wide. I’m not sure anyone could afford a 450 kw system – and certainly not the general public. That’s the key to every thing, – make something that someone will pay for. To my mind, if companies REALLY wanted to increase EV… Read more »

Where did I say that charging would be free? Keep in mind that they have to pay for the energy (per kWh) AND a demand fee (per kW).

EVGo is often criticized for their high fees. The current rates cost $5 connection fee + $0.20/minute for an up to 30 minute session. After tax, that’s $12 per session. My Bolt typically received 12kWh in a 30-minute session. That’s easy math – $1/kWh. Much more expensive than my home rate of $0.12/kWh. At current gas prices, it’s roughly equivalent to a car getting 22MPG (i.e. not very efficient!) There is a thread on the Bolt forum calling for a flat-out boycott of EVGo. People simply think it is too expensive, but this is what EVGo needs to charge to have any hope of a profit.

Going from 50kW to 450kW would cause a HUGE jump in demand fees. How much would they have to charge? $2/kWh? $5/kWh? Would anyone be willing to pay that?

Demand fees can be mitigated by having high overall usage. If a DCFC is capable of 450 KW and delivers 450 KW for one 15 minute period in a month, they’ll be charged the same demand fee as 450 KW delivered consistently for the entire 30 days x 24 hours. I think EVGo is actually trying to kill themselves – charging the ridiculous connection fee then the exorbitantly high $0.20 per minute causes people to avoid using them, thus they pay the high demand fee each month and broken out over the total KWh consumed becomes excessively high to them. Chargers with high overall usage have a lower cost per KWh compared to the charger that was used once and left idle the rest of the month that has a ridiculously high per KWh rate. Hypothetical Example: Charging site A is capable of delivering power at 450 KWh and had one vehicle charge for an hour. Demand Fee for the month = $3 per KW x 450 KW = $1,350 KWh Fee = 450 KWh x $0.04 = $18.00 Average KWh cost = ($1,350 + $18) / 450 KWh = $3.04 per KWh Charging site B is capable of delivering… Read more »

The truth is companies like EVGo shouldn’t even be installing these chargers. The utilities should be putting them in. It would expand their potential customer base for the future, and they can cut out a lot of the middle man fees.

Electric utilities stand to win big by an electrified future, and states, starting with CA should simply mandate they install chargers. Having for profit companies try to do this (and likely failing) is going to end up being a cluster…

TimE I don’t know where you’re getting your figures from.

In my locale (western NY state), ACTUAL demand charges for small Commercial customers are from $13/kw per month, to around $16/kw. for customers drawing over 100 kw demand.

Other places such as Southern California Edison charge $20-$25/kw.

Now, this is compensated by very low energy prices – hence battery or flywheel storage may be compelling on the larger charging installations, but again this greatly increases the capital expense.

Even Tesla Superchargers are usually built for low First Cost – taking delivery at the most expensive rate (277Y/480).

They could save some money in most places by taking voltage at distribution voltage, or even more if they wanted to pay for Line Construction and substation charges to take Sub-transmission voltages. But they to date haven’t wanted to spend the money. Sorry Priusmaniac.

If you look at National Grid’s website, it will say the demand charge is only $10/kw. That’s true, but by the time they add fees, and taxes – those parts which are ‘demand dependant’ – you get closer to $16/kw.

Yes you can lower the
“10” to “$2.73”, by taking delivery at 115 kv. As explained above the capital construction cost to do this is just short of enormous, plus you still have fees and taxes which raise everything by $5-$6 as earler explained. But if you are a large facility such as a huge supermarket, it is worth paying the cash.

But the economics of a Supermarket, where $millions transact per day, compared to a super or megacharger, I’m claiming are somewhat different. More people use the supermarket in any 24 hour period, than a supercharger.

Seems like a good future product, it will just have to wait for actual EV’s to catch up before they can fully take advantage of this charge rate.

Planning for the future seems like a better idea than just building more 50 kW chargers that will just have to be replaced in a few years.

Two key things to focus on: One: by using CCS compatible connections, they can scale back to today’s CCS voltage and current for charging CCS vehicles already on the road, and then upgrade to higher power charging when compatible vehicles start production. And two: they need to use fluid cooling to keep the cables smaller and easier to handle than a non-cooled cable solution. The benefit is half the time to charge; 15 minutes vs 30 minutes. The drawbacks are one: by making the charger CCS compatible it can be tied up twice as long by today’s slower charging CCS vehicles. And two: fluid cooling is way more complicated than the simple charging cables of today. This is going to require longevity testing of all the seals across very hot and very cold climates to make sure the fluid and the electrons never mix. Bottom line: I’m glad they are researching this type of thing but I’m not sure it’s the best solution as it complicates the design a great deal with the cooling fluid and is a 30 minute break for charging really a big problem? If this doubles the cost of a charger, would we be better off… Read more »

Excellent points. I agree with you that it is more important to have higher access (number of chargers available) than speed. Stopping for 30 minutes every 150-200 miles is probably a good idea anyway. I don’t stay with my car while it’s charging – I grab a bite, go for a walk, and/or use the restroom.

You could easily charge a higher minute rate on the higher speed chargers, then you would filter away cars that cannot utilise the higher speed.

Yes, but take for example 500 kWh bus or heavier vehicle. 450 kW would below 1 C, well within capabilities of current battery technology. This technology is supposed to improve in few years if you believe claims about solid state “battery breakthroughs”. So if they start looking into 450 kW charger feasibility now, it may be just in time few years later for practical deployment after all engineering, field testing and legal code changes if any.

PS the 1000 V/500 A mentioned above is 500kW at DC.

The ideal is 600kW or above. That’s what it takes to achieve 5-7 minute charges at current battery capacities (>50kWh).

Why? Many people consider charging times quoted in 30-60 minutes to be an issue with BEVs. At about 5 minutes this issue is gone. Nobody is going to seriously argue that this is not equivalent to gassing up a car (unless you are a college student headed for a free food buffet).

So misperception is a solid reason for such an important technical consideration?? As many EV owners, myself included, often point out, even at 3.3 kW you actually spend less time “refueling” than you would a fossil car. 200 miles of range seems likely to be a minimum in just a couple of years time, and with that much range the need to charge on the go is further reduced. In my opinion, the rational way to decide the power level is mainly based on cost. Especially since it turns out that when there are many EVs, it’s much cheaper to use a fairly high power level and fewer chargers. But beyond 3-400 kW you don’t actually reduce the number of chargers needed by much, because the overhead – the time between one session finishing and the next starting – starts to become a big part of the total. If each car needs on average ten minutes and you have two minutes overhead you can serve five cars an hour from one station. Double the power and the charge time drops to five minutes, but the two-minute overhead stays the same, so rather than a doubling in capacity to ten cars… Read more »

Then when ultrafast chargers come out…

Don’t use them. Your choice.

I get a little tired of people lecturing me on what is “good enough”.

1meg ram should be good enough for anyone…

Sound familar?

60kW charging is good enough for you. Good. You have that NOW. Quit bitching.

Well, in my case at least, I’m not “Lecturing”, I’m merely stating that in the USA, Commercial Electricity charges CAN be primarily Demand charges. This in turn, affects the price of the service to the EV attempting to recharge. The situation is somewhat different in Europe in that rate schedules are typically arranged for commercial customers as “Demand Contracted For” – which in the States is typically only used for very large customers. But, in Some Scandanavian countries – (informed about it by our friends there comments), and in Japan, some people have to pay a “FEE” by the size of their electrical service – hence most people tend to have electric availability on the smallish side. But wherever in the World you happen to find yourself, something which takes a huge amount of infrastructure and/or resources – Someone Somewhere ends up paying for it – even if the gov’t offers it for ‘free’. Buses and public transportation services can tolerate a relatively steep cost since the cost is amortized over a HUGE populace using the service. But to have a HUGE system that few can afford to use causes a CATCH 22 conundrum: No one can afford it therefore… Read more »

Except that when you stop for refueling gas to your car, you first spend 5-6 minutes on refilling the car, and then you spend 10+ minutes going to the toilet and buying some snacks, soda or icecream anyway.
– it’s not very often that you *only* refuel gas/diesel.

With an electric car, you could actually choose between spending 15-30 minutes to get an 80% charge, or at other times spend 5-6 minutes charging while simultaneously going to the toilet, and *still* have added enough range to reach your target location.

So, in many cases charging EV’s at 50-135kW is already faster than stopping to refill gas.
– since you often just needs to add some range, and can fill up your car to 100% at your destination overnight.

What happened to 350kW evgo charging station? Doesn’t​ evgo charge by the minute? I see a price increase with 350kW chargers.

Naturally the price should go up, but not proportionally to power. Time really is money. It doesn’t matter to anyone if your car is receiving 350 kW or just 50 kW (or even less; my 2012 LEAF typically takes just 40 kW on average), because the electricity is a couple cents per kWh (when buying in bulk) and the real cost is everything else – the use of the land, the hardware and software development and maintenance, customer service, marketing, …

Per minute pricing is the best model and leads to the best overall efficiency. It’s also the fairest given that the real costs of providing fast charging have little to do with the energy cost!

I found out evgo double their price after installing the 125 amp chargers.

Current price
$19.95/monthly fee and $0.20/minute charging fee. Non members pay $5.95 connect fee that last only 30 minutes.

I’m not convinced it’s worth the trouble. 350 kW is probably fast enough, and a bit cheaper. This isn’t about latency, how long from plugging in until you’ve charged enough, but about throughput – how much infrastructure do you need to serve a certain fleet of EVs. At 50 kW you can serve 1-2 vehicles per hour on average (not everyone needs a full cycle or even near that), so it’s clearly cheaper to up the power than to build more chargers. At 7 times that, 350 kW, you’ll be able to serve about 10 vehicles per hour (again, not everyone needs “a full tank”) and increasing the power doesn’t have a big effect because there’s overhead (1-2 minutes per session perhaps) involved in parking, plugging in, paying, unplugging and moving the vehicle. I don’t know where the line is, but if this is, as they claim, near the physical limits then it’s beyond the line. What’s possible will be something expensive, but often you can get 90% or more of that without resorting to anything exotic. From the end user’s point of view of course latency does matter. But less and less as chargers become faster and packs become… Read more »

You just got through saying 350kW was too much, via a long and annoying diatribe.

Pick a side.

By the time the study is complete and anything’s done with the results, there will be self driving cars on the road…

Manageable cable diameter with complex cooling and ergonomic handles aren’t needed when wireless charging is what autonomous vehicles will require…

The real secret sauce isn’t having dozens of chargers each pulling 450KW from the grid, we’ve seen major slowdowns on superchargers, what is needed is an intermediately such as battery storage…Send grid and solar are always charging the batteries and it’s the batteries providing the power to the vehicles…

“By the time the study is complete and anything’s done with the results, there will be self driving cars on the road…”

That’s plain wrong.

By the time the study is complete and anything is done with the results, we will not need any roads anymore. 😉

In fact we don’t need any roads since 2015.

Wrong direction.
They need superconducting wire.
With regular copper, they are losing huge amounts and things will only get worse.
With superconducting wire, they will be able to handle these loads easily.

and it is just on the hose and perhaps just in the vehicle that needs it.

I still remember the Leaf debates as to whether it was worth it to buy with the 3.3 kW charger, or wait for the 6.6 kW charger….

In 10 years we will be debating 1000 kW chargers.

Keep dreaming – since the 2008 Roadster had 16.8 kw charging ‘standard’, people said in 10 years it would be (in 2018) ‘1000 kw’. 2018 is almost here. What is factual is that, while in the past you could charge an old ‘S” at 19.2 kw (or somewhat faster in Europe), now you can only, 10 years later, charge it at the FIRST ELECTRIC CAR’s (2008 roadster’s) rate. And the car ‘for the masses’, even when buying the MOST EXPENSIVE $50,000 model – can only go at 2/3rds of this ‘FIRST’ rate. Someone could seriously make the argument (not me) that charging rates for home use are DECREASING over the long term. Utilities over the past 30 years have basically implemented demand charges for RESIDENCE (for Europeans – DOMESTIC) customers, since 3 decades ago, residence rates were usually cheaper than commercial rates – but in my area at least, and certainly in California, and Ontario, Canada – residence rates have skyrocketed compared to commercial rates – no doubt to facilitating an increase of electricity usage at any one time by the average consumer. (At least, that is the ‘fiction’ that the Utility likes to provide for public consumption – I… Read more »

Am I the only one that thinks that 3x150kw is much better than a single 450kw charger?

Once you get to 150kw it is much better to direct all your resources on building more chargers than on increasing the power. The only two 350kw CCS chargers in existance (on the entire planet) one year after the bold announcement that the germans will do a 350kw network is the perfect argument for this.

And I still can’t believe how the germans are doing the same old mistakes in engineering their EVs and also infrastructure despite having a working example for both hitting them in the face since 2012!

150 kW is fast enough for the vast majority of the people that are considering buying a BEV today. Don’t build a nationwide network to satisfy 100% of the potential buyers, build it to satisfy 80%-90% of the potential buyers since that will cost much less and will be cheaper to build. Let the demanding 20% keep their gassers. We will get them to buy an electric car in 10 years rather than 5 years.
150 kW will get you an additional 175 miles of highway speed AER in just 20 minutes. A nationwide charging network doesn’t have to be as fast as a gas pump, it just has to be fast enough for most drivers.

You can easily get both, e.g. by having shared battery energy storage and dynamic power distribution between charge points connected to the battery.

The expensive AC/DC inverters are then placed between the grid and the shared battery, and the limiting factors will be total current capacity from the shared battery and each cars ability to draw current from the battery.

This way (and given a large enough battery/powerpack) the AC/DC inverters just needs to be scaled to support the daily total power usage.

Also the battery/powerpack could either draw AC current at a stable rate from the grid, or be slightly higher spec’ed so that it could draw most of its daily energy at off-peak grid hours.

This method is just an extension of the current principle that instead of each car having to install expensive high-power AC/DC converters, and instead putting them in chargepoints that are shared between many cars during the day.

By adding a battery in the mix, the AC/DC converters can also be shared between all chargepoints at a location/charging station.