AeroVironment recently introduced a rather trick new product: TurboCord.
TurboCord enables one to charge electric vehicles from electrical sockets (both 120 or 240 volts) at higher currents than the EVSE cable typically attached to EVs.
It's portable, very small, weighs less than five pounds and has a 20-foot cord.
According to AeroVironment, TurboCord has many safety features, but there's no buttons, just an LED status indicator.
"Its miniaturized electronics and safety features are housed in a compact package that also incorporates the plug. Safety is built into every TurboCord, which is UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed and incorporates patent-pending technology that monitors the internal temperature of the unit as well as the wall outlet connection, to ensure safe and reliable charging. It is outdoor-rated, watertight with the highest waterproof NEMA 6P rating and durability tested."
Wahid Nawabi, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Efficient Energy Systems business segment, stated:
“TurboCord is very compact, light, powerful and delivers unmatched charging versatility. It will empower drivers to make the transition easily from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles because it simplifies the charging process and can reduce costs significantly”
AeroVironment TurboCord - 120 or 240 V
Depending on the version it's MSRP is $649 (TurboCord Dual with 120 and 240 V capability) or $599 for only 240 V.
At 120 V , TurboCord can provide up to 12 A. At 240 V, 16 A is possible, enough for basic 3.3 kW on-board chargers.
According to the press release, AeroVironment expects that TurboCord will be especially appealing to plug-in hybrid owners. Nawabi remarked:
“Research shows that plug-in hybrid owners are charging wherever they can to squeeze out more electric miles to avoid using gasoline. TurboCord’s portability and power are perfect for these drivers because they now have the option to charge faster with our dual-voltage cordset.”
But one of TurboCord's main applications could probably be as standard equipment in new EVs:
“TurboCord will deliver that extra convenience many people are looking for before deciding to drive home from a dealer in an EV, especially when automakers include it in the trunks of new cars. A salesperson can open the trunk on the lot and tell the prospective buyer they can go home and start charging that same night if they have a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet at their home. A similar outlet at their workplace can allow them to drive their EV even farther.”
Nawabi said that AeroVironment's design eliminated the “pigtail” that comes with other cordsets:
"On one end of the cord there is a small and rugged module that contains all of the miniaturized electronics, which plugs directly into the wall outlet. On the other end of the cord is the coupler that plugs into the car. With TurboCord, an EV driver does not have to contend with the clunky and heavy box on the cord between the vehicle and the wall socket that is found on other cordsets, which can pose safety hazards."
TurboCord can be ordered at Amazon.com or at the AeroVironment TurboCord website.