Originally published on Gas2.
Electric vehicles are cool. They have instant acceleration and they leave no fossil fuel detritus in their wake. But charging them can be a pain int the neck. EV charging today involves many different standards. There are multiple power levels and several different plugs found at EV charging stations. Different cars charge at different rates. Add in charging capability for a welter of digital devices and a person today needs to carry around a Swiss army knife-like collection of charging cords and adapters to get through the day.
New EV Charging System
Continental says it has a better idea. Its AllCharge system builds on the components that are already built in to an electric vehicle — especially the inverter that already converts AC to DC and vice versa — to solve the connectivity issues. The company says those components already have the ability to function as a charging system, so why not put them to work? The system will be shown to the public for the first time at the Continental Tech Show this month. It will also be featured at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany in September.
Any vehicle equipped with the AllCharge system will be able to use any EV charging station operating on up to 800 volts. It will support charging power of up to 350 kW. “What was always lacking up until now was some sort of universal solution capable of working with any type of charging station,” says Dr. Martin Brüll, the lead engineer responsible for the the new charging system. “Such a universal solution is now available in the form of AllCharge.”
“With 350 kW DC charging, five minutes charging time provides approximately 150 km of driving range – a good indication of our charging system’s true potential,” says Dr. Brüll. “No matter how quickly the infrastructure develops in future, a vehicle with AllCharge technology will always be able to make the most of the selected charging station’s capacity.”
“Today, EV drivers often end up parking at a charging station that doesn’t allow them to charge as fast as they would like,” says Dr. Oliver Maiwald, the head of technology & innovation for Continental’s powertrain division. “With Continental’s AllCharge powertrain, drivers no longer need to worry about finding the right type of charging station. Their vehicle is equipped for every type of technology, from single-phase or three-phase AC to high-speed DC systems.”
But wait, there’s more. Thanks to the addition of a DC/DC converter, the AllCharge system will also provide 230 volts of AC power (household current in Europe and much of the world) to power mobile devices or run appliances like refrigerators and power tools when the car is not in motion. Watch the video below to learn more. about the AllCharge system.
Continental Partners With Nio
For those of you who thought Continental just made tires, think again. It has just announced a strategic alliance with Nio, formerly known as NextEV, to develop new vehicle platforms. Continental will supply tires, wireless charging systems, autonomous driving systems, digital instrumentation packages, electronic braking systems, and air suspension systems to the Chinese manufacturer. “We are excited to be partnering with Continental on a number of projects, including automated driving, charging, and battery technology, to deliver unique services and experiences to our users,” commented William Li, founder and chairman of NIO.
“Cars of the future will feature electric drives, which will be fully connected and automated. In 2025, we expect a market share for fully electric drive systems of around 10 percent. Continental is well positioned to successfully meet these future demands on automotive drive systems. Already today, China is one of the leading markets for electric vehicles. Our collaboration with NIO will contribute to further advance the development of electric vehicles and the Chinese electric vehicle market”, said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the board for Continental.
Nio has recently set the all time lap record at the Nurburgring for a production car with its electric hypercar, the EP9, but it has much more prosaic ideas for the mass market. It recently introduced a very ordinary looking electric SUV called the ES8. That’s a good thing. SUVs are the mainstream market right now, so building mainstream vehicles for mainstream buyers makes sense.
Source: Electric Cars Report
Reprinted with permission.