ZapGo and AS Green Cube Innovation of Norway announced a joint venture with the intent to commercialize operational storage units to enable ultra-fast chargers for battery electric vehicles (EVs), using ZapGo’s Carbon-Ion (C-Ion) technology.

The joint venture (JV) aims to significantly reduce the time needed to fully charge a car, truck, bus, or ferry by enabling 350 kW to 1.2 MW charging without the need for costly public infrastructure investments. Rollout of the two initial charging units at AS Green Cube Innovation’s existing charging stations in the greater Oslo, Norway area will begin mid-2020.

“Norway is the ideal initial market for ZapGo’s ultra-fast charging technology, due to the high concentration of electric vehicles in use,” said Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo. “According to the Norwegian Road Federation, about 60% of new car sales in March 2019 were EVs. Drivers who live in apartments or travel long distances will require much faster charging at service stations, because they will not want to wait for hours queuing at public chargers and won’t be able to plug in at home.”

“ZapGo’s C-Ion technology significantly reduces the time required to charge batteries for cars, trucks, buses, and ferries, while also reducing the need for costly public infrastructure investments,” said Jon Erik Brøndmo, chairman of AS Green Cube Innovation. “The use of ZapGo’s C-Ion technology at our fueling stations will cater to Norway’s EV owners by greatly shortening their charging time. It is a true win/win for Norwegian consumers, transportation companies, the public sector, and the environment.”

The design goal of a 350 kW charger is to transfer around 100 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy in 15 minutes to a vehicle. One hundred kilowatt-hours is required to drive an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) 300 miles (or about 500 km) at freeway or Autobahn speeds, with more than one passenger and with normal air conditioning or heating. To transfer 100 kWh in five minutes would require a 1200 kW or 1.2 MW charger.

ZapGo is a member of the EV international standards body CharIN, which is also developing standards for 1.2 MW electric trucks with the design goal of transferring 1 MWh of energy to an electric truck in one hour. One megawatt-hour of energy is required to power a fully loaded 18-wheeler heavy truck for 300 miles (or about 500 km) at freeway or Autobahn speeds.

The new chargers have intelligence designed to recognize the type of vehicle and adjust the maximum safe charge rate. As vehicles become available that can be charged at these very high rates, the chargers will reportedly automatically switch to the higher rate. For existing vehicles like the Nissan Leaf that can be charged at 50 kW or the Tesla Model S at 120 kW, the chargers step down accordingly.

The ZapGo and AS Green Cube Innovation JV will store the electric energy at night and off-peak to provide EV drivers with cost-effective electricity. Vehicles will then be charged from the stored energy, not directly from the grid. This will also enable AS Green Cube Innovation to provide capacity to charge multiple vehicles simultaneously without upgrading the electrical connections to the sites.