Portable Chargers to Make EV Ownership Easier for All

Charging infrastructure, or the lack thereof, is an issue often levelled at the electric vehicle (EV) sector as an impediment to the uptake of its vehicles. That particular problem is being tackled in Australia as companies such as Evie Networks and JetCharge work to expand their charging networks, but the chance that an EV could run out of juice before reaching a charger remains a talking point for potential EV buyers.

There is also the issue that not everyone is able to charge an EV at their home – there are plenty of city dwellings that don’t have off-street parking or designated parking spots where an EV could be charged.

For every problem, however, there are clever folks prepared to work on a solution, and in the past few weeks, announcements have been made by a couple of companies with regards to the charging challenge.

In the UK, there is ZipCharge, which announced in early February that it is now at validation prototype (VP) stage for its portable charging system called Go.

The Go uses a bi-directional AC-DC converter and Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductors that when coupled with ZipCharge’s software enable it to be charged at home, using a standard single-phase supply (common in most homes) in just over one hour.

The Go can then be connected to an EV wherever it is parked and deliver 32km to 65km in 30-60 minutes.

If this sounds a bit familiar, we only need to look south to Victoria to find Re:Start, a Melbourne start-up that recently hooked up with the RACV to trial its portable EV charging units with the RACV’S Emergency Roadside Assist vehicles.

The Re:Start system also utilises Silicon Carbide technology, and is designed to withstand bumps, water, humidity and extreme temperature to ensure charging is available in all conditions. It will, the RACV said, mean EV drivers can expect to get a 20km range charge in as little as six minutes – a terrific boost for those who might find themselves stranded and powerless.

While the EV landscape continues to develop in Australia – and this year will be a big one as more and more electrified vehicles reach our shore and become available to consumers – any product that makes owning an EV easier and eases any concerns over range and the like, is welcome.

ZipCharge says it is on track to deliver the first models of the Go to customers early in 2023, while Re:Start and the RACV plan to trial their EV charging units from late 2022.


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