ABB, a Swiss company has launched its Terra High Power DC fast charger. This can supply an impressive 350 kilowatts and is around three times faster than the Tesla’s Superchargers. This will be able to enable super fast charging, but only after the cars are ready to handle it.
The Terra High Power DC fast charger shifts electrons at such a speed that an average electric car would be able to gain 200 km of range in just 8 minutes. The electric vehicles need these crazy fast charge rates in order to be considered for very long range routes. However, when they don’t need to be driven long distances, they can be charged slowly at home for a tiny fraction of what a tank of fuel costs.
The Tesla Supercharger pumps powers into a Model S at 120 kW. All the other chargers are much lower than that. The leap to 350 kW is a huge one indeed. However, there is a small problem. None of the cars on the market can handle that much power. The new Nissan Leaf can take a maximum of 100 kW and Tesla’s Model 3 is reported to have somewhere between 184 and 210 kW. So we will have to wait for cars that can handle that much power.
Recharging a battery at such high rates is not an easy task when you look at it from a technical point of view. Terry Hershner explains what it is like. “Filling up a lithium battery is a lot like filling an empty milk jug with a pressure washer. If it’s completely empty, you can squeeze that trigger and just blast it in there. But almost right away, you’ve gotta start backing off the pressure or the water will start foaming out – and that’s where you can get actual physical damage to the battery.”
With the current cars on the market, the Terra High Power DC fast charger can’t reach its full potential. The only way it can do so is when multiple cars are plugged in at once. But, as this technology has been unveiled, we will see car manufacturers try to build cars with a battery that can fully utilize the technology.