ChargePoint Express Plus technology made its debut at CES 2017. Express Plus is a modular design using individual charging blades that can be networked together to provide up to 400 kW of charging power. Each blade supplies 31 kW of power.
“Express Plus is a platform built to support ChargePoint’s vision for the future of DC fast charging: ultra-fast, scalable and incredibly efficient charging that’s conveniently located where drivers need it for long trips,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “Express Plus charging centers can start small and grow as needed by adding charging capacity without further construction. Together with our commercial and residential charging solutions, Express Plus completes the technology offering required to make fully electric transit a reality.”
The company says its new Express Plus charger “is equipped to charge upcoming EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 and is ready to deliver maximum charging speed to EVs coming to market in the years to come. A modular platform designed for businesses and charging centers along major roadways or transit depots, Express Plus can deliver up to 400 kilowatts (kW) to an EV, providing the power, speed and scalability necessary to make the future of mobility all-electric.”
Each ChargePoint Express Plus charger will have one or two blades installed and can link with other chargers at the same charging facility. Those chargers can be further linked to a ChargePoint Power Cube — a separate component with 16 blades built in for a total of 496 kW of power.
How much power the system delivers depends on how many cars are charging at any given moment. For instance, a ChargePoint Express Plus charger with two blades installed can provide 62 kW of power to one car. If two cars are plugged in simultaneously, each would be allocated 31 kW of power. At facilities with a Power Cube included, the maximum charging rate would be as much as 400 kW. With that sort of power available, range anxiety will become a thing of the past.
Vehicle manufacturers are focusing more and more on charging technology and infrastructure. In the US, Volkswagen will spend $2 billion over the next 10 years to construct a charging network along major transportation routes. That money is part of a larger settlement the company reached with regulators, local governments, and private individuals as a result of its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Tesla continues to build out its proprietary Supercharger network for its customers. At the present time, the fastest Superchargers deliver 135 kW of power. It is interesting that ChargePoint emphasizes its Express Plus chargers will be accessible by Tesla Model 3 owners. No doubt some sort of adapter will be needed to make the connection possible.
The major German car companies are also planning to cooperate in the development of a high speed charging network of their own, at least within Europe based on the CCS standard. The CCS alliance is targeting charging power of up to 350 kW in the near future.
Electric car range is going up. Charging speeds are coming down. The transition to electric cars is accelerating. A transportation system that relies on electrons rather than molecules is getting closer to reality every day.