ZipCharge, a pioneer in portable everyday electric vehicle (EV) charging, has announced is now advancing to validation prototype (VP) stage with designs released for manufacture and hardware testing well underway.
The Go portable electric vehicle charger removes a common barrier to electric car ownership by bringing the possibility of home charging to anyone who can’t currently plug in at home.
In the UK alone, 8.5 million or 40 percent of car-owning households are without designated or off-street parking. In other countries, including Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea and in major cities in the USA, China and India, this figure reaches 60 percent.
ZipCharge is developing the Go using the same rigorous engineering processes as major car manufacturers. It is building several iterations of prototypes from validation through to pre-production, all of which will undergo an extensive testing regime.
The company’s engineers are currently at advanced stages of lab testing the portable electric vehicle charger’s key system components, including the NMC lithium-ion battery cells and the ZipCharge-designed bi-directional AC-DC converter.
This is to evaluate thermal behaviour, charging performance, safety, durability and full functionality to ensure a seamless and safe ownership experience for everyday charging.
When coupled with ZipCharge’s innovative software it will enable the Go to be charged at home, using a standard single phase supply in just over one hour. It can then be connected to an electric vehicle wherever it is parked and deliver 20 to 40 miles (48-64km) of range in around 30-60 minutes, depending on the capacity of the Go charger.
Richie Sibal, ZipCharge co-founder, said: “Achieving this key milestone in the development of the portable EV charger is a major achievement by our small and dedicated team of expert automotive engineers.
“Drawing on the team’s 170 years of experience in designing automotive electronic systems, including EV control systems, battery modules, power electronics, electrical architectures, functional safety and wiring systems, combined with significant expertise in CAD modelling and design has enabled us to progress from the drawing board to design release in under nine months.”
The ZipCharge engineering team is also developing bespoke control software and a dedicated mobile application that will allow users to optimise the operation of the portable electric vehicle powerbank.
This incorporates a suite of security features, including user authentication and the ability to remotely monitor, track and disable the Go charger from their mobile phone, anywhere, thanks to built-in 2G/4G connectivity.
This amount of control will generate significant operational and cost benefits for fleet managers, who will be able to equip their fleets of electric cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with portable chargers, enabling them to charge wherever they park.
For fleets, charging with the Go adds range and means drivers don’t have to deviate their route to find the nearest charger. Back at the depot, fleet vehicles will no longer have to be repositioned to use the fixed chargers. With the ZipCharge Go, the charger comes to them.
Jonathan Carrier, ZipCharge co-founder, said: “We’re already in advanced discussions with a number of large corporate fleets and listening to their requirements, along with product suggestions from our enthusiastic prospective customer base.
“We are committed to launching a truly ground-breaking product in the Go, one that meets the needs of a range of customer groups and how they would like to use the Go.
This includes private individuals, fleets and end-destinations, such as hotels, retail complexes, supermarkets and leisure activities – all locations where the ZipCharge Go can provide flexible, convenient and low-cost charging for everyone, anywhere they park.”
Pricing of the Go will be confirmed later this year. It’s expected that the ZipCharge Go will be competitively priced and comparable to the purchase and full installation cost of a fixed home charger.