As electric cars become more and more popular, there are an increasingly large number of firms selling electric car charging equipment, from wall-mounted domestic charging stations through to large, commercial rapid charging stations for parking lots, shopping malls and gas stations.
Now we’ve heard via the TeslaMotorsClub that a firm in Switzerland has developed a portable rapid charging station.
Called the EVTEC Mobile Fast Charger (MFC), it offers owners of the 2012 Mitsubishi i and 2012 Nissan Leaf a way to charge their cars up to six times faster than the level 2, 240V, 16A on-board chargers installed in the car.
While it isn’t as fast as the 50 kilowatt D.C. Chademo stations now being installed across the U.S., the 20 kilowatt unit can operate anywhere a suitable 400-volt, three-phase power supply is located.
Although it is technically a portable rapid charging station, don’t think you’ll be throwing it in the back of your electric car along with your suitcases or buying one to keep in your garage.
Then again, the unit isn’t designed for domestic applications (although we have no doubt someone somewhere will use it for just that). What it is designed for is situations where existing three-phase infrastructure can be utilized to provide fast, convenient electric car charging without expensive installation costs.
It also offers hope to those needing a rapid charging station for special occasions such as track days, electric car rallies and large trade events -- as well as opening up the possibility of providing affordable charging for car-sharing projects and larger fleets.
At €14,900 ($20,278) the 20 kilowatt rapid charger is hardly cheap, leading us to wonder if there’s a market potential for a firm to offer MFC rentals on a day-by-day basis to those who occasionally need a rapid charger.
The unit will also be available as a smaller, 10 kilowatt rapid charger which should provide an intermediate solution for those who cannot afford the more expensive version.
The video below shows the EVTEC MFC being used with a European-style three-phase plug -- but we have been told that can be changed for an appropriate plug according to the market it will be sent to.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a portable Chademo specification charging station, but its arrival onto the market can only help drive down the cost of buying and supporting rapid D.C. charging for electric cars.