Lotus has long produced fast cars. Now it's also producing fast chargers.
The automaker on Tuesday unveiled fast-charging hardware it claims to have developed in-house, including a liquid-cooled DC charger capable of up to 450 kw. It's designed to be used with a Lotus-developed power cabinet and 600-amp charging unit in a setup Lotus claims can charge up to four vehicles at once.
With this setup, Lotus claims the charger can add 88.5 miles of range to its Eletre electric SUV in just five minutes of charging at 450 kw, accomplishing a 10-80% charge in 20 minutes. It can also replenish 74 miles of range in five minutes with a 350-kw connector, Lotus notes.
Lotus Flash Charge DC fast charger
Lotus said this charging hardware is already being deployed in China, with installations also planned for Europe and the Middle East in the second quarter of 2024. Availability in other markets will be discussed "in due course," the automaker noted.
This makes Lotus one of just a handful of automakers to discuss charging above 350 kw, the maximum for most public charging stations and EVs in the U.S. right now. At present, in the U.S., the Lucid Air maxes out around 300 kw, and the GMC Hummer EV is one of the few products that will make full use of 350 kw.
Porsche has hinted that one of its future EVs may utilize 400-kw fast charging, while Mercedes plans to offer hardware capable of charging at that power level across its own fast-charging network. Mercedes is also part of a consortium of seven global automakers planning a separate fast-charging network that have called 350 kw a starting point.
Lotus Flash Charge power cabinet
These networks will rival the Tesla Supercharger network. Tesla's current V4 hardware is limited to 350 kw, but the company has hinted that higher power will be enabled in the future.
The Lotus fast chargers will also be among the first of their kind in Europe, but the rollout of such higher-power hardware is already happening in China from multiple networks. Xpeng teased 480-kw fast chargers capable of adding 124 miles in five minutes of charging back in 2021.