About 3 days ago Delta Americas announced that it has make a partnership with General Motors and few other partners (DTE Energy, NextEnergy, CPES Virginia Tech and more) to kick off US DOE-sponsored program to develop 400kW "extreme fast chargers for electric vehicles." This is a 3-year project and costs 7 million dollars.
BBy utilizing solid-state transformer technology, we have the opportunity to create unprecedented charging speed and convenience that will ultimately help support the DOE’s strategic goal of increasing EV adoption across the nation," said M.S. Huang, president of Delta Electronics (Americas).
As this new fast charging aims to provide 400kW electricity to electric cars, it is set to outpace both Tesla's Superchargers, which can provide current-generation cars with up to 120-kilowatts of power, as well as Porsche's new 350-kW chargers.
I have to acknowledge that I love news like this. GM is playing the long game and has been thinking ahead for several years now.
Some EV enthusiasts in forums say GM would have been much farther if it had not crushed the EV-1. But EV1 wasn't destroyed as GM needed time and lessons, which went to develop Volt and Bolt. Besides, I don't think GM would have been too much further. The bottle neck has always been battery technology. If you look at the history of electric car progress you will see that it would have taken a lot more than simply GM acting alone in battery technology. The breakthrough has mostly come from the mobile phone industry.
Also, GM didn't stop development of electrified cars. Most employees from the the EV1 program moved over to the Fuel Cell program. Which is just an electric car with a different way of storing the energy. When GM started the Chevy Volt program many moved back over from the fuel cell program. The chief engineer of the Volt - Andrew Farah was originally on the EV1 program.
GM Continues to Innovate
It's good to see that GM continues to innovate. It will be very interesting to see what the next 10 years will bring. "the proposed XFC design is expected to offer grid-to-vehicle efficiency up to 96.5 percent, four times less weight and half the size of conventional DC fast EV chargers (DCFC), as well as a high voltage direct current (HVDC) port to utilize energy storage and renewable energy systems, minimizing demand on the power grid. All these unique features will accelerate the ubiquitous adoption of EV charging and enhance Delta’s leadership within the e-mobility sector," reads the release from Delta Americas.
The Charging Standard
This is not a CHAdeMO standard. Looks like we are going to have a yet another standard. However, the standard is not fully known but will likely be an evolution of CCS.
Some EV enthusiasts say that since GM has never heavily invested in CHAdeMO, this is a smart move by GM because CHAdeMO is already obsolete. A standard that will meet all future needs is where GM needs to be. It is like a third world country skips landlines and go directly to mobile phones.
However, CHAdeMO finally caught up and recently updated their protocols. But no one has announced any plans to actually use them unlike CCS.
These XFC chargers will be ready in 2020.
Fast charging will be fabulous. Battery capacity has gotten to where we need it (and will likely just keep getting better). Biggest implication of these advances: we won’t need fuel cells and hydrogen. We can get to the future without them!
"Great changes don’t come overnight, it’s going to take some time. Today’s tech will seem quaint in 10 years but the engineers have to be on it now and GM is leading, not following. I love my ‘17 Volt G2, excited about what I’ll replace it with when it’s 10 years old. Nearly 30k trouble free miles, rarely use gas but never have to worry about range or charge times either. My rooftop solar powers my home, charges my car and pumps the water for 2 homes. Sold my GM stock at 41 recently because of this stupid trade war/tariffs that will kill auto sales, already down for past few years. Hoping this administration is disposed of quickly and to buy the stock back around 30, half way there already," comments Lowell Grant in GM Electric Car Owners group on Facebook.
John Falk, who has contributed to Torque News, writes.
"I for one am psyched about the current state of electric car technology development. I could care less about who’s developing what faster. GM isn’t fooling around. They partner with other developers for this technology. It is a game changer. Anyone who can bring the Bolt to market in 2 years is not a company that is fooling around. And this technology is coming by 2020. GM is not creating vapor ware. Just look at the last 7 years of electrification. Volt, Spark, Bolt, CT6 plug-in. And what’s next. A Buick electric crossover. Look at GM’s ICE performance cars. If you don’t think a Tesla beater isn’t coming your wrong. An electric corvette variant for Cadillac won’t surprise me. And one as quick as a model S 0-60 2 seconds. The only thing separating Electric cars will be styling, features, safety technology, build quality. Legacy automakers have an ability to excel here because of their expertise. It took Kia and Hyundai and the right leader of the company to fix their quality image. And you have to be profitable. American automakers get so much profit they can support building research and technology development of the next big thing. Electric cars."
Let's point out that Bolt EV started development in 2011. When GM showed the concept in January of 2015 the car was already mostly done at that point. The automotive industry is a long lead industry. GM's next generation EV platform is already far along in development. John, in a later comment, agreed with this.
What do you think the next 10 years will bring in terms of EV range and charging speed? Please, share your opinions for discussion in the comments section below.