Removable battery pack gives high speed EV charger flexibility

Removable battery pack gives high speed EV charger flexibility

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

German charger developer Jolt Energy is launching a high speed charger with a removable battery pack for electric vehicles.

The MerlinOne measures 230 x 120 x 110 cm (h x w x d) and has an internal 200 kWh battery storage unit. This power for 200 km of travel in 10 to 15 minutes at 160 kW without requiring extensive installation. It was developed in cooperation with ADS-TEC in Germany.

The charger has a 65in display for public information, cultural or advertising purposes and the charging cable retracts into the unit. Jolt Energy deploys the chargers in coordination with site partners, taking over the complete operation and maintenance of the charging stations including customer service. In areas without a grid connection, Jolt runs specially0developed automated trucks to replace the battery pack.

In the next step, MerlinOne will also be able to support the electricity grid and micro-grids with peak shaving and other grid stabilization services. This is particularly interesting for renewable power.

The integrated battery allows the carger to be installed in urban environments without the typical construction work. Together with the product launch, the Munich start-up is also announcing a crowdfunding campaign to build a fleet of 500 high-power chargers in 50 cities within 500 days.

“The success of e-mobility will depend on the availability of acceptable and effective charging infrastructure, which is as accessible and convenient for drivers, as existing fueling options”, said Maurice Neligan, CEO of Jolt.

The flexibility of MerlinOne derives primarily from its ability to be connected to the electricity grid in three different ways, taking account of local grid conditions. The island mode is particularly flexible. For the first time, high-power charging stations can be placed exactly where they are needed, without any concern for the quality of the existing electrical infrastructure. Typical locations include inner city streets, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants or even churches and schools.

Next: No grid connection needed

A grid connection is not necessary, because MerlinOne’s integrated 200 kWh battery storage provides the power. When the battery is almost empty, the complete MerlinOne charging station is exchanged for a fully charged unit.

For the transport, Jolt and Swedish company HIAB have developed a special truck called MerlinTruck with an automated crane and carrying system, which ensures the swap process is completed in under five minutes. 

MerlinOne has two additional operating modes both of which involve a grid connection. When connected to the low voltage grid, the integrated battery storage operates as the basis for fast charging. It is continuously charged via the power grid and releases the electricity as needed in a very short time. This not only enables high-power charging at low voltage, but also avoids costly network expansion, for example on city streets or at gas stations. The third option is to connect the MerlinOne to the medium voltage grid, allowing the charger to operate continuously at high-power, while at the same time providing charger-to-grid (C2G) services.

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