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ChargePoint develops 2-MW charger for electric aircraft

UberElevate's vision

ChargePoint unveils design for a new high-powered charger aimed at electric aircraft and semi-trucks

ChargePoint has revealed the concept design for 2-MW high-powered charging of electric aircraft and semi-trucks.

The design, a world first, can be used on electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It has been designed as part of the brand’s partnership with Uber Elevate, the ridesharing app’s flying air transportation wing.

The new connector uses up to four BMS interfaces and four 500-amp delivery circuits, with each delivery circuit capable of a voltage range of 200-1,000 volts.

The design also features a provision for high speed data transfer.

The connector supports optional auxiliary liquid cooling to the aircraft or semi-truck while it’s being charged and is designed to be operated either manually or robotically.

While it might be a few years before we’re heading to work in a flying car, ChargePoint’s tech will help to bring Uber’s 50s dream one step closer to reality.

“The drivetrain debate has ended and electrification has won out as the propulsion method of choice across transportation categories, as evidenced by the growing interest in electrifying semi-trucks, aircraft and beyond,” said ChargePoint president and CEO Pasquale Romano.

“Revealing a new concept design for high-powered charging at the second Elevate Summit is appropriate as the Uber team prepares to get Elevate off the ground in a few short years. The new design not only provides a first look at a common industry connector that can provide benefits to the manufacturers and operators of electric semi-trucks and aircraft, but is a catalyst for an important conversation in the industry. ”

For those who don’t have their heads in the clouds, perhaps the more immediate use of ChargePoint’s technology will be its use with electric trucks. Although this is still far off, with analysts predicting that at only 15% of global truck sales will be electric by 2030, electric trucks are based on more established technology, and likely to have more immediate use than electric aircraft.

The requirements for both, however, are similar, as both require high-powered and fast charging. This makes electric trucks a excellent proving ground for the technology, as well as building the infrastructure, needed to get electric aircraft off the ground.

ChargePoint 2-MW connector

Tesla may also have its eye on similar architecture, having discussed plans for a so-called “Megacharger” network for to support its fleet of Semi trucks after deliveries begin next year. Observers have noted that these high-power stations could feasibly be capable of charging anywhere between 500kW to 1.6 MW.

How far off connectors like these are from commercial reality remains to be seen, but it’s clear that manufacturers already have their eyes on what the future of high-power charging might look like.

 

 

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