At COP 26 ZipCharge has revealed its first portable Electric Vehicle (EV) charger, dubbed the Go. The size of a small wheelie suitcase it can provide up to 20 miles of range – enough for most short journeys.
By bringing the possibility of home charging to all, it is hoped the Go will remove a common barrier to EV ownership that exists with 8.5 million or 40% of car-owning households in the UK not having designated off-street parking.
The Go is the first element of a global portable EV charging platform that combines hardware, software, machine learning and innovative ownership models. ZipCharge Go also creates an intelligent energy management platform that provides flexibility and resilience for the national power grid, the company claims.
Now well into the development phase, ZipCharge is on track to deliver the first models to customers in Q4 2022.
The size of a compact wheeled suitcase, the ZipCharge Go can be charged at home or elsewhere using a standard domestic plug at a lower cost per kWh of electricity when compared to public charging. Using the retractable handle, users then wheel it to wherever they’ve parked their EV and plug it into the charging port.
The port locks the charging cable in, securing the charger with the vehicle. ZipCharge Go provides up to 20 miles (32km) of range, providing sufficient range for the average daily commute (in UK/EU), in a little over 30 mins and can then be neatly stored in the boot or at home. ZipCharge Go can be used in all normal weather conditions like a normal fixed charge point.
Packaged inside the charger are high energy density NMC lithium-ion battery cells and associated power electronics. A bi-directional AC-DC inverter enables two-way charging from the grid to the unit, and from the unit to the grid, so the power bank can be used to store cheap off-peak energy and feed it back into the grid at peak times.
An integrated communications module supports OCPP compliant smart charging, over-the-air updates, remote diagnostics, and together with geo-fencing and tracking technology provides enhanced security and peace-of-mind.
Like Peloton and other hardware pioneers, ZipCharge will offer its hardware-as-a-service. Chargers will be available to purchase outright or on subscription for as little as £49 (€57) a month.
Says ZipCharge Co-founder Jonathan Carrier:
“We’re delighted to be launching the Go at COP26, it’s the perfect place to introduce ZipCharge to the world. In light of the Government’s recent Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener manifesto announcement, never before has the automotive industry had cause to innovate so rapidly to help us reach a low carbon future.
“One of the key barriers to wider uptake of EVs is charging anxiety; the inability to charge near or at home. ZipCharge removes that hurdle and, in doing so, will democratise EV ownership.”
The SMMT, the UK’s most influential motoring trade body, advises there are currently 600,000 plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) on the roads in the UK today – up 66% on 2019 figures – which could make use of the ZipCharge product.