New Electronics – ZipCharge Go: portable EV charger on track to ship early next year

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ZipCharge has announced a major milestone in the development of its portable electric vehicle (EV) charger, the Go.

The product, according to the company, is now moving into the validation prototype (VP) stage with designs released for manufacturing and hardware testing well advanced.

The Go removes a common barrier to electric vehicle ownership – providing the option of home charging for anyone who cannot currently plug in at home. In the UK alone, 8.5 million or 40% of car-owning households do not have designated or off-street parking. Elsewhere, this figure reaches 60% for example in Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea and in major cities in the USA, China and India.

ZipCharge is building multiple iterations of prototypes, from validation to pre-production, all of which will go through an extensive testing regimen. Company engineers are currently in advanced stages of lab testing key components of the portable EV charger system, including the NMC lithium-ion battery cells and ZipCharge-designed bi-directional AC-DC converter. This involves evaluating thermal behavior, charging performance, safety, durability, and full functionality to ensure a seamless and safe ownership experience for daily charging.

The custom-designed, compact and lightweight bi-directional AC-DC converter uses the latest high-efficiency silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors found in modern electric vehicles. Combined with ZipCharge’s software, it will charge the Go at home, using standard single-phase power in just over an hour. It can then be hooked up to an electric vehicle wherever it’s parked and deliver 20-40 miles of range in around 30-60 minutes, depending on the capacity of the Go charger.

The Go is the first element of a planned global portable EV charging platform that will combine innovative hardware, software and ownership models to bring affordable and convenient EV charging to more people in more places. .

In the near future, ZipCharge’s portable EV power banks will create an intelligent energy management platform that will provide flexibility and resilience to the national power grid.

Now well into the development phase, ZipCharge is on track to deliver the first models to customers in early 2023.

ZipCharge co-founder Richie Sibal said, “Reaching this key milestone in the development of the portable EV charger is a major achievement by our small, dedicated team of expert automotive engineers. Drawing on the team’s 170 years of experience designing automotive electronic systems, including EV control systems, battery modules, power electronics, electrical architectures, functional safety and cabling systems, combined with significant expertise in CAD modeling and design, allowed us to go from the drawing board to designing the outlet in less than nine months.”

Along with hardware testing, ZipCharge’s engineering team is also developing bespoke control software and a dedicated mobile app that will allow users to optimize the operation of the portable EV battery. This incorporates a suite of security features, including user authentication and the ability to remotely monitor, track and disable the Go charger from their mobile phone, anywhere, using 2G connectivity/ Built-in 4G.

Particular attention has been paid to the design of the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) between hardware and software, with the aim of making charging with the Go as simple and intuitive as possible in order to meet the diverse needs of personal customers and fleet users.

This level of control will generate significant operational and financial benefits for fleet managers who will be able to equip their fleets of electric cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with portable chargers, allowing them to charge wherever they park.

A new mobile app will be the first component of a larger digital ecosystem for the ZipCharge Go. The company is developing software tools that provide the user with intelligent charging and power management control, efficient and at a lower cost. This includes dedicated fleet data dashboards to manage a suite of Go chargers, optimize deployment, monitor charging history while using the power of data to make intelligent recommendations that reduce operating costs and improve the total cost of ownership equation.

ZipCharge also integrates machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into its software stack, to learn users’ charging patterns, make timing recommendations, and optimize charging to save money and reduce load on the network.

ZipCharge co-founder Jonathan Carrier comments, “Since our launch at COP26 in November last year, ZipCharge has garnered unprecedented interest from potential customers around the world. They immediately see the benefit of the Go portable charger to provide convenient, low-cost charging wherever they park.

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