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GM Partners with Delta Americas to Develop Industry-Leading Fast EV Charging Technology

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【Summary】Delta Americas has partnered with General Motors, which has been commissioned to develop and supply a prototype electric car which will be able to accept a charge of 400 kW.

Manish Kharinta    Sep 13, 2018 6:00 AM PT
GM Partners with Delta Americas to Develop Industry-Leading Fast EV Charging Technology
author: Manish Kharinta   

The automotive division of Delta Americas, one of the biggest power and thermal management solutions company in the U.S., has recently announced that it partnered with a host of companies to start a new $7 million research program. 50 percent of the partnership is controlled by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The venture aims to develop a solid-state transformer based on extremely fast EV charging technology. 

The chargers will be used for ultra-fast 400 kW charging. One of the partners in the venture is General Motors, which has been commissioned to develop and supply a prototype electric car that can accept a charge of 400 kW. The charger provides an a driving range of 180 miles in ten minutes.

The long charging times associated with electric vehicles has been a long-standing disadvantage for their use as a daily commuting alternative to conventional cars. Delta America's partnership with General Motors will develop a fleet of cars which will use this new fast charger to charge EVs in record time. 

The American automaker announced that it is working on a fleet of 20 electric cars, which will be compatible with this new charging technology. General Motors' partner Delta Americas expect the carmaker to provide finished prototype by the year 2020. Following this, General Motors has announced that it will make these prototypes road ready by 2023.

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The 400 KW extreme fast charger will be an industry first and will offer better charging performance than the current generation of Tesla's Supercharger, which offers 120 kW of power and Porsche's new 350 kW charger. With exception to the Model 3 electric sedan, both Tesla and Porsche happen to be premium brands and offering ultra-fast charging will be a competitive advantage for General Motors. 

The new technology which will be developed with support from U.S. Department of Energy will be able to offer a 96.5 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency—3 percent higher than it is today. Solid-state transformers where used for this increase in efficiency.

The figures offered by General Motors and Delta Americas are only projections at this point and are subject to challenges faced by fast-charging batteries. As batteries start to gain a higher charge, it becomes more difficult to recharge them. Batteries with a higher charge take less time to charge from 0 to 50 percent then they do when charging from 50 percent to a full charge. 

Delta Americas and GM partnership is focused on developing technology to charge EV batteries up to 50 percent in just 10 minutes. Since GM is developing EV prototypes with a standard range of 360 miles, a ten minute charge can supply an additional 180 miles of range.

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