Currently reading: UK firm launches portable EV charger for urban drivers
Suitcase-sized ZipCharge Go device aims to deliver enough charge for the average UK commute

A British technology firm has revealed a first-of-its-kind portable EV charger, aimed at electric car owners that can't plug in at home.

The ZipCharge Go is a suitcase-sized charger set to go on sale in 2022. It has enough battery capacity to provide an electric car with up to 20 miles of range, which the firm claims is enough for the average UK driving commute.

Charging a car with the device takes around 30 minutes, after which the Go can be plugged into a domestic 3-pin socket to recharge.

While charging, the unit is locked to the car via the Type 2 cable, and features both geofencing and device tracking for added security. Built-in 4G support allows for remote monitoring and charge scheduling.

The power bank also includes a bi-directional AC/DC inverter for two-way charging, similar to vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functionality, allowing it to store power while prices are low and return it to the grid during peak times.

The unit is built around an aluminium spaceframe, with an outer shell built from recycled plastic which can be personalised with a range of colours and finishes to match the owner's EV. Built-in handles and wheels allow for easy transportation, and the sealed design is safe to use in all weather conditions. The company is aiming to use entirely recycled materials by the second half of the decade.

A recent Ofgem report suggests an inability to charge at home is the main reason car buyers aren't ready to switch to an EV, with around 8.5 million UK car owners lacking any form of designated on- or off-street parking. In London, this equates to around 65% of all car owners.

"One of the key barriers to wider uptake of EVs is charging anxiety; the inability to charge near or at home," company co-founder Jonathan Carrier explained. "ZipCharge removes that hurdle and in doing so, will democratise EV ownership."

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Carrier and business partner Richie Sibal are both industry veterans, having worked in automotive electronics systems engineering and product development at businesses including McLaren Automotive, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and LEVC for several decades. 

While the company has yet to confirm an exact price for the charger, it aims to be comparable to the cost of an installed level 2 home charge point. Go chargers will also be available on a subscription basis from £49 per month. 

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Cobnapint 3 November 2021
What's 'first of it's kind' about it?
These have been around for the last couple of years.
NavalReserve 3 November 2021
It does seem like a battery equivalent to the 5 litre can... except that it seems to take up all the boot space.
artill 3 November 2021

In no way does this device make owning or running an electric car more appealing. 

People without offroad parking, who have an EV are going to have to get used to the idea of going to a charging station, just like they go to a petrol station now. Its just going to take a lot longer, and happen more often.