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."
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.