Electric cars are the future and there are so many manufacturers heading in that direction that innovation in this sector is the need of the hour. Charging stations, batteries and even electric drivetrains, there’s a lot happening already and automotive supplier Continental AG too has something to offer. The company has devised a new approach for charging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Rather than cramming the car with extra technology to match all the different types of charging station, the electric powertrain has been turned into a ‘charger’.
Dubbed the ‘AllCharge’ system, this technology is based on the components of a conventional electric powertrain (comprising electric motor and inverter – for switching between DC and AC power). Since constant AC/DC switching at different voltages is already an inherent feature of the electric powertrain, these components already possess all the necessary capabilities to function as a charging system.
With this technology, people will be able to charge their vehicle at any charging station, at an output rate of up to 800 V and up to 350 kW. In fact the company has also made certain that have 230 volts of AC power is available for onboard use if needed. The AllCharge system’s vehicle-to-device technology allows the vehicle battery to be used to power mobile electrical devices ranging from a laptop to a refrigerator or an electric drill.
Dr. Oliver Maiwald, Head of Technology & Innovation in the Powertrain Division, Continental, said, “With Continental’s AllCharge powertrain, drivers no longer need to worry about finding the right type of charging station. Their vehicle is equipped for every type of technology, from single-phase or three-phase AC to high-speed DC systems. He added that “the maximum benefit can be reached for urban AC charging stations, here a 12 times faster charging is possible.”
The company will showcase the Allcharge system at the Continental Tech Show in June followed by the Frankfurt Motor Show where there will be live demonstrations of this system.