Q&A: Simon Lonsdale of ChargePoint
With the first of a network of its 200 easily-upgradable ultra-fast charging points about to be deployed in a partnership with InstaVolt, Simon Lonsdale, vice president, business development at Californian manufacturer ChargePoint explains the changing needs of long-range EVs.
How many charging points does ChargePoint have in the United States?
There are more than 36,100 ChargePoint charging spots (and growing daily) in North America, with more than 32,000 in the US alone.
Where will the 200 charging points you’re installing with InstaVolt be located? Will all of them be at service stations?
The locations are chosen by InstaVolt, and are designed to help facilitate long distance EV travel across the UK. The routes will be determined based on existing travel patterns to enable EV drivers to travel longer distances along popular corridors and to prevalent destinations.
How do your Express Plus chargers differ from others on the market?
Express Plus was designed with the next decade of mobility in mind. The system offers up to 400kW of charging, far exceeding that of existing EV models on the market today, with only a few car companies expected to hit the market with future EV models offering more than 300kW within the next five-10 years.
The Express Plus platform is modular in design which will allow operators and station owners to scale as demand grows without removing station hardware nor running additional electrical supply. The Power Cube also allows station operators to add power modules as more power is needed, while dynamic charging enables chargers to share power dynamically to meet growing charging needs.
How soon could we need this sort of high-speed charging, and how does your technology make it easier to upgrade?
The first ChargePoint Express Plus units will be installed later this year, ramping up in 2018 and beyond. They will offer a modular and flexible 400kW solution to allow station owners to future proof their charging setups by accommodating the charging of EV models today and over the next decade. Express Plus technology enables maximum charging rates for existing electric vehicles and will allow approximately 80% charge in 15 minutes for future EV models.
Will you offer remote booking of points, via an app or web portal for example?
Currently, the ChargePoint app will allow drivers to monitor station availability, track energy usage, start charging sessions as well as additional features. Where drivers have access to the app, they can add themselves to the ‘waitlist’ to be notified once occupied charging spots become available. We expect many of the same features and more to make their way to Europe.
Is the aim to have a network of slower charging points too, or will the focus be on faster en-route charging?
For ChargePoint, our focus is on the entire charging ecosystem and we offer solutions for all potential locations where an EV chargers may be needed, including Level 2 charging solutions for work and home, where around 80% of charging currently takes place, Level 2 and fast charge around town and rapid charging for longer distance travel.
Will the UK charging points form part of a pan-European network?
We are currently expanding into several parts of Europe with the goal of having a presence throughout Continental Europe in the future. We will focus on several key markets initially, including but not limited to Germany and the UK, with plans for growth beyond the target markets in the months and years to come.
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