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Chargepoint Reveals 2 MW Charging Connector For High-Powered Charging

On Monday, May 14th, 2018

ChargePoint revealed a first-ever concept design for two megawatt, high-powered charging of electric aircraft and semi-trucks, including electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. As the charging partner for Uber Elevate, ChargePoint made the announcement at the second annual Elevate Summit, which took place May 8-9 in Los Angeles.

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The concept design provides a proposal for high-powered charging applications while generating a conversation around a common industry connector as the transition to electrified trucking fleets and the introduction of electric aircraft ramps up in the years to come. Uber plans to roll out to its first Elevate markets (Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai) as early as 2020.

“The drivetrain debate has ended and electrification has won out as the propulsion method of choice across transportation categories, as evidenced by the growing interest in electrifying semi-trucks, aircraft and beyond,” said Pasquale Romano, President and CEO, ChargePoint, Inc. “Revealing a new concept design for high-powered charging at the second Elevate Summit is appropriate as the Uber team prepares to get Elevate off the ground in a few short years.

Many of the charging requirements are similar across heavy vehicle transportation categories. Electric semi-truck and aircraft have the same power requirements and both require high-powered, fast charging. The shared requirements create an opportunity for a common connector, and the benefits are clear: a shared connector will help reduce complexity for manufacturers, drivers and pilots; bring down costs; and create greater economies of scale.

“Uber is proud to work alongside the ChargePoint team, an industry leader in designing charging solutions suitable for eVTOL charging,” said Celina Mikolajczak, Director of Engineering, Energy Storage Systems at Uber. “ChargePoint brings unparalleled experience in safety, reliability and understanding human factors, resulting in robust connector and charger designs.

The ChargePoint engineering team focused on several key elements in developing the new design. To meet performance requirements, up to four BMS interfaces and four 500-amp delivery circuits are needed. Each delivery circuit will have a voltage range from 200 to 1000 volts.

Since 2017, ChargePoint has been the charging partner for Uber’s Elevate initiative, as the two companies explore innovations to help support the launch of a fleet of electric VTOL aircraft within five years.

Last year,Uber announced that the first U.S. Elevate cities would be be Dallas-Fort Worth/Frisco Texas and L.A. with a goal of flight demonstrations in 2020 and Elevate commercially available to riders in 2023 in those cities. To make uberAIR a reality, Uber has entered into partnerships with several highly experienced aircraft manufacturers who are developing electric VTOL vehicles including: Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer and Bell Helicopter.

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