Designwerk presents “Mega Charger” for electric commercial vehicles

01.12.2023 Designwerk Technologies AG is adding new fast-charging stations in container format to its portfolio. The new charging systems are designed to make electric commercial vehicles suitable for long journeys without overloading the power grid. Switzerland's first megawatt charging station is scheduled to go into operation at Galliker Transport AG in 2024. Researchers at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH are investigating the impact of fast charging on the battery.

The expansion of the charging infrastructure is one of the top issues in the electrification of heavy goods transport. The transport industry is dependent on high-performance charging technology in order to charge commercial vehicles sufficiently quickly. This is the only way to achieve decarbonisation on long journeys and in continuous or shift operation. Around a year ago, Designwerk Technologies AG therefore announced the development of a new, particularly powerful charging station as part of a demonstration project. A product developed on this basis has now been presented to around eighty industry experts at an event at the company's headquarters. As part of the project, researchers from the Energy Storage Research Centre at BFH are investigating the extent to which second-life batteries are suitable for further operation and what operating time can be expected as a buffer battery. They are also investigating the impact of fast charging on the battery of the electric truck.

Teaserbild Megawatt Charger
Fast-charging stations are meant to make electric commercial vehicles suitable for long journeys without overloading the power grid.

Charging station in a league of its own

With the development of the “Mega Charger”, the company is expanding its product portfolio to include a battery-buffered charging station with two CCS charging points and an output of 420 kilowatts DC each. The container-sized charging station, which is around 8.6 metres long, 2.55 metres wide and 3 metres high, is equipped with powerful lithium-ion batteries. With a battery capacity of up to two megawatt hours, the system ensures that the power grid is not burdened by charging peaks during the charging process. The energy storage units also ensure that the fluctuating energy supply from renewable sources is balanced out. Sales of the “Mega Charger” have already begun. The individual charging power and battery capacity are adapted to the needs of the customers.

Demonstration project provided the basis

The technology on which the charging container is based originates from an ongoing demonstration project. It aims to build and test a charging station with a charging capacity of 1.05 megawatts per charging point. This project at the interface between research and the market will increase the maturity of the megawatt charging technology in order to bring it to market maturity. The scientific support for this technical innovation is being provided by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and renowned industrial and academic partners. In order to maximise acceptance and benefits for future users, the project group is following the international charging standard Megawatt Charging System (MCS).

Container for future-proof charging infrastructure

There are currently no vehicles with the MCS standard on Swiss roads. However, as the market ramp-up of electric cars and the associated expansion of the charging infrastructure have shown, issues relating to infrastructure and charging standards are rapidly gaining momentum. Andreas Burgener, Director of auto-schweiz, the association of official automobile importers in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, also pointed this out at the event: “With its battery-buffered mega charging stations, Designwerk has impressively demonstrated where our industry is heading in terms of electromobility. I think it makes sense to design charging stations to be scalable and to take standards such as the MCS into account,” says Burgener. The demonstration system at Galliker Transport AG will show what a megawatt charging station for heavy commercial vehicles could look like one day from 2024.

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