Four years after kicking off a task force on heavy-duty charging for commercial vehicles, CharIN E.V. has developed and demonstrated a new global solution for heavy-duty trucks and other heavy-duty modes of transportation: a Megawatt Charging System.
More than 300 visitors attended the unveiling of the protype Megawatt Charging System (MCS), which included a demonstration on an Alpitronic charger and a Scania electric truck, at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium in Oslo, Norway.
The charging system addresses a key stumbling block for heavy-duty truck electrification, which is being able to quickly charge a truck and get back on the road.
"We have what we call short- and medium-regional haul electric tractors today that have about a 200-mile range, maybe 300-mile range," Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, told HDT. "Megawatt charging is really important for us [the industry] to be able to extend that range and satisfy either long regional runs … or long-haul disparate route runs around 500 miles.”
The MCS, with DC fast charging connector for heavy-duty electric vehicles, was developed to create a worldwide standard. In the future, the system will satisfy the demand of the truck and bus industry to charge within a reasonable time, CharIN officials said in a press release.
MCS combines the benefits and the features of the Combined Charging System (CCS) based on ISO/IEC 15118, with a new connector design to enable a higher charging power. The MCS is designed for a charging voltage of up to 1,250 volts and 3,000 amps.
The standard is key for battery-electric long-haul trucks, but will also help pave the way for further heavy-duty applications such as marine, aerospace, mining, or agriculture.
Final publication of the standard and final design of the charger is expected in 2024, CharIn officials said. CharIn is a global association that focuses on electric vehicle adoption.
Another Achievement: MCS Connectors
The CharIN MCS Task Force also has come to a common agreement on standardizing the charging connector and position for all trucks worldwide. Standardizing the charging connector and the charging process will be step forward for creating charging infrastructure for heavy-duty trucks, explains Roeth.
For one, faster charging would decrease the wait time at future truck stops. It would also help with what NACFE calls “opportunity charging” or “route charging,” where a truck can get a very quick fast charge in order to extend its range.
“So maybe overnight, the trucks got 200 miles of range, then in the middle of the day you stopped for 20 minutes and you get 100-200 miles more, or something significant to be able to extend the range,” Roeth explains. “The truck driver may be taking a break during that period of time, but they can really save a lot of money and not have to manage huge battery packs and the excess weight and so forth.”
This kind of charging would require freight and routes to be more predictable, but Roeth says with the advancement of load match technologies, some freight is getting there, enabling electrification to become easier.
CharIN members will present their respective products implementing MCS in 2023. The task force includes more than 80 companies, including Cummins, Daimler Truck, Nikola, and Volvo Trucks as “core members.”
A consortium of interested partners from the industry and research institutes have already started a pilot in Germany, the HoLa project, to put megawatt charging for long-haul trucking in real world conditions, and to gain more information about the European MCS Network demand.