A British startup called ZipCharge has developed a portable charging system for EV owners and drivers to help address range anxiety while they are out and about.
The company’s ZipCharge Go charging station, which recently won a British Engineering Excellence Award, is essentially a large portable battery with a retracting handle and wheels that’s roughly the same size as a carry-on suitcase. The company says the charging unit can add 20-60 miles of range to an EV’s battery from a 30-60 minute charge. It will be sold in both 4 kWh and 8 kWh versions, however it has yet to provide further details on each of these models.
ZipCharge is planning to accept pre-orders for the Go charging station through its website later this year. Interested parties can register to receive updates on the product’s arrival through the company’s web page now. While pricing has not yet been divulged, ZipCharge has said it wants the cost to be comparable to that of a 7.2 kWh home charging port, which typically retail for around $1,000 USD. Deliveries of the unit will commence in 2023.
The obvious criticism of the ZipChargeGo is that it’s not capable of adding very much range to the vehicle’s battery. While this is a valid critique, this product is being marketed as a backup solution for EV drivers in the city that may be unable to locate an unoccupied charging station nearby. It’s true that 20 miles of additional driving range won’t make much of a difference in the suburbs or rural areas, but it can go quite far in the city. The charging pack’s small size also makes it better suited to compact EVs like the Chevy Bolt EUV, rather than larger ones like the GMC Hummer EV.
It’s not clear what security measures have been put in place to prevent theft of the Go charging unit while it is sat on the ground next to the vehicle it’s charging. This will be a fairly expensive product, though, so we imagine the engineering team at ZipCharge has figured out some sort of solution.
ZipCharge Co-founder Richie Sibal says the unit has been engineered to OEM standards and is designed to be robust and reliable.
“Our customers will expect their EV power bank to be as robust and hardwearing as their vehicle, so we have implemented exhaustive automotive industry testing standards to the unit, the electronics and the software. We’re highly confident it will work perfectly wherever they park their EVs”.Sibal said.