ZipCharge Go: Portable EV charger on track to ship early next year

3 min read

ZipCharge has announced a major milestone in the development of its portable Electric Vehicle (EV) charger, the Go.

The product, according to the company, is now advancing to the validation prototype (VP) stage with designs released for manufacture and hardware testing well underway.

The Go removes a common barrier to EV ownership – by bringing the possibility of home charging to anyone who can’t currently plug-in at their house. In the UK alone, 8.5 million or 40% of car-owning households are without designated or off-street parking. Elsewhere, this figure reaches 60% for example in Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea and in major cities in the USA, China and India.

ZipCharge is building several iterations of prototypes from validation through to pre-production, all of which will undergo an extensive testing regime. The company’s engineers are currently at advanced stages of lab testing the portable EV charger’s key system components, including the NMC lithium-ion battery cells and the ZipCharge-designed bi-directional AC-DC converter. This is to evaluate thermal behaviour, charging performance, safety, durability and full functionality to ensure a seamless and safe ownership experience for everyday charging.

The bespoke compact and lightweight bi-directional AC-DC converter utilises the latest high efficiency Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductors found in modern electric vehicles. When coupled with ZipCharge’s software it will enable the Go to be charged at home, using a standard single phase supply in just over one hour. It can then be connected to an EV wherever it is parked and deliver 20 to 40 miles of range in around 30-60 minutes, depending on the capacity of the Go charger.

The Go is the first element of a planned global portable EV charging platform that will combine hardware, software, and innovative ownership models to bring affordable, practical EV charging to more people in more places.

In the near future ZipCharge’s portable EV powerbanks will create an intelligent energy management platform that will provide flexibility and resilience for the national power grid.

Now well into the development phase ZipCharge is on track to deliver the first models to customers early in 2023.

ZipCharge Co-founder Richie Sibal said, “Achieving this key milestone in the development of the portable EV charger is a major achievement by our small and dedicated team of expert automotive engineers. Drawing on the team’s 170 years of experience in designing automotive electronic systems, including EV control systems, battery modules, power electronics, electrical architectures, functional safety and wiring systems, combined with significant expertise in CAD modelling and design has enabled us to progress from the drawing board to design release in under nine months”.

In tandem with hardware testing, the ZipCharge engineering team is also developing bespoke control software and a dedicated mobile application that will allow users to optimise the operation of the portable EV powerbank. This incorporates a suite of security features, including user authentication and the ability to remotely monitor, track and disable the Go charger from their mobile phone, anywhere, thanks to built in 2G/4G connectivity.

Attention has been paid to the user experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) between the hardware and software, with the aim of making charging with the Go as simple and intuitive as possible in order to address the diverse needs of personal customers and fleet users.

This level of control will generate significant operational and cost benefits for fleet managers who will be able to equip their fleets of electric cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with portable chargers, enabling them to charge wherever they park.

A new mobile app will be the first component of a broader digital eco-system for the ZipCharge Go.  The company is developing software tools that provide the user with intelligent control of charging and energy management, efficiently and at the lowest cost. This includes dedicated data dashboards for fleets to manage a suite of Go chargers, optimise deployment, monitor charging history while using the power of data to make intelligent recommendations that reduce operating costs and improve the total cost of ownership equation.

ZipCharge is also building in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its software stack, to learn user charging patterns, to make schedule recommendations and optimise charging to save money and reduce the load on the grid.

ZipCharge Co-founder Jonathan Carrier comments: “Since our launch at COP26 in November last year, ZipCharge has received an unprecedented level of interest from potential customers around the world. They immediately see the benefit of the Go portable charger to deliver low cost, convenient charging anywhere they park.”