Among the concerns consumers voice about electric vehicle (EV) ownership, recharging the battery is high on the list. The infrastructure to support EVs is growing but still isn’t as robust as what exists for fossil fuels. Moreover, even if EV charging stations were already widely available, it takes a long time to recharge an electric car’s battery compared to refueling a gasoline, diesel, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
Wallbox, a Spanish firm based in Barcelona, thinks it has the answer, and it showcased its new Hypernova charger at the 2021 IAA Mobility Show in Munich.
“We are thrilled to unveil our fastest public charger to date, which can fully charge an electric vehicle in under 15 minutes,” said Enric Asunción, CEO and co-founder of Wallbox, in a statement. “Hypernova will be a game-changer in building fast public charging infrastructure, especially on highways where drivers need to recharge and keep going,” Asunción added.
Hypernova is a 350-kilowatt EV charging station. Though few existing or imminently arriving EVs are compatible with DC fast chargers offering this level of power, over time, 350-kW compatibility will become increasingly popular – especially among higher-priced EV models.
Using the Hypernova, and assuming optimum charging conditions, Wallbox says an EV can recharge itself in a quarter of an hour. That gives a driver and her passengers enough time to use a restroom, get a coffee or a few snacks, check email and social media, and then get back on the road with hundreds of more miles of electrical power stored in its battery pack.
Not only is Hypernova fast, but it’s also clean and convenient. Wallbox says the charger’s design uses an integrated cable management system to store them inside the station’s housing, extending their life and keeping the charger tidy. Authentication and payment support is via RFID, a screen QR code, or a credit card. Undoubtedly, partnerships similar to the one Volvo has with ChargePoint will make finding and using the Wallbox Hypernova even easier.
If nothing else, the Wallbox Hypernova demonstrates that companies are getting close to solving the problem of undesirable wait times while recharging EVs. However, how long it might take before Hypernovas proliferate to the point where consumers are no longer worried about recharging EVs on the road remains to be seen.
Hypernova production starts toward the end of 2022, and the first units should be in place and ready for use in early 2023.