Fast charging for heavy-duty vehicles is a revolutionary concept that aims to address the challenges faced by industries such as mining, ports, and long-haul transportation. Marc-Andre Beck, the CEO and founder of grivix, discusses the need for fast charging solutions for heavy-duty vehicles and introduces their innovative technology.
Currently, heavy-duty vehicles like big caterpillars in mines or vehicles in ports are not electrified. Even if they are electrified, the existing infrastructure takes a significant amount of time to charge them. However, in industries that operate 24/7, such as mines and ports, vehicles need to be charged quickly, within minutes, to ensure uninterrupted operations. This is where grivix comes in with their fast charging solution.
grivix has developed a charging system that can charge heavy-duty vehicles at a speed of up to 6 MW, which is double the speed of filling gasoline into a vehicle. This is more than 10 times faster than Tesla's supercharger. The charging process is fully automated, with the vehicle being guided to the charging spot with a precision of 50 centimeters based on ultrawideband technology. Once the vehicle is in position, the system disables the drivetrain, and the connector is automatically recognized and plugged in. The system can deliver up to 4,000 amps, enabling even the charging of large 250-ton caterpillars in a few minutes.
The autonomous aspect of grivix's technology is a significant feature. The charging system utilizes ultrawideband technology to guide the vehicle to the charging spot with a precision of 15 centimeters. This technology allows for autonomous charging, but it also integrates with the vehicle's display system, enabling manual control if required.
One of the key questions is how fast charging can be achieved without damaging the battery. Beck explains that the technology is compatible with lithium titanate batteries, which are capable of being charged at 10C. The difference in battery chemistry allows for the incredible speed without damaging the batteries. If you were to try the same thing with a standard lithium-ion battery, it would destroy the chemicals and potentially create a fire.
For regular lithium batteries, the maximum charging speed is 3C, which translates to about 20 minutes for a typical 20 to 80% charge. However, sophisticated cooling systems are required to prevent overheating during the charging process. These batteries are expensive but allow for rapid charging, making them an acceptable expense for industries that need to prioritize speed over cost.
The target demographic for grivix's fast charging solution is industries that rely on heavy-duty vehicles for their operations. Mining companies, ports, and long-haul transportation companies are among the potential customers who can benefit from this technology. The ability to charge heavy-duty vehicles quickly and efficiently will significantly reduce downtime and increase productivity in these industries.
While grivix is currently in the proof of concept phase, they plan to roll out their charging stations in controlled environments such as mines and ports in the coming months. Regulatory considerations may delay their deployment in public areas. However, the company aims to ramp up production and make their fast charging technology more widely available by the end of the year.
In conclusion, fast charging for heavy-duty vehicles is a game-changing technology that addresses the need for rapid charging in industries that operate 24/7. grivix's innovative solution offers charging speeds of up to 6 MW, fully automated charging processes, and integration with autonomous and manual control systems. While still in the proof of concept phase, grivix aims to roll out their charging stations in controlled environments and eventually make its technology more widely available. This advancement in fast charging technology has the potential to revolutionize heavy-duty industries and accelerate the adoption of electric mobility.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.