A new standard is being developed for heavy tractors MCS (Megawatt Charging System), which should be fully standardized in 2024. However, some cars can already receive it on request in pilot mode. And one such charger has already been successfully tested by the aforementioned companies. We don’t know the exact power, but it should be around a megawatt. Although the charging connector itself is certainly not small, we can see that it has not become what many feared. Although we are somewhere around 1 MW here, the charging cable is not as thick as many expected (the question is how it will look when using the maximum that MCS is supposed to support, it may be a different matter there).
The system is rumored to use currents of 1500 to 3000 A, which are literally insane values, despite a fairly high voltage that far exceeds what we know from today’s electric car chargers (typically 400 to 800 V). The maximum should be 1250 V, which also means that a charging power of up to 3.75 MW is expected! It is not impossible, it has already been practically tested (not in this case Scania and ABB). It is definitely worth asking where such a huge amount of energy is taken to achieve such a high charging performance. Another question is whether it is even needed.
For Europe, the standard is to be able to drive for 4.5 hours with a mandatory 45 minute break, which should be enough time for the car to drive another 4.5 hours (at 80 km/h this would mean another 360 km) . Volvo recently tested an electric tractor and achieved a consumption of 110 kWh/100 km, but let’s calculate higher values of around 130 kWh/100 km. This would mean approximately 468 kWh of energy for 360 km, and if we have 45 minutes to do it, we would need an output of 624 kW. This is a theory, but the course of the charging power gradually decreases, and when we include other details, it seems to us that it would really need at least something around 1 MW at its peak. Almost four times seems to be usable, perhaps for charging during the journey itself, but not mandatory breaks (personally, however, I do not expect that the combination of a tractor and chargers capable of such performance will be common).
Here, however, it is good not to forget one detail. If the battery is large enough, then it does not need to recharge for the full 360 km when arriving at the charger. Example. If the car has a range of 600 km, it has traveled 360 km and has 240 km left. Then, for the next 360 km route, he only needs to charge 120 km and not 360. So he can get by even with slower charging. Of course, it’s not that simple, because he should definitely have some reserve, it’s about the concept here. The larger the battery, the more energy will be left when arriving at the charger, the less need to charge, i.e. the smaller the need for the fastest charging within the mandatory break. If the tractors have large batteries to just handle the 4.5-hour shifts, it will be really nerve-wracking. Let us also remind you that the Milence company (Volvo, Traton and Daimler) want to build 1700 fast chargers with the MCS system in Europe in the next 5 years. Scania predicts that by 2030, half of the cars produced will already be electric.
At the same time, Scania is introducing the Scania Charging Access service for charging electric vehicles and the Scania Driver App. This is to create a service for accessing and paying for charging. One example of chargers will be the one for the logistics company Falkenklev in Sweden. The charging hub will offer a power of 1.6 MW, space for 22 cars and a 2 MWh balancing battery. Scania will supply 5 electric trucks for Falkenklev.
Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.
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