Earlier this year, Malta-based Silex Power promoted a concept electric vehicle that could go from San Francisco to Portland on a single charge. Not content with that claim, the company is now saying it's ready to make a high-powered electric charger that could fully recharge a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S in about the time it takes to play a hit single.

Silex says 2014 will be the year the first versions of its charging stations with its so-called HyperCharging technology will see the light of day. The station will have a voltage range from 360 to 1,440 volts (!!!) and will be connectable to medium-tension power lines. Most importantly, the stations will be able to recharge a 200-kWh battery pack in less than 10 minutes, or Tesla's 85-kWh pack in about four. That sort of speed will "eradicate complete the perception (sic) of long charging time inconvenience in electric vehicles," Silex says.

If this sounds like a bit of hyperbole from Silex, it wouldn't be the first time. In February, the company put out a release (and, as seen above, pictures) about an all-electric car called the Chreos that delivers 640 horsepower, has a top speed of 186 miles per hour, has a single-charge range of more than 600 miles, can be fully recharged in less than 10 minutes, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. It's also a concept car that Silex says is at least three years away from production.

Read more amazingness in Silex's press release below.
Show full PR text
Silex HyperCharging Technology

"Silex Power's is developing a charging technology that promises to give electric vehicles the same level of comfort and convenience of fuel powered cars."

Silex Power and a number of strategic partners are developing a fast charging solution that can charge a 200KWh battery pack in less than 10 minutes. This technology, known as HyperCharging Technology, is based on advanced hardware and software, aiming to create not only charging stations that will fully charge EVs in a few minutes, but also a software system that will bring an unprecedented level of convenience to drivers. All these innovations aim to eradicate complete the perception of long charging time inconvenience in electric vehicles, thus making the latter a valid alternative to fuel powered cars.

HyperChargers are fast DC-to-DC Chargers that can deliver up to 1.5MW power to the battery packs. These chargers are intended for highway / motorway charging stations and not for domestic use. HyperChargers will connect to medium tension power lines, providing sufficient current and voltages that fully cater for the HyperCharger's power requirements. Silex's first objective was to create a powerful charger that would be able to charge large battery packs in lightning speeds. Battery technology is rapidly increasing in power density and achieving faster charging times. Inevitably, this will bring to a scenario where very powerful chargers will be necessary in order to cater for future battery packs. Silex Chreos already offered the challenge of charging a 200KWh battery pack in less than 10 minutes, and although this is a rather unique and ambitious objective at present, it will become a mainstream solution in a few years.

One crucial element that HyperCharging tackles is the removal of the inverter from the vehicle. This solution, not only decreases drastically the weight of the vehicle, but also its cost, allowing this technology to integrate easily into high-volume / low-cost electric vehicles of the future. HyperCharging technology will utilize a proprietary plug that is currently being designed and studied. Through this plug, the HyperCharger can deliver currents of up to 1000A and voltages that vary between 360V and 1440V, depending on the type of vehicle that it is charging. This will allow a variety of vehicles, from low-end 360V city cars to high-performance 1440V sedans and sport cars to charge from the same outlet at very rapid speeds.

An important feature in the HyperCharger is the HyperCharger to Vehicle Communication Protocol – HVCP. The HVCP is a wireless communication system between the EV and the HyperCharger, and comes only second in innovation to the HyperCharger's charging speed. As indicated in previous press releases and information, Chreos and future Silex vehicles will all be connected to a centralized processing centre. Same applies to HyperChargers. All installed HyperChargers will be geo-tagged and will allow cars that are equipped with a HyperCharging port to plan the route and plan necessary stops at fuel stations that have HyperCharging technology throughout the journey as necessary.

This technology brings further convenience as the vehicle navigation software can even pre-book a charging station so that once the driver arrives to the station, he will know to which HyperCharger to attach his vehicle and thus optimise his time at the charging station. Once the car arrives at the HyperCharging station, a wireless signal will communicate with the HyperCharging station and engage in bidirectional communication. At this stage, the driver can authorise communication between the HyperCharging station and the vehicle from the vehicle control panel. This will immediately give the driver information about the charging time, charging cost and other necessary information that is available. At this stage the driver can select how much to charge the car (either a full charge, or a pre-determined amount of money), confirm the charge and then proceed to plug the car to the charger.

At this stage, the charger software reconfirms all the necessary information with the vehicle and starts the charging process. The process if charging will also include battery pack and other vehicle component diagnostics, carry out software updates / adjustments if necessary and upload the information to the vehicle and the data centre. Upon charge completion, a message is sent to the driver's mobile number indicating that the car is ready, and the charging cost will be automatically deducted from the account associated with the vehicle.

HyperCharging Technology is also a vital component in Chreos and other future EVs as an on-board technology. In addition to the HyperCharging port, all vehicles will feature country standard EV charging ports (Mennekes Type 2 in Europe, J1772 in the USA, CHAdeMo in Japan, etc.), allowing all vehicles to charge off standard charging stations (including domestic ports). Additionally, Chreos and other future Silex EVs will be equipped with a 7KW or 20KW Wireless Charging station, so that drivers, upon parking their EV in their car-port/garage at home, will automatically charge the car without the need to attach or remove plugs.

Silex HyperCharging technology is currently in advanced development and the first systems are to be installed for testing purposes in 2014. Silex is open to third parties automotive manufacturers who are interested in adopting HyperCharging ports in their vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      SublimeKnight
      • 1 Year Ago
      This reads like a marketing person was given a little info and a calculator, then sent off to draft a press release. Numbers quoted for charge time don't consider an non-constant-current charge phase, battery C ratings, pack voltage (which would necessitate over 1000A to hit charge times).
        Dave D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Thank you. I read stuff like this and wonder what the hell they're thinking. Even if it's a marketing puke putting out a press release, I'd expect SOMEONE in the company to raise their hand and go: "Uh, dude, you'd either set the battery on fire, blow it up, or at the very least ruin it after charging it that fast...and the cars handshake software would probably stop you from doing it anyway"
          SublimeKnight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave D
          Ryan, There's no magic here. If you break the pack up so all the cells are in parallel, you'd have to push insane amps to charge them. If you put them all in series, insane voltages. You need to pick a good tradeoff in the middle with the risks being death by shock (too much voltage) or death by fire (too much amperage).
          Ryan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave D
          Maybe they have come up with a way to 'break' apart the battery pack and have hundreds of parallel chargers. If you are charging 1/100th of the pack, it might not take quite as long. Now, I'm not sure they have done anything like this yet, but it would make an interesting experiment.
          Dave D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave D
          Ryan, It doesn't work that way. The battery chemistry itself only takes charge at a certain rate. If you broke the large pack up into a 100 small packs, then you'd just have a hundred small batteries that still had the same chemistry and charge constraint. All you did was create 100 connectors for the charge, each carrying 1/100th of the total power.
        Dave D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Thank you. I read stuff like this and wonder what the hell they're thinking. Even if it's a marketing puke putting out a press release, I'd expect SOMEONE in the company to raise their hand and go: "Uh, dude, you'd either set the battery on fire, blow it up, or at the very least ruin it after charging it that fast...and the cars handshake software would probably stop you from doing it anyway"
          Dave D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave D
          Sorry for the double post. Not sure how that happened.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like they need to make amazing claims in order to attract some investors. Expect delays, hype, delays hype, and then eventually (maybe) a product that falls well short of the hype. Sounds like another EEstor.
      DarylMc
      • 1 Year Ago
      To be fair to the company, nowhere do they mention anything about charging a Tesla in 4 minutes or anything regarding Tesla. It seems its just what they would like to be able to do on a vehicle which doesnt exist yet. Nice if it works out.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyper-Press Releasing.
      Commentotron
      • 1 Year Ago
      So...they sell press releases? Because charging does work like that. You cannot take an arbitrary EV and just plug a big ass cable into it and expect anything other than fire as a result.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Vaporwarez.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Again, technically possible but a Tesla Model S can't handle 15C charge. And to charge at 15C at 400V would be over 3000 Ampere. Such a charger could be made no problem, but I fear the market for it is rather limited. Let's say you wanted a charging corridor down through Europe for electric big rigs then such a charger might be appropriate. Not sure these guys have the firmest of grasp on technical reality.
        SublimeKnight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        I would be afraid of crushing my foot if the cable that carries 3000A fell on it :)
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        The fanboy who wrote this doesn't realize that a DCFC must match charge voltage to the pack voltage. So he lists 1440V/1000A capability thinking that gives him 1.4GW charging when in reality he can only use 400V, for 400KW. I do agree that charging like this is possible and will probably exist for heavy vehicles. More likely electric buses than long-haul trucks though.
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      We've looked at this before. Their numbers look like they come from taking theoretical max's for a whole bunch of technologies, without regard to actually integrating them, testing them, or bothering to build a prototype. Sure, you can have 640 hp. That is just putting another Tesla motor in the front of a Model S. Sure you can have 200 kWh. You just stack 2 85 kWh batteries from a Model S, and then stick a Ford Focus EV battery in the Frunk. Sure you can find a battery with the "C" rating that would allow it to recharge in 10 minutes (although I'm thinking a 80% charge in 10 minutes is what they are talking about. All other EV companies talk about high speed recharge rates in terms of getting to 80% charge. Silex doesn't specify.) Sure you can build a 3-phase high power charger that can produce the same amount of energy to one car that a dozen Telsa superchargers sends to a dozen cars. Tesla Superchargers themselves are all modular, built out of lower rated individual chargers. In theory, you just do more stacking. There is nothing theoretically impossible about any of these things. But without actually doing the work to integrate all this stuff, or putting a real price tag on all of this, it is a pretty pointless exercise in fantasy car building.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      This isn't even real. Not sure why you're printing this. It's just complete nonsense. This is some fanboy stringing together keywords.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        Not sure why I even scrolled up to confirm this article was written by Danny King. It was obvious. I wish I could add his articles to my adblocker.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      We've seen absolutely nothing but CG pictures, marketing BS, and outrageous claims with nothing whatsoever to back any of it up. Everything we've seen could have been done by a 16 year old with a little computer knowledge. I cry fowl and in this case - vaporware.
      Val
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla will never let those PR clowns anywhere near the charging port of a model S, their batteries cannot take more than 1.5C, and that only when they are empty.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a trap!!!
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