- Jolt Energy: Fast charging stations inspired by the power bank
- Current development status and test phase
The Munich start-up Jolt Energy has ventured a look into the future, especially at the charging infrastructure and how this could develop in the future. What initially sounds like science fiction is set to become reality in the coming year:
“Imagine: With our preferred supermarket or fast restaurant, a truck leaves with charging columns. With the loading crane two of the columns are packed and placed in the parking lot. As soon as the truck has disappeared, the first E cars are already on the “Merlins” and will be upgraded with up to 170 kW.”
Jolt Energy has set itself the goal of listening to the name Merlin in a first pilot project up to 120 such freely standing fast charging columns -. Thereafter, more lighthouse projects should follow in cities in Germany and the USA. Up to 2025 are up to 50.000 Merlin’s in Europe and the USA planned, depending on the development of the market. Particularly interesting should be the approach that the charging columns can be set up completely without connection to the power grid on each X-arbitrary seat.
Jolt Energy: Fast charging stations inspired by the power bank
This is achieved by the fact that the charging stations rely on many interconnected electric batteries, like those used in electric cars. Jolt Energy sees its own quick-charging station Merlin as a kind of power bank for the car: A power storage device is charged and can then – with a time delay – release this energy to a connected consumer.
The Merlins are charged at their own “Energy Center” charging stations, which are somewhere off the beaten track in the commercial area and have access to a 20 kVA line. Such a hub can “power up” many Merlins at the same time in a short time. He proceeds intelligently and only takes electricity from the grid if this is possible without any problems. However, such an energy center can also absorb current peaks in the grid and, if necessary, feed electricity back into the grid.
In the future, this could happen in the early evening hours in particular, when more and more electric cars are connected to home chargers. With the loading and unloading of the Merlins, a cycle is created – “milk run concept” – which is shown in the graphic at the beginning of the article.
Current development status and test phase
After extensive preparatory work, the “Merlin One” should be ready in Q1 2019. We work together with well-known international industrial partners. The international JOLT founding team consists of 12 employees, all of whom have many years of industrial experience in the areas of automotive, energy technology (“power engineering”) and IT and have management positions, e.g. B. at Siemens or in the VW group. The project not only includes the development of the actual charging station, but above all sophisticated IT and logistics, i.e. the transport of the Merlins between the Energy Center and their location, which will be necessary once a day at full capacity.
After testing the Merlin One, further projects in selected major cities are to follow in the summer of 2019. We are talking about 120 Merlins, which are used there. However, one is already certain that support and coordination by municipal authorities will play a major role. Advanced negotiations are already being conducted with restaurant chains, shopping centers, petrol station operators and car rental companies about the best parking spaces.
“We keep finding that potential site partners also see this as a good way to differentiate themselves from the competition and attract customers” – Maurice Neligan, CEO of JOLT Energy
The start-up has not yet commented on the roll-out in series. It just means that you can flexibly adapt to market demand. It is also conceivable to allow renowned industrial companies to produce and operate Merlins under license, e.g. B. in China, which has already become a pioneer in e-mobility.
From our point of view, this is an interesting approach to expanding the charging infrastructure. We cannot fully accept the “milk run concept”, as this causes an immense logistics effort, especially with a scalable system. Furthermore, the fast-charging stations would have to be transported from A to B at least with an electric truck or electric sprinter in order not to nullify the advantages of an emission-free everyday life.
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