Lotus rolling out some of the world's fastest EV chargers
Lotus is aiming to go 100% electric by 2028, a mission that's seen it launch everything from hyper-SUVs to hyper ebikes. Now it's set to blow Tesla off the map with hyper-chargers. Well, not quite. Tesla won't have anything to worry about in the short term – while capable of delivering up to 450 kW, Lotus' Flash Charge hardware will reserve those top speeds for when the grid and auto market are actually ready. Plus, Lotus is just barely getting started with its rollout.
Far more than the world's most powerful hypercar, what's really needed for broader EV adoption is a better charging infrastructure. Lotus hopes to use its capable hardware to instill confidence in public charging and promote electrification in auto markets around the world.
"As more governments are increasing investment into electrification in their journey to net-zero, the demand for a reliable electric vehicle charging infrastructure has never been higher than before," explained Alan Wang, Lotus Technology VP and CEO of Lotus Flash Charge. "Lotus has developed best-in-class fast charging solutions to deliver a quick and reliable charging experience to meet customer needs."
Lotus' Flash Charge units are already available in China and are on show this week at the London EV Show. They're designed for immediate rollout but future-proofed for outputs of up to 450 kW, ensuring they're able to keep pace when the electrical grid and individual electric vehicles are ready to handle those speeds.
As we looked at recently with Chargepoint's 500-kW ultra-fast chargers, very few currently available vehicles are built to handle that level of charging. With the exception of the Evija and its 800-kW capabilities, Lotus' own EV fleet is limited to 350 kW so, while able to take near-full advantage of ABB's Terra 360, Lotus electric cars will leave some kilowatts on the table at the in-house Lotus chargers. But the Flash chargers will work at current speeds while remaining at the ready for 450-kW charging without any added hardware cost for operators.
Lotus uses liquid cooling in all the charging products it's showing in London, calling it integral for providing faster, more efficient public charging. Its all-in-one 450-kW DC charger will deliver an estimated 88.5 miles (142 km) of range to the Lotus Eletre R in a matter of just five minutes, taking roughly 20 minutes for a 10-to-80% charge at 350 kW.
In addition to the all-in-one, Lotus is also showing a two-piece charging combo with a four-vehicle charger unit connected to a high-capacity Power Cabinet. The modular cabinet is optimized for high-energy delivery and can output up to 480 kW.
With rollout already underway in China, Lotus plans to begin installing chargers in Europe and the Middle East in Q2 2024. It will announce more specific markets and dates in the future.