Automotive

Suitcase-sized ZipCharge Go takes the charger to the EV

Suitcase-sized ZipCharge Go ta...
The ZipCharge Go could provide enough charge for the commute to work, or get you home in a pinch
The ZipCharge Go could provide enough charge for the commute to work, or get you home in a pinch
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The ZipCharge Go could provide enough charge for the commute to work, or get you home in a pinch
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The ZipCharge Go could provide enough charge for the commute to work, or get you home in a pinch
The charging ports and status LEDs are all gathered together on one side of the ZipCharge Go
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The charging ports and status LEDs are all gathered together on one side of the ZipCharge Go
The ZipCharge Go is reported to be about the same size as a compact suitcase
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The ZipCharge Go is reported to be about the same size as a compact suitcase
The ZipCharge Go allows folks with no access to off-street parking to top up the power bank at home, and then take the charger to the EV
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The ZipCharge Go allows folks with no access to off-street parking to top up the power bank at home, and then take the charger to the EV
The ZipCharge Go should be able to provide an EV with up to 20 miles of range, which could be enough for the commute to work (with the average single car journey in the UK and EU reported to be around 8 miles)
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The ZipCharge Go should be able to provide an EV with up to 20 miles of range, which could be enough for the commute to work (with the average single car journey in the UK and EU reported to be around 8 miles)
Users can manage the charging process or set up schedules using a companion mobile app
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Users can manage the charging process or set up schedules using a companion mobile app
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Startup ZipCharge says that some 40 percent of car-owning households in the UK don't have designated off-street parking, making owning an electric vehicle less attractive due to lack of home charging possibilities. That's where the Go power bank on wheels is designed to come in.

The Go is the brainchild of ZipCharge founders Richie Sibal and Jonathan Carrier, who are reported to have decades of experience in electronics systems and product development for the automotive industry, having worked for the likes of McLaren Automotive, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, the Gordon Murray Group and LEVC.

The ZipCharge Go should be able to provide an EV with up to 20 miles of range, which could be enough for the commute to work (with the average single car journey in the UK and EU reported to be around 8 miles)
The ZipCharge Go should be able to provide an EV with up to 20 miles of range, which could be enough for the commute to work (with the average single car journey in the UK and EU reported to be around 8 miles)

It has the look of the kind of compact suitcase Apple might design. An aluminum spaceframe protects its major systems, and the outer shell for the production units will be made from post-consumer plastic waste. There's a carry handle on one side and the charging ports and status LEDs on the other, and a telescoping handle up top. It rolls on two wheels for ease of transport, and the front cover can be personalized in colors and finishes to match your EV.

The idea is that users charge up the Go's 4-kWh NMC battery at home overnight or at the office using a standard domestic plug, which should mean a lower cost per kWh than offered at a public charging station. When fully charged, the Go can be wheeled out to the electric car and cabled up to top up the car's battery.

Where a pocket power bank might hold enough juice to fully charge a smartphone a couple of times over, the Go doesn't have the capacity to do the same for an electric vehicle. ZipCharge reckons that it should provide an EV with up to 20 miles (32 km) of range in less than an hour, which could be enough for the commute to and from work, for a quick jaunt to the local shopping mall, or might get you back to base if you're running low while out and about. It can be stowed away in the trunk until needed, and is good for use "in all normal weather conditions."

Users can manage the charging process or set up schedules using a companion mobile app
Users can manage the charging process or set up schedules using a companion mobile app

A bi-directional AC-DC inverter allows the power bank to store cheap off-peak energy from the grid, and feed it back to the grid during peak hours. There's a comms module built in that supports smart charging, over-the-air updates, remote diagnostics, and features geo-fencing capabilities and tracking technology for peace of mind. And it comes with 2G/4G mobile connectivity that allows users to remotely manage the power bank via a companion app, while AI smarts will learn a user's charging habits over time and make scheduling recommendations to take advantage of off-peak electricity availability.

Currently in the final stages of development, ZipCharge is aiming to get the Go out to its first customers in Q4 2022. Folks will be able to buy a portable power bank outright "at a price comparable to the fully installed cost of a Level 2 home charge point, and significantly less than bi-directional home charge points currently on the market," but the company is also looking to offer the Go as a subscription model that starts at £49 (about US$66) per month.

The portable charger is the first component in a global portable EV charging platform that the company is intending to set up, which will include hardware, software, machine learning and novel ownership models. The video below has more.

ZipCharge | Launch Video

Source: ZipCharge

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13 comments
13 comments
Trylon
Terrible idea. There's already a loss while charging batteries. Now they want to double it by running it through two sets of batteries.
Eddy
A game changing alternative despite the naysayers. Terrace flat dwellers cannot run a cord to the street and this will be the only way to go till the council installs kerbside power points.
vince
Be a handy addition for an EV frunk. Sorry ID.4 owners. No frunk for you.
anthony88
If 40% of UK car owners have on-street parking, might be a better idea for a car company to come up with a car that suits that market. Have an easily removable battery that you take inside to charge and wheel back out in the morning. Better than leaving the batteries out in cold weather on the street. Also the car is impossible to steal without the battery, which can be linked via a chip to one car only.
ClauS
I guess it took anthony88 just a few seconds and common sense to come with his sound idea. I add to the idea that if the removable battery is standardized then you could also just swap it at a charging station, for a premium, if you're in a hurry or if you want more convenience. I am wondering why this is not standard and enforced.
RobertMinter
anthony88 - Current Car Batteries are upwards of 500kg. So not as easily removable as you'd think. This thing is going to be heavy, so t6ransporting it will eat away at those precious miles. And it's going to cost hundreds.

Tech will have moved on by Q4 2022, I assume battery density will have increased and charging times reduced, so people with Electric cars might fill up at stations just like they do now. And home charging? Once petrol taxes start dwindling, I've read that home car charging can be split from normal home use, so car specific electricity will be taxed at a higher rate.
Funkgroover
Only 20 miles charge and a real risk of someone stealing your expensive suitcase battery? It seems to create more problems than it solves. More fast chargers, kerbside chargers and a better way to use your neighbours chargepoints are the answer.
Username
RobertMinter - You don't need to have the whole car battery being swapped out and carried. Just the size of this thing. Instead of wheeling it to your car to charge the fixed battery you would put it in the trunk (or designated space)and plug it in and go. A two part system for when you can't get to a commercial charger
Gordien
A wheeled cart to transport a battery (or 2) to swap out, from your home, or a public charging station. Charging a battery from a battery has too much waste of power, plus a swap out would be a lot quicker. Lighten up the car by removing the swappable battery for short range trips - just use the car's primary battery. An additional swappable battery should be a standard feature on most future vehicles.
Catweazle
I've just paid about £250 for a 250V 2.5KW petrol generator for emergency use keeping the gas central heating and the freezer running over the winter as given the state of the UK's electricity supply I consider it likely that they'll be rather useful.
It's not much bigger or heavier and I suspect considerably cheaper!
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