Working with electric utilities is one of the more time consuming parts of building new charging stations, as quite a lot of infrastructure work and planning goes into building an EV station, as the local grid has to be taken into account in such projects.
But what if electric utilities weren't involved at all, and a station could just be delivered on a flatbed truck with a forklift?
That's the promise of a fast-charging station dubbed Drive Booster, developed by E.ON and Volkswagen that was just opened for use in Essen, Germany. The concept behind it is quite simple: Instead of drawing power directly from the grid, the charger has its own integrated battery, and draws power from a normal power connection found in any supermarket, like a soda machine or other large appliance. The charger can juice up two EVs at once at speeds of up to 150 kW, giving them enough range in 15 minutes to travel 124 miles.
The aim of the Drive Booster is to make EV charging stations an easy item for locations like stores and gas stations to purchase, without the need for extensive infrastructure construction. VW says that the plug-and-play Drive Booster can simply be placed at a location, plugged into a power connection, configured online, and then it's ready to charge EVs. No extended planning or civil engineering work or even digging is required—it only needs a solid foundation and an existing grid connection. The Drive Booster recharges its battery in between charging sessions and at night of course, during off-peak hours.