Innovation That Matters

The ZipCharge helps to tackle range anxiety in EV drivers | Photo source ZipCharge

A portable EV charger to eliminate range anxiety

Mobility & Transport

The portable charger is designed to allow charging from anywhere – increasing flexibility for EV drivers

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Spotted: One fear for many electric vehicle (EV) owners is the thought of running out of juice miles from the nearest plug. Now, startup ZipCharge is poised to eliminate range anxiety with its ZipCharge Go portable charger. The company describes the Go as a ‘flexible and convenient charging solution’ for those without easy access to fixed charging points.

The portable powerbank was introduced at last years’ COP26 summit, and is about the size of a large suitcase. It weighs around 50 pounds, but is equipped with wheels and a handle, for greater portability. The idea is that users charge the Go from a household socket at a lower cost than using a public charger, then wheel it to where their car is parked. Once the Go’s power cable is locked into the car’s charging port, the device is secure, and its recycled plastic shell allows it to be used in all weather.

The ZipCharge Go can charge from any socket, and comes with a Type 2 EV socket. A 4-kilowatt-hour version will provide up to 20 miles of range after 20 minutes, and a higher capacity, 8 kilowatt-hour version will be able to provide around 40 miles of range. ZipCharge suggests this is enough for the average daily commute. The device can be charged up at home using an app, that allows users to schedule charging for off-peak hours, when electricity is cheapest.

According to a study by Ofgem, a lack of charging options at or near to home is a major factor in whether buyers decide to opt for an EV. A number of areas in the UK are installing charging points in streetlight poles or on streets, but these are often more expensive to use than home charging. The ZipCharge Go could help address those concerns. As the company says, “The best way to charge an EV is when you don’t need to. Top-up charge wherever you park, to avoid the visit to the charging station.”

As EVs become more popular, a number of innovators have turned to the issue of making charging more convenient. Some ideas covered here at Springwise include charging stations designed to include a range of amenities and AI-powered smart chargers designed to reduce the carbon footprint of charging. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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