Lotus officially revealed its new electric car charging system that reportedly delivers up to 500 kW, which is impressive if the company’s claims are substantiated. While few of today’s electric cars are capable of accepting such levels of power, that stands to change going forward.
While the simple fact that Lotus’ DC fast charger is so powerful is news enough, that’s not all the company had to show off at the Shanghai Motor Show. The charging system is also automated, and though we’ve seen a few different examples of prototypes of robotic charging systems, this setup from Lotus is certainly unique.
As you can see in the video below, the charger’s cover opens to reveal the charging cable and then the robotic arm navigates it into the car’s charging port with ease. It also appears that the charging station may be on some sort of track on the floor. If that’s the case, and the track would be installed at public stations, one might assume the whole unit can move up and down the track to accommodate different EVs’ charging ports and parking situations.
Lotus currently has the unit on display at the Shanghai show and it’s connecting to the automaker’s Eletre electric SUV. According to Autocar, the charging system doesn’t yet have a name, or at least not one that Lotus has officially shared.
The company has said it will initially launch 50 units across China for all EVs to use. However, there have not been any specifics revealed about whether Lotus will offer the system in other areas, such as the UK. Meanwhile, rival brand Nio just opened its first 500 kW chargers in 12 Chinese cities, and Shanghai is on the list.
The publication goes on to add that it expects to see the Lotus fast-charging system rolled out as a number of Chinese EVs arrive in the next few years that are capable of accepting higher charging rates.
The Lotus Eletre can charge at speeds of up to 420 kW. For comparison, Hyundai and Kia’s purpose-built EVs currently max out at 350 kW, and many electric cars, trucks, and SUVs can’t yet accept such rates.
Autocar says the Xpeng G9 can support 480 kW, but only as specced for the Chinese market. In Europe, the same EV will be limited to just 300 kW.