ŠKODA AUTO announced new partnerships with innovative mobility start-ups and tech companies that develop hardware and software solutions for the automotive industry at the Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv.
The innovative system makes it possible to supply electric vehicles with power using fast-charging technology, even where there is ordinarily insufficient power. The charging station absorbs peak loads in the grid, accelerating its flywheels to high speeds and storing the electricity as kinetic energy. When an electric car is then connected, the Kinetic Power Booster releases this as electricity, and in doing so doubles the charging power that the national grid could have provided on its own. This makes this clever solution ideal for car dealerships or shopping centres, for example.
The Chakratec system stores energy when there is surplus electricity, and also relieves the strain on the grid at peak times. In contrast to battery-based charging stations, the capacity remains the same at all times. What’s more, the purely mechanical Kinetic Power Booster is remarkably eco-friendly as it does not make use of chemical battery cells. Furthermore, it allows for around 200,000 fast-charge and discharge cycles. This corresponds to a lifespan of about 20 years.
The booster’s technical centrepiece is the ten flywheels housed in a container, where they rotate in a vacuum. If electricity is supplied from the grid, they speed up. As soon as a vehicle is connected to be recharged, the flywheels generate additional electricity themselves, slowing down in the process. This functionality allows the booster to store sufficient energy to simultaneously charge two ŠKODA CITIGO? iVs with twice as much power as the national grid can provide alone. Once a car’s battery has been topped up, the flywheels need time to return to their operating speed – for the 100-kW station in Prague, this takes about 45 minutes.
Prices and payment methods for regular operation will be announced by the operator at a later date. Depending on the results of the trial, the partners are planning to set up further Chakratec fast-charging stations both in the Czech Republic as well as other countries.