Autel’s 480 kW Charger Claims To Add 250 Miles To An EV In Just 10 MInutes

Autel 480kw Charger

If you work on cars, chances are that you’ve heard of Autel. The company provides enthusiasts and mechanics with diagnostic tools, but it wants to do even more. Autel plans to expand America’s electric car charging infrastructure with up to 480kW of charging power and a gas station-like point-of-sale. For those of you counting, that’s more power than Electrify America’s best.

For the past 18 years, the Autel Intelligent Technology Company has been providing car lovers and technicians with equipment to keep vehicles on the road. The Chinese company started with simple code scanners and over the years has expanded into a portfolio of tools. Some of its high-end equipment is like having a dealership in your pocket, too. I have one and it’s been a wrenching lifesaver.

However, Autel has been eying more than just car repair. Currently, you can buy a Level 2 charger from Autel to charge your electric car from the comfort of your own home, but Autel isn’t stopping there. Revealed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Autel plans on hitting the ground running to help expand America’s public charging infrastructure.

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One of the chargers being deployed by Autel is the MaxiCharger Commercial. It’s a 240-Volt, 50 Amp, Level 2 charger. This charger sounds neat for businesses wanting to give customers a little top up while shopping. And there’s a version with two charging cables, too. Autel says that it can add 75 miles of range in 60 minutes depending on the vehicle.

But the real star of the show is the MaxiCharger DC fast charging station.

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This is the charger that the company plans on rolling out beginning next month. It looks like other charging stations, with its two charging cables set up a bit like a gas pump. Heck, even the point-of-sale looks a bit like that.

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The company plans on rolling them out in increments of 60kW, maxing out at 240kW.

A trick behind Autel’s plan for commercial chargers is a giant power box to accompany even faster and bigger chargers. The “power box” is an individual transformer for the larger chargers.

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When these chargers are combined with the power box, they can crank out a big 480kW to the receiving vehicle. That’s more than the 350kW max offered by Electrify America and more than even the hottest, 800-volt EVs can handle.

A Lucid Air, for example, can hit about 300kW in charging. A Kia EV6 will hit around 233kW in actual charging. Even Teslas charge at 250kW. So, this is more of an investment and expectation that charging will get even faster.

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You may wonder how these beasts can handle this much juice, and Autel says that these use liquid-cooling. The 480kW units are said to add 250 miles of range in 10 minutes.

There’s a slight catch, of course. Autel tells us that when two cars are hooked up to the 480kW charger, both cars get 240kW, which is still better than almost anything you’ll regularly find now. The company is also looking to avoid the dead chargers that EV owners have also faced with chargers from other companies. Autel’s belief is that 18 years of car diagnostic experience will translate to better charger reliability.

The company hasn’t said how many of these chargers that you can expect out in the wild, but it does tell us that you may end up charging on an Autel charger without even knowing it. Autel plans on rolling them out under its brand name, but it’ll also sell them out to others as a white label charging solution.

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32 Responses

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  2. So, what’s the projected degradation to the battery each time you stuff 250 miles of range into it in 10 minutes? I know nothing of the chemistry involved, but have a clear memory of an old lead-acid battery boiling over when a coworker left the (admittedly ancient) charger on 200 Amp/Start setting. Seems like there would be heating at both ends-and that could be a bad way to explore the limits of your car’s cooling system.

    I’m not being snarky here. I’m not against electrification, but have been under the impression that slow-charging is best for a battery. Then again, the battery in my car is an Optima, not any of the newer formulas.

    1. Rapid charging isn’t a problem if you use it sparingly. Realistically, with an EV with 250+ miles of range, your daily driving needs will be easily met by 120 or 240 volt charging. If you are only using rapid charging for the occasional lengthy road trip, this shouldn’t substantially affect battery longevity.

      1. This is true but faster chargers are being billed as the solution not just for road trip range anxiety, but for apartment dwellers. If someone VoltBombs their car every week, the batteries are not going to last.

        1. I can’t argue with that. These are great for road trips, but if they were your only method of charging, that wouldn’t be ideal. Although, I think Tesloop used primarily fast charging with their vehicles, and it sounds the batteries on those were still useful for over 200,000 miles, so maybe it isn’t that harmful?

  3. The 75 miles in 60 minutes would assume 6.25 miles/kWh (maybe attainable in something crazy efficient at a constant 35mph). The 250 in 10 minutes is 3.125 miles/kWh (actually attainable). That is some incredibly frustrating advertising.

  4. How much does it cost to install one of the 480 kw chargers? Do they require any additional electric upgrades beyond the upgrades required for less powerful level 3 chargers? This is great technology, but I imagine installation cost is going to be a problem, and these charging units will almost certainly not be profitable over the life of the device.

    1. I bet Autel or someone else will also set up no/low financing for chargers. If I were them I’d also run the numbers on financing stations to add a coffee and sandwich counter. Even tiny Wawas and Sheetz -types might make some decent coin on chicken if drivers knew they had to take a seat for even 10 minutes.

    2. I’ve read that the 350kw charges can cost about $150k (that’s the highest of estimates that are all over the place). Assuming this is porportional, maybe $200k?

      In my state electrify america is selling power at $0.43/kwh and probably buying it at less than $0.10/kwh. With that profit margin, it would take about 600,000 kwh, or 1250 hours of operation to see a full return on investment. If they run just 3 hours a day, you’d break even in less than a year and a half

      1. This is all in the neighborhood of correct, except commercial and industrial electricity is not actually sold by the kWh. It’s sold by the kWh, with a seperate “demand charge” denominated in kW for your worst hour (or 15 minutes or what have you) in the month. In many utilities, the first, say 50 kW charge administered by this device at a 180 kW speed would cost the operator (50 * $.05) + (180 * 20) = $3,602.50 in electricity bills. The second charge administered in the same month costs $2.50 in electricity.

        1. I left off some qualifiers that are making me itchy so how about “as often as not” not actually sold by the kWh and “except in utilities that have created EV specific rates”

      2. Valid point about how much they charge for electricity. If they are able to turn a $0.15 profit per kwh (I’m sure chargers aren’t 100% efficient and there are other associated costs), they might be financially viable. Although I’m curious how long these charging units last. With my pessimistic scenario ($200,000 installation cost and $0.15 profit per kwh) it would take around 2,800 hours at 480 kW to break even. I have no idea how one of these charging units lasts, but if 2,800 hours is well within the expected service life of the unit, it could make financial sense.

        1. Yeah my numbers were pretty rough and don’t consider maintenance cost or equipment life. The great unknowns in this is are; how fast ev adopting happens, how often do EV owners charge away from home, and how much are they willing to pay for speed and convenience. I do think that the people that figure this out right stand to make a a good profit

    1. Mostly. In fact very large numbers of them have the identical Nayax reader Mercedes is rather oddly impressed by. (Send more reporters out to actually do some charging please!)

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        1. The irony there being that the device he posted that from almost certainly is full of components made in China. Like the proliferation of American flag stickers on foreign cars after 911.

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