Continental develops high power Chameleon-style EV charger

Continental develops high power Chameleon-style EV charger


Continental has announced that it has developed two new electric vehicle charging products, with a wireless charging system complemented by an AllCharge system that will allow an EV to use any type of charge point.

The German automotive component developer and supplier’s AllCharge technology aims to tackle the problems found with non-standardised charging infrastructure for EVs. It deals with the different power levels various EVs are able to charge at, and is similar in principle to Renault’s Chameleon charger – which Continental originally worked with Renault on – though with a higher maximum charging power limit.

Instead of adding additional equipment to the vehicle to deal with different charger speeds – such as Nissan Leaf’s Type 1 and CHAdeMO inlets – AllCharge uses the electric powertrain as the charger, making use of the existing electric motor and inverter.

Continental’s system is able to accept power outputs of up to 350 kW and anything in between, future-proofing it against the next generation – and the generation after that – of EV rapid charge points. It also includes V2D (Vehicle to Device) technology, allowing users to take energy from the car’s battery for mobile devices, such as charging a laptop or running a fridge.

The car is fitted with a single inlet, but there are two different paths to charging the car’s battery. Charging on AC units sees the current flow from the charge point, via the electric motor, to the inverter. It’s converted to DC current, before reaching the battery. Current from rapid DC charge points flows directly through the inverter to the battery.

The system uses a modified electric powertrain in which the electric motor and inverter have been adapted to handle the additional task of charging. The only extra component for the system is a DC/DC converter, which ensures an optimally regulated power flow to the battery at all times.

Dr Oliver Maiwald, Head of Technology & Innovation at Continental’s Powertrain Division, said: “Today, EV drivers often end up parking at a charging station that doesn’t allow them to charge as fast as they would like. With Continental’s AllCharge powertrain, drivers no longer need to worry about finding the right type of charging station. Their vehicle is equipped for every type of technology, from single-phase or three-phase AC to high-speed DC systems.”

AllCharge works with any type of charging station, and can operate at a rate of up to 800 V and a power from 150 kW today and up to 350 kW for future applications.

Continental has also developed a wireless charging system, which will allow drivers to charge their electric vehicle wirelessly – with no problems about compatible inlet types – and the potential for autonomous cars to charge themselves.

The basic design is no different from those developed by other companies, and uses a charger pad on the ground and a receiver pad attached to the underside of the car. When parked over the charger pad, the car is able to charge wirelessly using inductive charging.

The EV is able to charge at a rate of 11 kW, and is intended to increase the amount of short charge stops with improved convenience likely to appeal to drivers. Continental has added a feature that helps the driver park accurately over the charging pad too.

Both systems will be displayed and demonstrated at the Continental Tech Show in June and IAA 2017 in September.

Find out more about electric vehicle charging here.