Why General Motors could integrate two charging ports on its electric cars

General Motors has just published a patent describing a smart solution that makes it possible to recharge an electric car faster thanks to two charging ports.

Developing an electric car is a real challenge for manufacturers and especially their engineers. In fact, this type of vehicle has many limitations, especially related to energy storage and recharging. Although the number of connected vehicles should explode over the next few years, it is really important to find solutions to reduce the time consumption at the terminal.

It is most often about increasing the charging power that the car can withstand, especially by equipping it with an 800 volt system. This allows take advantage of higher charging power throughout the recharge compared to the more traditional 400 volt system. This is especially the case with the Porsche Taycan, which can then benefit from an output of up to 270 kW on compatible terminals, so that it can regain up to 100 kilometers of autonomy (WLTP) in just 5 short minutes. to go from 5 to 80% in less than 23 minutes.

An innovation that now tends to be more democratic, as the 800 volt system is found on the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The problem with the 800 volt system is that the charging time is slightly longer on a 400 volt terminal.

Two charging ports

But on the side of General Motors, we found an alternative solution that could be found in the American Group’s future production cars. In fact, our US colleagues at Green Car Report managed to get their hands on a patent that the company recently filed with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), the organization responsible for registering these documents.

This describes a system that is, to say the least, innovative, which consists of installing two charging ports on electric cars, one next to the other, in particular tospeed up the charging of double layer packages. This device made it possible to take better advantage of the two-level battery pack (over 200 kWh), especially mounted on the GMC Hummer EV.

800 + 400 volts for super fast charging

The advantage of the two-level package is that these two layers can operate in series or in parallel, allowing in the second case to take advantage of a recharge at 800 volts. But the patent and its system consisting of two CCS ports side by side, describe the possibility of bringing the layers in series, to charge each half of the package to 400 volts simultaneously, via two different chargers. What accelerates the charge greatly on conventional 400 volt terminals.

The patent even indicates the possibility of accepting charging at 800 volts on one port and 400 volts on the other socket. Contrary to what we have read in other media, the patent does not state the possibility of using the two 800 volt ports at the same time. It actually specifies the possibility for the car to select, on the go, the port to be configured for 800 volts so that charging is as fast and transparent as possible for the driver.

Charge two cars with a single terminal

Moreover, thanks to the feature V2L, it will be possible to supply to another device, 400 volts on one of the two ports, while the car is charged with 400 or 800 volts on the other. We can then imagine a situation where we have a single charging station that recharges two vehicles at the same time, in cascade.

But be careful, because if General Motors has filed this patent, there is no guarantee that it will really be used for production vehicles. In addition, the company does not provide accurate information on the impact on charging time.

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