Hyundai installs ultra-rapid charging network E-Pit in Korea

Image: Hyundai

The Hyundai Motor Group is setting up a proprietary network of high power charging stations in South Korea against the backdrop of the upcoming market launch of the group’s first 800-volt electric vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

These ultra-rapid charging vehicles sit on Hyundai-Kia’s brand new E-GMP platform. It is the first architecture dedicated to electric vehicles entirely, and the Group now delivers suitable charging infrastructure for the Kia EV6 and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5.

Hyundai plans to install 120 HPC columns, each with up to 350 kW charging capacity. The company says that these can charge an EV battery equipped with an 800-volt system within 18 minutes to 80 per cent – about half the time it takes on current fast-charging stations. “That means that with just five minutes of charging, you can drive 100 kilometres,” the company states. The stations are also Plug&Charge ready.

Besides, the ultra-rapid charger roll-out bears a label. Hyundai-Kia calls the new sites E-Pit. Each “pit stop” comprise six high power charging stations, all under a canopy, and Hyundai says motorsports inspired the design and name. However, the Group’s photo shows a more conventional roof design than that of the HPC site in Seoul that Hyundai opened at the end of January. The hardware is designed to facilitate charging with the heavy and bulky cables via an automatic height adjustment, a rotating function and an auxiliary handle.

With 120 charge points planned this year, Hyundai designated 20 locations across its home market South Korea. The network will span across highways and urban areas, with 72 ultra-rapid charging stations installed at motorway rest stops. The remaining 48 will stand at eight city sites.

While ultra-rapid charging will be exclusive to Hyundai-Kia vehicles because these are the only EVs with said architecture in the market, the company said that “simple charging” would be open to EVs from other manufacturers as they use the same connectors. In Korea, Hyundai-Kia also uses CCS, as do most other carmakers there.

Hyundai adds that “E-pit aims to become a charging platform where all sorts of services are provided quickly and in a convenient manner,” without going into much detail. Those driving an electric vehicle by Hyundai and Kia will be able to pay through the car, so to speak, when leaving their details in the in-car system. The charging station then takes over authentication, a feature enabled by Plug&Charge.
This function will only be available on E-GMP-made EVs from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, for now, the company informs.

The E-Pit app will also allow drivers to digitally “queue” to use chargers at peak times, although it remains to be seen how the system will work.

Hyundai Motor says they are also looking for partnerships with other EV charging station operators in Korea. Besides, Hyundai wants to build an “advanced service platform” around the high power charging infrastructure. The company envisions a “win-win situation” for domestic companies and customers. As an example of such a service around charging, Hyundai cites “parking and car washing” in the announcement., (E-Pit website, in Korean)


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