Electric driving is sustainable. But generating your own green electricity on location is even more sustainable. That is the idea behind the new EV charging unit from Power Sonic. The first version of this green mini-power plant was commissioned in November 2019 for Mobilis in The Netherlands.

Solar panels, wind turbines and biofuel installation

The EV charging unit is a mobile unit where drivers can charge their electric cars at almost any location. The required electricity is generated with solar panels and wind turbines which are placed on top of the unit and a generator within the unit that runs exclusively on biofuel. An entirely off-grid solution.

The EV charging unit was designed for TBI company Mobilis to help them reach their CO2 reduction targets.

Significantly reduces our CO2 footprint

Jeroen Ritzer-van Dinther, sustainability coordinator at Mobilis:  To significantly reduce our CO2 footprint, we want Mobilis to have an almost entirely electric vehicle fleet by 2025 at the latest. That transition started in 2018. My management asked me to investigate how we can also involve our project locations. A suitable grid connection is not arranged there from day 1, sometimes this is not even possible at all. Or it is far too expensive to install a fixed loading facility for a limited period. 

Mobile, fast and not fossil fuelled

Mobile, fast and not fossil fuelled. Jeroen Ritzer-van Dinther consulted various market parties with these important conditions. He was often told ‘yes but’ or ‘we can’t.’ With the exception of the energy storage specialists from Power Sonic, who took up the challenge enthusiastically. 

 As a supplier of battery solutions, we think a lot about smart applications and customized solutions. We have a lot of experience with storage applications, for example, the telecom sector and data centres. The Mobilis initiative appealed to us. Together we have further developed the idea. 

René Assies, Managing Director of Power Sonic

Power Sonic is an American company that also has offices in the UK, Mexico, France, Israel and the Netherlands. The first EV charging unit has been built in the UK. The unit was delivered in mid-October on the site of Voorbij Funderingstechniek in the Port of Amsterdam, which, just like Mobilis, is also part of TBI.

Six electric cars at the same time

You can charge six cars can charge at the same with the mobile charging unit. The EV charging unit stores the self-generated power in redundant batteries; If one battery has to be charged, the other battery will take over power delivery. René Assies commented:  We have engineered the unit for the future. Lead acid batteries were the chosen battery for Mobilis due to their recyclability. However the solution is also available utilising lithium technology. The generator within the unit is also ready for hydrogen.   

Additional power on-site

The now-developed EV charging unit is a 1.0 version, emphasises Jeroen Ritzer-van Dinther.  We now focus primarily on charging electric cars. But the principle is so simple that the containerized solution can also be connected to a building site to supply electricity there. There are already 32 Amp. 3 phase connections on the e-CO2 container. A mains connection of 3×125 amp. may then be lowered to 3×80 amp. or even 3×60 amp. This immediately results in a cost reduction. An on-grid solution as well as an off-grid one. 

As mentioned, a connection to the electricity grid is also possible. Power can then be supplied to the grid if there is peak demand and power can be supplied to the unit if the demand on the grid is low. The EV charging unit can for example, serve as a permanent unit and generate income from demand side response schemes such as DFFR and FFR.

Only organic residual products from the immediate vicinity

The solar panels and wind turbines are the primary energy sources. The biofuel generator acts as a backup in the event of insufficient capacity. Jeroen:  We only use organic residual products, preferably products from the immediate vicinity of our project locations. 

A smaller version of the EV charging unit is also available. These can then be placed modularly and in series, depending on the customer’s demand.

The potential of this concept is enormous

The current 40ft containerized solution can be transported to any location at any time. No special exemptions are required for their transportation. Mobilis and Power Sonic expect a lot from the innovative EV charging unit and plan a commercial rollout of the product. Not only for the construction and transportation world, but also for hotels and in other places where it should be possible to charge electric cars. Think of new residential areas where a semi-temporary solution can be offered. René Assies:  The solution is very suitable for temporary and green power supply in remote places. The potential to further roll out this concept is enormous. With the introduction of our first EV charging unit, we want to create support in the market. We want to be able to help enable businesses within areas of restricted capacity such as sea ports and air ports to transition to electric vehicles without the worry of excessive costs or lack of power. The EV charging unit can be customized for larger fleet vehicles such as HEV’s as well. 

Matthew Spendiff-Smith, Head of Marketing & Communications, Power Sonic