JOLT Energy launches storage based high-power charger MerlinOne
Munich, 8 October 2020 – Today, JOLT Energy will present MerlinOne, its mobile and flexible charging station for the first time to the public. Its innovative high-power technology enables ten times faster charging than standard AC chargers. Thanks to its integrated battery, cities now have the ability to establish a high-power charging infrastructure – without the typical construction work. Together with the product launch, the Munich start-up is also announcing a crowdfunding campaign to build a fleet of 500 high-power chargers in 50 cities within 500 days.
“The success of e-mobility will depend on the availability of acceptable and effective charging infrastructure, which is as accessible and convenient for drivers, as existing fueling options”, says Maurice Neligan, CEO of JOLT.
As the need for large-scale charging develops, the importance of fast or high-power charging as an essential element of modern e-mobility is becoming increasingly clear. Particularly in cities, where over 70 percent of the population live, demand for fast, uncomplicated charging will grow. The charging capacity of the MerlinOne station, developed in cooperation with ADS-TEC in Germany, enables drivers to top-up their average weekly driving distance in just 10 to 15 minutes.
The flexibility of MerlinOne derives primarily from its ability to be connected to the electricity grid in three 3 different ways, taking account of local grid conditions.
Its island mode is particularly flexible. For the first time, high-power charging stations can be placed exactly where they are needed, without any concern for the quality of the existing electrical infrastructure. Typical locations include inner city streets, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants or even churches and schools. A grid connection is not necessary, because MerlinOne’s integrated 200 kWh battery storage provides the power. When the battery is almost empty, the complete MerlinOne charging station is exchanged for a fully charged unit.
For the transport, JOLT and Swedish company HIAB have developed a special truck (MerlinTruck) with an automated crane and carrying system, which ensures the swap process is completed in under five minutes. This solution will be presented for the first time worldwide at the product launch on October 8.
MerlinOne has two additional operating modes both of which involve a grid connection. When connected to the low voltage grid, the integrated battery storage operates as the basis for fast charging. It is continuously charged via the power grid and releases the electricity as needed in a very short time. This not only enables high-power charging at low voltage, but also avoids costly network expansion, for example on city streets or at gas stations. The third option is to connect the MerlinOne to the medium voltage grid, allowing the charger to operate continuously at high-power, while at the same time providing charger-to-grid (C2G) services.
JOLT is also breaking new ground in financing this innovative charging technology, by issuing fixed interest bonds (Merlin Bonds) with terms of four to six years. The bonds will be issued via a special crowdfunding platform pitched at individuals and communities to fund charging infrastructure in their own cities. The goal is to install 500 Merlins in 50 cities in 500 days.
JOLT’s Vice President Sales, Frank Beicken, is certain that this is the right way forward; “Participation in such a Green Tech Project creates a positive image and gives city residents the opportunity to get involved in driving an effective charging solution for their own city, without financing and construction hurdles”.
The company was founded in 2017 by a team of former automotive, power engineering, IT and financial managers. After around three years of development work, the Munich start-up is now presenting a complete urban high-power charging system based on the MerlinOne charging station. MerlinOne is essentially a large power pack, which does not require a grid connection to operate. The chargers are replaced when the integrated battery is almost empty. However, the units can also be grid-connected, providing stable storage-based high- power charging as well.
Measuring 230 x 120 x 110 cm (h x w x d) and with an internal 200 kWh storage unit, MerlinOne provides power for 200 km of travel in 10 to 15 minutes at 160 kW. The visually appealing device has a 65-inch display for public information, cultural or advertising purposes. To protect pedestrians, cyclists and children, MerlinOne’s cable retracts into the unit. JOLT Energy deploys the chargers in coordination with site partners, taking over the complete operation and maintenance of the charging stations including customer service. In the next step, MerlinOne will also be able to support the electricity grid and indeed micro- grids with peak shaving and other grid stabilization services. This is particularly interesting for maximizing the benefits of renewable power.