Hyundai reveals ultra-fast EV charging service 'E-pit' inspired by F1 pit stop

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : March 23, 2021, 11:26 | Updated : March 23, 2021, 11:26

[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group]

SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group will roll out "E-pit," an electric vehicle charging service platform that will become part of the carmaker's future ecosystem of clean energy vehicles. Hyundai's electric cars based on a new modular platform will be able to charge 80 percent of their battery in just 18 minutes. Normal chargers take about 40 minutes.

According to a survey of 1,586 adult consumers conducted by Seoul City in July 2020, 29 percent cited the lack of charging stations as the main factor in delaying the purchase of electric vehicles. EV drivers often complain about the lack of charging infrastructure in online forums and communities.

Hyundai introduced E-pit inspired by a pit stop of Formula 1 race circuit. The carmaker said in a statement on March 23 that it would start its EV charging service by installing 20 E-pit stations with 120 chargers in expressway service areas in April. "Focusing on E-pit, we plan to promote the nurturing of an EV charging ecosystem starting this year," said an unnamed Hyundai official.

The chargers will support conventional EV charging systems and 800V, an ultra-fast charging system that will be featured by Hyundai's next-generation EVs based on a dedicated new battery platform called "E-GMP." New Hyundai cars based on E-GMP will only require five minutes to charge and drive about 100 kilometers (62 miles).

E-pit will come with a digital payment system. Drivers only have to plug in the power cord and the charging fee will be paid automatically via a pre-registered payment method. Hyundai said a canopy roof will be installed at every station.

Other companies have tried to find business models in the EV market. In 2020, GS Caltex, a major refiner, revealed a blueprint for a network of gas stations where customers can refuel internal combustion engine vehicles, charge EVs, enjoy a variety of lifestyle activities such as shopping and dining. The station can serve as a local logistics center where drones can fly a short distance and back to deliver small parcels.
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