ZipCharge unveils its portable EV charging set up, GoHub – Autocar Professional

London-based EV charging startup ZipCharge has revealed the GoHub, which it says is the world’s first portable EV charging infrastructure for shared, public use. The GoHub provides a community-based solution at a much lower cost and at a much faster rate and even enables a parking space to be a charging spot.

The GoHub hosts multiple ZipCharge Go EV powerbanks to address the need for convenient, flexible, and low-cost energy. It is a secure way of housing, recharging, and providing access to the ZipCharge Go so that anyone can access a portable powerbank at the lowest cost, the company said.

The GoHub’s many advantages are that it is modular and flexible, suitable for a diverse number of locations, including on-street, in car parks, at work and in private environments. Jonathan Carrier, co-founder, ZipCharge said, We intend to establish the world’s first vertically integrated ‘energy point operator’ (EPO) to serve hundreds of millions of people around the world so everyone can access convenient and low-cost energy. The ZipCharge Go and the GoHub enable the storage of clean energy, which can then be distributed for a multitude of uses from charging an EV to powering equipment. We predict our portable powerbanks will outsell fixed home chargers by 2030, in the same way mobile phones overtook landlines. That’s because the Go is a portable energy storage device for personal energy management. We have the bold ambition to deploy 100,000 GoHubs globally by 2030 to support EV charging, local grid resiliency and energy democracy.”

Richie Sibal, co-founder, ZipCharge said The Go and the GoHub are integral components of our future energy platform, one that combines hardware, software and distributed energy storage in the home and our public energy points to provide a wide range of energy services for our customers.”

In its base form, the GoHub will come in two variants; a single sided unit houses five ZipCharge Go portable powerbanks, or a double-sided GoHub with 10. Both fit comfortably into a regular parking space. It can also be place on the pavement or close to where power already exists. All GoHubs can be intelligently reconfigured, expanded and connected together with minimal investment, growing in tandem with the adoption of electric vehicles.

Through the GoHub, ZipCharge Go powerbanks will be available to rent 24 hours a day with the option to pre-reserve a Go in the app. As the user approaches, the correct bay door of the GoHub automatically opens. They then easily pull out the charger from its dock inside the GoHub, wheel it to the vehicle and plug-it in. Once finished, the user is notified on their smart phone, they collect the Go and return it to the bay allocated via the app.

In terms of pricing, anytime access will allow anyone to use a Go powerbank for a simple to understand fee: £1, €1 or $1 for a 4kWh charge with no connection fee. This simple and transparent pricing will allow EV users to know what their daily driving will cost. ZipCharge aims to provide lower prices per kWh compared to fixed AC charging given the integrated Energy Storage System in the GoHub allows ZipCharge to take cleaner, cheaper electricity overnight.

Integrated solutions 

The GoHub has been conceived with every community in mind, integrating a range of optional technologies including rainwater harvesting, Wi-Fi hotspot, mobile device charging, a green living roof and renewable energy generation, including innovative wind turbines suitable for both urban and rural environments developed by Flower Turbines in the Netherlands. The GoHub can also provide sustainable charging solutions for other forms of mobility with an optional micro-mobility docking station for e-scooters and e-bikes that integrates with any provider.

The company said the GoHubs re-use end-of-life batteries from the ZipCharge Go as the integrated Energy Storage System. This presents a genuine circular approach to extending battery life and usability, while also lowering cost.

According to ZipCharge the GoHubs will be three times cheaper and three times faster to install versus fixed on street level 2 chargers, transforming the payback period for AC public charging from 8-10 years to less than two. This would allow the government and public funding support to install more chargers in more locations. They can also be placed where the grid can best cope with the extra load, as well as being far less disruptive to the streetscape.

GoHubs will come with a suite of technology support. They will all be networked to the ZipCharge cloud and back-office with energy management and remote monitoring software to ensure operational safety and optimise charging costs and energy use.

Engineered to the same standards as automotive electronics systems, the lightweight ZipCharge Go power bank is the size of a compact wheeled suitcase which can be charged in a GoHub, at home or elsewhere using a standard domestic plug at a lower cost per kWh of electricity when compared to public on-street charging.

Using the retractable handle, users then wheel it to wherever they’ve parked their EV and plug it into the charging port. The port locks the charging cable in, securing the charger with the vehicle. ZipCharge Go provides up to 20 miles (around 32km) of range, providing sufficient range for the average daily commute (in UK/EU), in a little over 30 mins and can then be neatly stored in the trunk / boot, or at home. ZipCharge Go can be used in all normal weather conditions like a normal fixed charge point. 

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