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French Company Creates Mobile Charging Station To Ease EV Range Anxiety

March 11, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Lacroix's Symbiose plant initiates production of a dynamic bidirectional EV charging stations for home, business, and public use.

As the automotive landscape shifts towards sustainable mobility, propelled by the rise of electric vehicles (EVs), the accessibility of mobile charging infrastructure emerges as a pressing concern. The absence of widespread and easily accessible mobile charging stations presents a formidable obstacle, impeding the seamless integration of EVs into mainstream transportation networks.

Lacroix has initiated production of its mobile charging station Mobilize PowerBox, aiming to transform the EV charging landscape starting with 65,000 units/year. This article explores the obstacles hindering the widespread adoption of EVs and how Lacroix’s latest initiative seeks to overcome them.

 

Production of Lacroix’s Mobilize PowerBox.

Production of Lacroix’s Mobilize PowerBox. Image used courtesy of Renault Group

 

Obstacles to EV Adoption

The slow adoption of EVs is largely attributed to the insufficient availability of charging stations. Prospective EV owners fear running out of charge during journeys, especially in areas lacking charging infrastructure

In an April survey by the Energy Policy Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center, 47% of US adults expressed reluctance to buy an EV, with 80% citing insufficient charging stations as a key factor. This scarcity limits the convenience and practicality of EV ownership, dissuading consumers from transitioning away from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

 

Charging levels and range.

Charging levels and range. Image used courtesy of the Energy Information Administration

 

EV charging occurs at charging stations, typically using a charging cable with a plug that fits into the vehicle's charging port. Charging is possible at home using a standard electrical outlet or public charging stations equipped with higher-powered charging units. The charging levels are Level 1 (120-volt AC charging, typically used at home), Level 2 (240-volt AC charging, common at public stations and homes with dedicated chargers), and Level 3 (DC fast charging, available at select public stations for rapid charging). Mostly, Levels 2 and 3 charging stations are beneficial only if a charging station is nearby.

For EVs to reach mainstream adoption, EV charging station availability is a necessary hurdle to clear.

 

Mobilize PowerBox Could be a Game Changer

Lacroix recently launched the Mobilize PowerBox charging station in a joint effort with Software République partners, including Orange, Renault Group, STMicroelectronics, and Thales.

The Mobilize PowerBox accommodates 2-phase and 3-phase connections, indoors or outdoors, with a charging power of up to 22 kW. Powered by alternating current (AC), it ensures seamless integration into home electrical systems, preventing power disruptions. Compatible with all-electric vehicles featuring a Type 2 plug, its dynamic energy management system modulates charging power based on available electricity.

 

Mobilize PowerBox is the solution to EV adoption

Mobilize PowerBox is the solution to EV adoption. Image used courtesy of Renault Group 

 

The Mobilize PowerBox offers four versions. UNO is for simple home charging. UNO PLUS suits corporate or residential infrastructure with an RFID card reader. UNO PRO targets public stations and homes with RFID and MID meters. VERSO enables bidirectional charging to help generate even further savings for users. All versions feature automatic updates and remote diagnostics, compatible with type 2 secure sockets, while the UNO PRO and VERSO also have 4G connectivity.

Moreover, the My PowerBox app lets users control charging remotely, view usage history, and receive session alerts, optimizing costs. To enhance security, customers can lock access to the charging station via the app, preventing unauthorized usage.
 

Future Prospects

With an initial annual capacity of 65,000 units (upgradable), these stations will soon be available across the Renault network for all EVs under the Renault Group umbrella. Ultimately, the groups hope the initiative will help address consumer fears over charging availability and help usher in the widespread adoption of EVs.