First Made in Chile: Successful project to develop a charger for electric cars is successfully completed

Last Tuesday, the closing ceremony of one of the projects led by the Deputy Director of Research and Graduate Studies of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Electrical Energy Technologies Research Center (E2Tech), Dr. Matías Díaz. On this occasion, the academic presented significant advances in the field of electromobility through the development of a new charger for electric vehicles.

Alongside industry leaders and representatives of key collaborators, the closing of the IDeA ID21I10412 project entitled “Design and development of a new ultra-fast multiprotocol charger with vehicle to grid capability for light and medium electric vehicles” was held on March 26. The initiative has consolidated an important step towards a more sustainable and efficient mobility future. It constitutes a breakthrough in the production and massification of electromobility in the country as the development of the first electric car charger made in Chile.

The event was attended by Hernán Nilo, executive director of Sistemas y Servicios de Comunicación (Sisercom) and Gonzalo Pacheco, executive director of Movener. In addition, Dr. Juan Manuel Zolezzi Cid, deputy director of the DIE Outreach & Engagement, and Leonidas Ibarra, director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Dinem), who shared valuable insights on innovation in the field of electric mobility and collaboration with the Department of Electrical Engineering. 

Dr. Matías Díaz, responsible for the project, presented the results obtained, highlighting significant advances in the research and development of solutions for electric mobility. The technical details of the technology were presented by Cristobal Javier Rodriguez Contreras, who together with Tomas Ravett, work as development engineers of the E2Tech center program and led the engineering development of the project. 

One of the highlights of the event was the exhibition of the latest version of the E2EV Charger, a product developed in the E2Tech center program and soon to be commercialized by the spinoff E2 Ingeniería SPA. This innovative technology is developed within the framework of the project “SUC230174: V2G platform for intelligent energy management and charging of electric vehicles” of the ANID Startup Science 2023 program. This project is led by José Aravena and Dante Carrasco, who state that the technology promises to revolutionize the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, thus contributing to the expansion and adoption of this form of sustainable mobility. 

“The University of Santiago is known for having a very well-developed technical side and I think that a clear example of this is this product,” said Gonzalo Pacheco, noting that his main interest with the team is that this charger becomes ”a feasible, necessary product that can be sold, marketed and mass-marketed. And why not export it from Chile to the world”. 

Hernán Nilo defined the initiative as “unique in the country and it is the first charger developed in Chile and also by the Usach.” The CEO of Sisercom added that the project allowed them to “move forward and show South America that good quality technology can be generated,” pointing out that the charger developed by E2Tech has high level aesthetic and functional qualities, reaffirming Chile’s role as a pioneer in Latin America in electromobility.  

Transport of the future

Led by Dr. Matías Díaz, the initiative “Design and development of a new ultra-fast multiprotocol charger with vehicle-to-grid capability for light and medium electric vehicles” aimed to develop modular fast chargers that enable Vehicle-to-Grid services, in addition to offering multiple and scalable charging points. This technology is based on a new converter proposed by the research team, called modular multilevel series-parallel converter, which presents attributes that will allow flexibility and optimize the use of charging infrastructure to facilitate the massification of electric vehicles. 

According to the academic in charge, the project is in “an early stage of development, but we know that there is potential for patenting and reaching the industry”. The team behind this initiative is already applying for other projects that allow scaling the charger technology based on multilevel modular converters connected in series and parallel.

This project represents a step forward in the search for solutions to current challenges in electric mobility. With a focus on innovation and collaboration between different industry players, it is hoped that work such as this will further drive the development and adoption of clean and sustainable technologies in the transportation of the future.