If you’re an urban-dwelling electric vehicle owner, your public charging options are often limited to slow AC chargers found in tight parking spaces that are too small for typical DC fast chargers. Now Gravity, the company that started an EV taxi fleet in New York City in 2021, designed a compact and super fast DC charging system for big dense cities that can reduce your charging time from hours to just minutes.
Gravity’s system includes small dispenser boxes that the company calls “Distributed Energy Access Points,” which can be mounted above or in front of a parking spot and deliver up to a ridiculously high 500kW of energy. That compares to DC fast charging stations from other companies, which have larger stall units and max out at 350kW.
No vehicle in North America can accept power higher than 350kW, so Gravity is essentially future-proofing its setup. Gravity founder and CEO Moshe Cohen tells The Verge in an email that it’s looking to China in terms of where the technology is heading. “The equipment we install today should be ready for these vehicles to come to market in the near future, and not just today’s slower models,” Cohen writes.
Tesla has its own urban Supercharger stalls that are smaller than ones in regular locations, but only max out at 72kW. Cohen tells us that Gravity can charge Teslas at up to 250kW with Tesla CCS adapters.
However, small-stall DC chargers don’t run on magic, these systems have separate power units installed on-site in places that are less likely to compromise parking capacity. Cohen says that Gravity has power cabinets that can be installed up to 500 feet from the dispensers that are installed by the cars. Hefty liquid-cooled cables run between the dispensers and the power cabinet.
Sure, AC chargers often work fine if you’re sticking around for several hours, but it would be nice to have more fast-charging options inside cities for quicker trips. Gravity’s first 500kW charging deployment is opening in Midtown Manhattan this fall at a new flagship facility on West 42nd Street.