One unanswered question about the shift to electric vehicles is how we’ll bring EV charging to existing parking infrastructure. Between permitting delays and shortages of qualified workers, charger installation is often a slow endeavor. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to find solutions.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, for example, is testing a number of ideas over the next few months. One of them is a new mobile DC fast-charger from Lightning eMotors, which will be put through its paces June 19–23 charging EVs for staff and customers.
Regular readers might be feeling a sense of deja vu, as we just reported on a mobile charger being tested at DFW in the coming weeks. In that case, it was a robot charger on wheels called Ziggy, which can shuttle between EVs in a parking lot.
Lightning eMotors’ Lightning Mobile charger is a bit different. It’s a lot bigger, for starters—trailer-sized, in fact, and it’s mobile in the sense that you can move it from one site to another but not from car to car. So the charging experience should be much more conventional than the one we looked at a couple of weeks ago, with EV drivers parking next to the charger and driving off once they’re topped up.
“Our next-generation Lightning Mobile chargers address the growing need for readily available, flexible DC fast-charging solutions, especially during this important transitional period when charging infrastructure is still lacking,” said Lightning CEO Tim Reeder. “DFW is at the forefront of electrifying ground transportation, and we look forward to solving a major pain point that they, along with most airports across the country, are currently facing.”
The trailer-sized mobile charger is packed with lithium-ion batteries—between 105 kWh and 420 kWh, depending on how it’s configured—and can fast-charge up to four EVs at a time with a maximum output of 80 kW. Although it’s capable of outputting AC to slow-charge EVs, the DFW tests will focus on fast-charging in different parts of the airport, including the cell phone waiting lot, valet parking lot, ride-hailing lot, an employee parking lot, and DFW’s headquarters.
If you’re flying out of DFW and have an EV you want to try charging there, you can sign up for the demos online.