ABB tests Megawatt Charging System (MCS) with some help from Scania

The Swiss charging infrastructure specialist ABB is testing its upcoming Megawatt Charging System (MCS) for fast-charging heavy electric vehicles. A pilot charger has successfully been used on a next-gen electric truck from Scania, bringing MCS chargers closer to reality.

Where CCS (Combined Charging System) has been the standard for AC and DC charging of electric cars for about ten years, the system falls short for heavy electric vehicles, with a practical power limit of 350 kW. Enough for charging a passenger car back up to 80% in 30 minutes or less, but not for trucks with battery packs of 500 kWh or more.

The MCS charging connector will allow for DC fast charging up to 3,75 MW, a more than 10-fold increase over the current CCS system /Scania

Up to 3,75 MW

That’s where the MCS standard (Megawatt Charging System) comes in. This new connector is currently near the end of its development phase and will allow DC fast charging at a maximum rate of 3,75 MW (3 750 kW) at 1 250 V and 3 000 A.

It’s not only designed for electric buses and trucks; battery-powered planes and boats will also use this standard to recharge in between trips quickly.

Swiss charging infrastructure company ABB E-Mobility has recently installed an MCS charger at a Scania facility, which has now completed its first charging test with a next-gen electric truck from Scania. The achieved charging rate is not mentioned, but ABB says it will start deploying 1 500 A chargers before extending to the maximum 3 000 A(mpère).

Practical fast-charging for truck drivers

In practice, truck drivers can fast charge their vehicles during the mandatory 45-minute rest time between 4,5-hour driving times. That would significantly increase the usability of heavy electric trucks for longer distances without sacrificing payload for a large battery that manages a full day’s work on one charge.

Scania is offering MCS-equipped electric trucks starting this year for select customers, with large-scale production starting in 2024. ABB will start rolling out MCS chargers in late 2024/early 2025.


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