Tesla-inspired Chinese semi gets 960kW charging from BorgWarner

Tesla-inspired Chinese semi gets 960kW charging from BorgWarner

Global auto supplier BorgWarner is launching a new, ultra-high speed 960kW EV charger that can charge up Windrose’ “Tesla-inspired” electric semi truck in about half an hour.

Dismissed as a “Tesla Semi clone” by some of its most cynical critics when it was first announced, the Windrose electric semi project is building steam in China, with a number of carefully staged “spy photos” of the all-electric, central seating-position truck appearing online in recent months. The latest indication that the project is more than vaporware doesn’t come from Windrose itself, however. Instead, it comes from BorgWarner, one of the most credible Tier 1 auto suppliers in the business.

And Borg, through its Chinese New Energy group, just announced a new, liquid-cooled, 960 kW charging station that can charge up the big semi quicker than you can charge up your Chevy Bolt!

BorgWarner 960 kW semi charging station

Image by Windrose Technology; via PR Newswire.

The new, quite nearly megawatt truck chargers are part of a pilot program between BorgWarner, Windrose, and the global real-estate firm Goodman Group that aims to add EV charging infrastructure for electric long-haul trucks to Goodman’s properties in China.

Wen Han, founder, chairman, and CEO of Windrose, admits that making megawatt charging a reality is a huge challenge, and he’s leaning on his established partners to help. “As a young entrepreneur in my early thirties, I’m deeply respectful of the enormity of our vision of bring zero-emission long-haul trucks to China, Europe, (the) US, and other parts of the world … we recognize that we can only achieve this by standing on the shoulder of giants, thus truly fortunate to be working with industry leaders such as Decathlon, Goodman Group, and BorgWarner.”

Wen Han, Windrose CEO

Windrose founder, chairman, and CEO speaks at a Decathlon event in China; via Windrose.

The first fruits of the BorgWarner/Windrose pilot charging station project will appear at Goodman’s Citylink property near Beijing. The parties claim the 960 kW station will enable the Windrose trucks’ massive, 729 kWh battery to add 400 km (248 miles) of range in just over 30 min. That’s possible due to a pair of liquid-cooled charging terminals that can support dual-gun single-vehicle high-power super-fast charging, with a single-gun maximum output of 600A.

As for the Windrose truck, itself, its 729 kWh battery is reportedly good for more than 600 km of range on a single charge with a full, 49 ton GVW. The company has shown concepts (some renderings, some mules) in long-haul, sever duty, and dump body configurations. And, while it does look superficially like a Tesla semi, it’s the central seating position that’s been the source of the most vocal “copycat” accusations.

Central seating semi

Windrose semi cockpit.

You can take a look at the Windrose cockpit (above) then scroll on down to the bottom of the page and let us know what you think of Windrose’ electric semi in the comments.

Electrek’s Take

It doesn’t seem to matter if we’re talking about the low-end or the high-end of the EV market, the Chinese are there with solid products that seem poised to seriously challenge Western automakers in their home markets. Whether or not the ridiculous central seating position works better in China than it’s bound to in the US, however, remains to be seen.

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