Hyundai Motor plans 'E-pit' stations across Korea

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Hyundai Motor plans 'E-pit' stations across Korea

Hyundai Motor Group will build its own electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging infrastructure under the name E-pit. [HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP]

Hyundai Motor Group will build its own electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging infrastructure under the name E-pit. [HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP]

Hyundai Motor Group will build its own infrastructure across Korea for rapid charging of electric vehicles (EV).
 
The name it has chosen for the charging stations: E-pit.  
 
Many of the services offered at E-pit stations will be for EVs made by Hyundai Motor Group on its EV-dedicated manufacturing platform, E-GMP. But simple charging will be offered to EVs from other manufacturers as long as they use the same connectors, which many do.
 
Hyundai Motor Group said Tuesday it will install at least 120 E-pit rapid chargers at 20 stations in Korea this year, 72 at rest stops on highways. The remaining 48 will be in cities. 
 
E-pit stations will have 350-kilowatt-hour chargers, which can charge 80 percent of an EV battery equipped with 800-volt system within 18 minutes. With existing rapid chargers, it takes approximately 30 minutes to fully charge an EV. 
 
"EVs equipped with Hyundai Motor Group's 800-volt system will reduce the charging time by as much as 50 percent compared to other chargers," the company said in a statement Tuesday. 
 
"That means that with just five minutes of charging you can drive 100 kilometers." 
 
The company explained that the term E-pit was inspired by pit stops in motorsports, where racers stop to refuel and get repairs on their cars. 
 
"E-pit aims to become a charging platform where all sorts of services are provided quickly and in a convenient manner," the company said.  
 
E-pit chargers will allow easy payment when a driver's payment information is saved on the vehicle. This function will only be available on E-GMP-made EVs from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis for now.
 
Through an E-pit app, people will be able to digitally queue up to use chargers at peak times.  
 
Hyundai Motor is looking for partnerships with other operators of EV charging stations in Korea as well.  
 
The partnerships can be extended into other auto-related services such as parking and car-washes, the company said. 
 
Charging has become an essential issue for EV makers to attract customers. 
 
Tesla operates its own charging infrastructure that only services Tesla vehicles. Its stations are called Superchargers.
 
Volkswagen recently announced it would have 18,000 fast chargers in Europe by 2025 in partnership with other companies. 
 
BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr] 
 
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