Tritium opens state-of-the-art R&D headquarters

Tritium's new Brisbane headquarters

Tritium, a world leader in electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging technology, has opened its state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) centre, the largest of its kind in the world and the global centre for Tritium’s facilities in Europe and North America.

The Tritium E-Mobility Innovation Centre in Brisbane, Australia (images below), is part of a major expansion of Tritium’s headquarters. The shift to the new facilities will help increase production rates and allow for much faster time-to-market, while further enabling the rapid development of technologies which will continue to shape the EV roadmap worldwide.

Tritium chief technology officer and co-founder James Kennedy said the recent expansion of the company’s engineering and research capabilities made the construction of the Innovation Centre a necessity.

Tritium CTO James Kennedy

“By the end of 2018, we were adding an engineer to the team every week, on average,” Mr Kennedy said.

“In engineering circles, this growth rate is unheard of. But as Tritium continues to expand, this rate of growth is absolutely necessary to cater to demand for DC fast charging and high-power charging.”

The new headquarters is home to expanded R&D and engineering, support, sales and marketing teams. Tritium now employs more than 300 people globally, with the R&D and engineering teams the same size as their executive, sales and marketing teams combined, ensuring innovation remains at the forefront of the company’s ethos.

The new facility and laboratory will allow for the development of new and disruptive technologies which will continue to set the pace of innovation in the EV charging infrastructure sector.

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In 2014, the company unveiled the Veefil-RT 50kW DC Fast Charger, the most advanced charger in its class and one which changed the design paradigm for charging infrastructure across the globe – and which has now been installed in 29 countries and counting.

In the past 12 months, the company unveiled the most powerful DC charger in the world, its flagship Veefil-PK 350kW DC High Power Charger. The chargers are being rolled out across Europe as part of the IONITY network and can add 350 kilometres or 220 miles of range to an EV in just 10 minutes.

The chargers are known to be the most powerful in the world, but Tritium has already begun working on technology that will push the Veefil-PK and EV charging even further ahead.

Thanks to a grant of a portion of the US$3.2 million awarded to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) by the Department of Energy in the United States, Tritium will use the R&D facility to develop an extreme fast charging system that can connect directly to the grid. EPRI allocated about US$400,000 for Tritium to develop a custom version of its Veefil-PK high-powered charging head, along with providing input for system design and testing.

“This is one of several research projects we have on the agenda,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We’re also working on technology which will enable our concept of ‘Energy Freedom’ to become a reality in the very near future. By pushing the boundaries of innovation in infrastructure, we’ll continue to re-define the possibilities for E-Mobility and pave the road ahead for the EV sector.”

The company also announced the opening of its Tritium E-Mobility Innovation Centre at its facilities in Amsterdam.

Tritium, Amsterdam
Inside the Tritium E-Mobility Innovation Centre, Amsterdam

The Centre is located in the heart of Europe’s automotive industry and allows manufacturers to test vehicles for DC charger interoperability, particularly with Tritium’s Veefil-RT 50kW DC Fast Chargers and Veefil-PK 350kW DC High Power Chargers, at no cost to the manufacturer.

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“The European Centre was developed with the needs of the European Automotive industry in mind and it’s now being used by OEMs on a daily basis,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Previously, testing had to be carried out at various automotive festivals, or we would have to deliver temporary chargers across borders, in some cases to manufacturers, and seek their return at a later date. The process was cumbersome and hindered innovation.

“With the new Innovation Centre, automotive OEMs now have a base in Europe at which they can work alongside Tritium engineers to solve issues and develop and test all aspects of battery and charger interoperability, including communications and other technical advances inherent in the next wave of EVs.”

Since the opening of the Centre in February, Tritium has tested its chargers for compatibility with five automotive brands, as well as electric truck and bus manufacturers. This will effectively shorten the development and time-to-market for various new electric vehicle models.

“This allows us to test advances in charging technology, such as vehicle-to-charger communications, vehicle-to-grid or bi-directional charging, support services and more,” Mr Kennedy said.

“The Centre is uniquely placed in the heart of European automotive innovation to ensure we can work with the industry to accelerate the development of new EVs and the next wave of charging infrastructure needed to power them.”