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Winter Car Test 2021 in Lapland – Mobile “Mr. T” boasts 40 kW power output for fast-charging test cars

Tekniikan Maailma is one of the leading automobile magazines in Finland. This winter, the magazine—also known as just TM Magazine—will carry out a TM Winter Car 2021 comparison featuring eight charging hybrids and six all-electric cars. The test cars need to be charged in harsh winter weather numerous times during the comparison. In addition to their usual NRGkick travel chargers, the test team got an opportunity to bring a Kempower mobile fast-charging unit to Lapland.

Tekniikan Maailma magazine’s Winter Car Test 2021 will be carried out in Lapland, Finland. Picture by Antti Hentinen / Tekniikan Maailma magazine.

Although a Finnish company, Kempower is probably a new brand to Finnish readers of Tekniikan Maailma magazine. A major share of Kempower’s production is exported, so they do not yet have many installations in Finland. However, the parent company, Kemppi—a manufacturer of welding equipment—is familiar to many people; in fact, Kemppi welding machines are known all over the world.

In 2012, Kemppi began designing fast-charging stations for heavy equipment and other electric vehicles. In 2017, Kempower was founded and operations began in 2018. Since then, things have happened quickly. In addition to a mobile fast-charging unit for electric vehicles, the company has launched modular power units with satellite charging poles and intelligent cloud services to fulfill the needs of infrastructure projects, such as bus depots, and other areas with high charging needs.

But let’s go back to the device that traveled with the TM test team to Lapland. Officially, its name is “T800 P40” or the Kempower T-Series. The test team soon nicknamed it “Mr. T.” The unit weighs about 125 kg (275 lb), and has a low center of gravity, making it easy to move it about on its support wheels. Mr. T has a five-meter “hose”; i.e., a power cord with a CCS plug at the end. A CHAdeMO plug is also available as an accessory, and a Type 2 plug can be added to the side of the device.

The device powers up when connected to a 63-amp power outlet. With this outlet, Mr. T will generate 40 kW, and with a 32-amp outlet will generate 20 kW. If permanently connected to the electricity grid, Mr. T will be able to push out as much as 50 kW.

The test team tried the device in the magazine’s car laboratory before leaving for Lapland and found it very easy to use. The charging cable is plugged into the car and charging starts automatically—no need to struggle with dysfunctional or occasionally functional payment tags or phone apps. Fast-charging with Mr. T was a bit like turning on a water faucet: extremely easy to use.

Take the charging status with you on your mobile

In addition to the charging time, Mr. T’s touchscreen provides lots of useful information, but the best thing is that there is a QR code that enables you to take the charging info with you. You scan the code with your smartphone and the information on Mr. T’s touchscreen is duplicated on your phone’s screen in real time! You can go for coffee and while you are sitting in the café, check how the charging is proceeding and whether the battery is full yet.

Touchscreen provides lots of useful information. Picture by Antti Hentinen / Tekniikan Maailma magazine.

When the Tekniikan Maailma test team asked Kempower to lend a charging station to the Winter Car 2021 test, they were a bit skeptical. In Finland, a basic version of the T-series costs around 18,000 euros, and with all the accessories the price climbs to 21,000 euros. But Kempower R&D was open to new challenges and experiences: they would gain valuable user experience in Lapland’s icy conditions, and at the same time, they would get charging data and experience on new models of electric cars.

The TM test team is currently carrying out the tests in Finnish Lapland, in Saariselkä. One thing that will be interesting is to see how the charging station touchscreen reacts to frost and snow, and how the charging hybrids and all-electric cars survive the cold. The latest weather forecast is promising temperatures below -30°C (-22°F) for Lapland. The results of the Tekniikan Maailma Winter Car 2021 test will be published later this year.

This news item is based on the original Tekniikan Maailma article in Finnish:

Kempower designs and manufactures DC fast charging solutions for electric vehicles. We’re a team of electric vehicle enthusiasts with a deep understanding of the charging market and a hands-on mentality. Our product development and production are based in Finland, with a majority of our materials and components sourced locally. We focus on all areas of transportation, from personal cars and commercial vehicles to mining equipment, boats and motorsports. With Kemppi Group’s 70 years’ experience in perfecting DC power supplies, we set the bar high in engineering and user-experience design. Kempower is listed in the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Finland.