ZOOZ, Afcon pilot brings Ultra-Fast electric vehicle charging to Petah Tikva

A Dor Alon pilot could be a big step toward the wider adoption of electric vehicles in Israel

 ZOOZ's flywheel energy storage system (photo credit: Shai Cohen)
ZOOZ's flywheel energy storage system
(photo credit: Shai Cohen)

On Sunday, EV charging solution company ZOOZ (formerly Chakratech) and Afcon Electric Transportation, with the support of the Energy Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority, launched a pilot for the deployment of “ultra-fast” electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in places where the electricity infrastructure is unable to provide the typically required high-power capacity.

“We are excited to be the first to integrate energy storage technology as part of the extensive charging network we are establishing for electric vehicles and are proud to test a groundbreaking blue and white solution in the field.”

Tal De Paz, Dor Alons electric charging department manager

Zooz and Afcon will establish the ultra-fast charging station and the necessary charging infrastructure at a Dor Alon gas station in Segula, Petah Tikva. The installation will be centered around Zooz’s proprietary Power Booster product which uses magnetic flywheels and a lot of intelligent design to dynamically manage infrastructure strain. In this way, Zooz’s system bypasses the need for greater electrical infrastructure improvement by granting localized boosts in locations where necessary.

“We are excited to be the first to integrate energy storage technology as part of the extensive charging network we are establishing for electric vehicles and are proud to test a groundbreaking blue and white solution in the field.”

Charging infrastructure in Israel

If the pilot is successful, it will be a significant step toward speeding up the deployment of ultra-fast charging stations along Israel’s roads, and lay the foundation for a nationwide EV charging infrastructure that is slated to become increasingly relevant as electric vehicles grow in popularity.

“In Israel, as of today, there are [only] a few dozen ultra-fast charging stations, but the expected increase in the number of electric vehicles in the next few years will require many hundreds of such stations,” said Zooz CEO Boaz Weiser.

 ZOOZ's purple charging unit installed at the Dor Alon station in Segula (credit: ZOOZ public relations) ZOOZ's purple charging unit installed at the Dor Alon station in Segula (credit: ZOOZ public relations)

“The success of the pilot will lead to a revolution in the field of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as it will prove that it is possible to significantly accelerate the deployment of ultra-fast charging stations throughout the length and breadth of Israel, thereby strengthening and accelerating the revolution of switching to an electric vehicle.”

Surging electric vehicle sales

Indeed, EVs are surging in sales: according to a report from Globes, between January and May of 2022, electric vehicles represented 5.2% of new car sales, a rise of 1.2% over 2021, projected to reach as high as 8% by the end of the year.

According to car salesman Zvika Dorn, CEO of Zvicars, even the second-hand market for electric cars is tentatively gaining traction, though he believes that they’re not the wisest investment at this stage. “A lot of people inquire about them. I usually put them off because I think more infrastructure needs to be put into place,” he said. In theory, efforts like Zooz and Afcon’s collaboration could quell those concerns, given enough time.