Electric vehicles can offer a lot more than transportation, having the ability to function as portable batteries for houses or worksites. However, it seems General Motors has come to the conclusion that two can be better than one, with a recent patent filing discovered by Green Car Reports that plays with the idea of having not one but two charging ports built into the vehicle. And while we probably won’t see it on the Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition or GMC Hummer EV, we could see it in future electric trucks and utility vehicles.
GM Dual Charge Port Patent Could Allow For Faster Recharge
The idea uses GM’s double-layer pack used in the GMC Hummer EV and the soon to arrive Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. The proposed idea relies on a series of controllers and switches that work in tandem with the GM pack’s ability to operate as two different packs in series or parallel, permitting the top and bottom battery packs to temporarily be wired sequentially—allowing 800-volt charging to take advantage of faster 350-kW DC fast-charging hardware.
The patent filing also notes that a third configuration could enable the controller to isolate the two packs so that they can charge one at a time rather than simultaneously. GM also notes that its controller would allow a second CCS charge port to be used to power an accessory load at 400V while charging the entire battery system at 800V. This would be perfect if the truck is plugged in and you have another item that might need to be charged, say equipment that needs to keep running, or another EV in need of a charge.
General Motors notes that an upgrade to its dual-port setup with the addition of another switch adjacent in the circuit to the second charge port could enable both ports to be 800V-compatible. What could make this proposed layout extremely useful is having an available port on either side of the vehicle, which would make pulling into a charging station substantially more convenient. However, an illustration submitted with the patent shows the proposed ports side by side, which is a layout that likely makes more sense in a work environment or fleet charging bay than for personal trucks.