AeroVironment, Inc. has unveiled TurboCord™ – a compact, UL-listed, dual mode 240-volt/16-amperage and 120-volt portable charging cordset (MSRP $649) that sets a new standard for EV charging. TurboCord is also available in a 240-volt only version (MSRP $599). TurboCord is packed with features that EV owners care most about and expect from AeroVironment. It requires no charger installation – you just plug it in – potentially saving consumers thousands of dollars. AeroVironment’s engineers designed TurboCord with key safety features, such as waterproofing for indoor and outdoor charging, all-environment operation and built-in thermal sensors for protection against faulty wiring or inadequate power. And it puts the power of charging into the hands of the EV owner because they can take it with them and charge more rapidly away from home.
"TurboCord is very compact, light, powerful and delivers unmatched charging versatility. It will empower drivers to make the transition easily from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles because it simplifies the charging process and can reduce costs significantly," said Wahid Nawabi, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment's Efficient Energy Systems business segment.
TurboCord weighs less than five pounds and plugs directly into the electrical outlet. It has an easy-to-see LED indicator and no buttons. Its miniaturized electronics and safety features are housed in a compact package that also incorporates the plug. Safety is built into every TurboCord, which is UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed and incorporates patent-pending technology that monitors the internal temperature of the unit as well as the wall outlet connection, to ensure safe and reliable charging. It is outdoor-rated, watertight with the highest waterproof NEMA 6P rating and durability tested.
Nawabi said another feature EV owners will especially like is that AeroVironment has eliminated the "pigtail" that comes with other cordsets. On one end of the cord there is a small and rugged module that contains all of the miniaturized electronics, which plugs directly into the wall outlet. On the other end of the cord is the coupler that plugs into the car. With TurboCord, an EV driver does not have to contend with the clunky and heavy box on the cord between the vehicle and the wall socket that is found on other cordsets, which can pose safety hazards.
According to Nawabi, TurboCord is a winner for everyone the EV owner, host businesses and car dealers. "TurboCord will deliver that extra convenience many people are looking for before deciding to drive home from a dealer in an EV, especially when automakers include it in the trunks of new cars," he said. "A salesperson can open the trunk on the lot and tell the prospective buyer they can go home and start charging that same night if they have a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet at their home. A similar outlet at their workplace can allow them to drive their EV even farther."
Nawabi said he expects business owners and retail outlets will quickly discover how easy and cost-effective it is to install 240-volt outlets at their locations so their employees and customers can take advantage of TurboCord.
Using TurboCord, drivers can charge a Nissan LEAF or Fiat 500e in less than six hours. A Ford C-Max Energi plug-in and other plug-in hybrid vehicles can charge in less than three hours. AeroVironment anticipates that TurboCord will be especially appealing to plug-in hybrid owners. "Research shows that plug-in hybrid owners are charging wherever they can to squeeze out more electric miles to avoid using gasoline. TurboCord's portability and power are perfect for these drivers because they now have the option to charge faster with our dual-voltage cordset," said Nawabi.
TurboCord will save EV owners money. If owners already have a NEMA 6-20R 240-volt outlet near their desired charging location, then it's as easy as plugging in and charging; no installation required. If they do not have a NEMA 6-20R outlet, an electrician can install one for as little as $250.