GM patents dual charging port, likely for Ultium trucks and SUVs
Electric vehicles can offer much more than transportation, having the ability to function as portable batteries for homes or job sites. However, it seems that General Motors has come to the conclusion that two is better than one, with a recent patent filing uncovered by Green Car Reports which plays with the idea of having not one but two charging ports integrated into the vehicle. And while we probably won’t see it on the Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition or the GMC Hummer EV, we might see it in future electric trucks and utility vehicles.
GM’s dual charging port patent could allow for faster charging
The idea uses GM’s dual-layer pack used in the GMC Hummer EV and the soon-to-be-coming Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. The proposed idea relies on a series of controllers and switches that work in tandem with the ability of the GM pack to operate as two different packs in series or in parallel, allowing the upper and lower battery packs to be temporarily wired sequentially, allowing 800 volt charging to take advantage of the faster 350 kW DC fast charging hardware.
The patent filing also notes that a third configuration could allow the controller to isolate the two packs so 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 something else that might need to be charged, such as equipment that needs to keep running, or another electric vehicle that needs charging.
General Motors notes that an upgrade to its dual-port configuration with the addition of another switch adjacent in circuit to the second charging port could allow both ports to be 800V compatible. What could make this proposed layout extremely useful is having a port available on either side of the vehicle, which would make access to a charging station much more convenient. However, an illustration submitted with the patent shows the proposed ports side-by-side, which is a layout that probably makes more sense in a work environment or fleet loading bay than it does for personal trucks.