Charging Stations on the rise, large players like jumping in, organizing

Discussion in 'In the News' started by paulbates, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. paulbates

    paulbates Well-Known Member

    Charging Stations on the rise, large players jumping in, organizing

    [​IMG] Experts forecast approximately 974,000 charging points will be installed in the US by 2015

    [fimg=LEFT][/fimg]Paul Bates - CleanMPG - Feb 5th, 2011

    Shown is a McDonald's in WV that features EV charging

    Now that electric cars are rolling out of showrooms across the country, many are wondering- where will drivers fill up? As sales of cars like the Leaf, Volt and Smart Car continue to grow, experts forecast approximately 974,000 charging points will be installed in the US by 2015.

    At this year's 2011 Distributech conference in San Diego, Siemens will demonstrate their new line of electric vehicle charging stations. The line includes residential stations that can be mounted to a garage wall, as well as commercial stations with the ability to charge two vehicles at one time.

    The high-tech stations will offer 24/7 user assistance and automatic billing. In addition, metering capabilities and open architecture will allow them to be easily integrated into the smart grid. Drivers will also be able to use a new Smartphone app for EV trip mapping, to locate stations and monitor charge levels with the press of a button.

    OEMs rally around standards in The EV3 Coalition

    Ford, Mazda, Mercedes, Honda, Chrysler, Volkswagen are all member of EV3 to get ahead of the EV beast that is being created. Yes, a lot of charging stations need to be deployed, by coordination and determining how to do execute it are critical. They are centerted round these factors and features of charging systems:
    • Safety - Any connector system must be safe. Both inductive and conductive connector systems are. This refers not just to the plug, but to the total system with its communication logic.
    • Open Architecture - To avoid unnecessary barriers inhibiting wide use, the interface (the connector) between grid and car must be standardized and available to all. This requires "open architecture" - any group can supply and use the apparatus.
    • Fast Charging - It should easily support fast charge. Fast charge becomes convenient and a very cost effective "opportunity charging" (for buses and truck fleets that return routinely to a designated spot or service area).
    • Total Systems Economy - As overall charging convenience improves, fast or slow, lesser energy storage may prove acceptable in some market niches – meaning cheaper or smaller battery packs
    • Versatility - There are many options for the associated software/logic of charging systems. Systems can be made compatible - such as Level 2 charging with a Level 3 charger.
    In the long run, on-board charging with dual use of some of the vehicle's existing power electronics system seems especially attractive. However, if many vehicles are to feed regularly from the same electric "spigot", an off-board charging device may be the best compromise. All of these things will help us drive in to pervasive EV capabilities and use.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  2. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    Level 2 charging on a level 3 charger is a really really bad idea. Thankfully at least for the moment it isn't really a option. Level 3 hardware is different, much more costly and will likely stay that way. Level 2 charge access co-located with a level 3 is a much better use of resources.
  3. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    L2 charging using an L3 charger is not a bad idea, no need to fast charge the battery if its going to spend all night at your garage.

    L3 charging is potentially less costly since the car does not have any onboard charging equipment all all, everything is done by the external charger. Easy way to save $2000 out of the cost of every car.. and some weight also... but that is unlikely because everyone has a 110v socket so the need for a charger in every car will remain with us for a while.. at least until L3 is widespread or batteries get so large that most people recharge them every couple of weeks.

    How long before every parking space in America is mandated to have a smart 110V socket?.. one that is safe and can handle billing.
  4. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    Will try to clarify why level 3 and level 2 don't mix.

    Level 3 isn't defined as yet so we must deal with what it really is now and likely will remain. DC direct.

    Most people don't understand the difference between the output of the presently available level 3 charger verses a level 2. Very few people will ever have a level 3 unit like presently available at home in their garage. Level 3 is still a undefined standard so I can only talk about what it is now and what it is is not. Right now it is something that can not charge your car overnight. In fact it can't charge your car to 100% if you leave it plugged in to it forever.

    The level 3 "chargers" available now to the public, which is probably still less than a dozen, are strictly high voltage DC output. They convert very high voltage AC current to high voltage DC and to over simplify, dump it directly into the battery pack. This unregulated current level is way to high for a complete charge so it is stopped at around 80% or less by a onboard regulator to prevent damage to the vehicle pack. Even so, there is estimated to be somewhere between a 10-15% loss of long term battery life from frequent use of this type of charging.

    Level 2 charge stations are just super fancy ac outlets. Get rid of the control box and it is nothing more than a medium current ac outlet, same as you might have already for use by a clothes drier, electric oven, air conditioner, welder or available for your RV at your local KOA. They provide 240V ac power at various medium current levels to a charger in the car which converts it to dc and regulates the current to charge the battery pack to 100% capacity. The vehicle charger must adjust for temperature and cell differences in order to safely do this. You can install one of these in the garage at home if you have enough available capability in your electricial service box. You can not install a level 3 charger in most homes as level 3 units tend to use voltages above 400V.

    Yes, they are now charging early adapters a lot of money for a fancy looking unit that isn't much more than a 14-50 outlet with a GFCI in it. With the right J1772 adapters you can today charge a vehicle like the Leaf off any 240V outlet in the USA. IMO the cost of these home charging stations will drop like a rock as competition and a market developes. It has already dropped significantly from a few years ago. The cost of a presently available level 3 charger will remain extremely high in comparison as the equipment is of a much more expensive nature and the necessity for that very high voltage, high current ac power remains a serious restraint to wide spread installation. At home, should you spend the money for a level 3 unit you will still be using your level 2 or 1 charger to fully charge your vehicle after you finish the 20-30 minute quick charge to 80%.

    Please read the following. The writer says it very well and there are a few pictures and more information. Locally we have the unit on the left.

    The "charger" on the pole system was tried with the induction chargers on the last go around. The EV1 and Rav4 EV both used this system and it was pretty much deemed a failure from both the owner and manufacturers perspective. I don't know a single RAV4EV owner who would vote for the charger on the pole system. Because every battery chemistry and design has a different charging requirement that is specific to it, the ability of the charger on the pole to adjust to meet each vehicle becomes exceedingly difficult. So you by necessity must end up with a costly unit in your vehicle that must contain equipment to control the charger on the pole that is as complicated as just controlling a onboard charger. And you stilll don't have a charger to use at a "remote" location where they might have power. Anyhow the idea was tried, tested, failed and as for now totally abandoned. These "orphan" pole chargers are likely to remain in our area as there are many Rav EV's around here. Converting them to J1772 would leave the RAV4 without any ability to charge. But leaving them means a EV unit and space that is useless to the new J1772 standard vehicles.

    BTW it is unlawful to sell electricity in CA unless you are permitted to do so by the public utility commission (likely the case in most states). So charge stations that have a billing capability do not charge for power, they charge for "equipment rental". Sort of like a campground hook up. A small, but under present law big difference. This is why the cost per kwh is outrageous at such units. All public charging stations here are free, including the high output DC, (level 3) unit down the street.

    Long distance EV driving is still an slow charge time restained adventure and it is level 3 charging that could change this a little. Hopefully it is never before a 110V mandate hits every parking spot as this is totally unneccesary and would be rediculously costly.:flag:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    EVuser you are correct that presently no L3 charger works as I present it.. but they are not unregulated DC sources.. the external charger controls how many amps it sends to the car, and the car's BMS takes care of charge termination, monitoring and cell balancing. The car can easily tell the charger to only send in 3.3kw as a current and voltage controlled DC power supply.. its a fairly trivial design. You cant charge at the C2 rate that the LEAF's L3 charger does all the way to 100% of charge, its a chemistry limitation of the cells. A123 LIFEPO4 chemistries are less limited in this regard, and if properly designed can be charged to 100% in 15 minutes or less. BTW, I do think charging lithium batteries at more than C1 (faster than 1 hour) is abuse and should be done sparingly.. C1 rate at up to 90% and then stop, cells should not heat up at all... anything higher than 90% should be done sloowly if ever.

    The Leaf forums are full of complaints about the 3.3kw charger that the car uses.. but with the right L3 external charger you could dial-in exactly the charge rate you want. I would like a home based L3 charger that would use 240VAC and 40Amps, 9600watts.. about what my water heater uses.

    A home based charger that uses the L3 port is an excellent business opportunity.. we should see a few on the market.
  6. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I am thinking of a weather resistant 110VAC socket with built-in wifi connectivity and a GFI.. add a strong outdoor enclosure and you have your cheap socket for every parking spot. Handy for keeping your ICE block warm also. No LEDs or LCD displays at all, just keep it a simple 110VAC socket.

    Now if you want expensive, wire every parking lot for wireless recharging :eek:
  7. paulbates

    paulbates Well-Known Member

    Its like buying coke from a machine. It will be more expensive than from home. It will be more than people would like to pay, but still worth it.

    The standards will come and hopefully just a few of them. Example, I drive anywhere in the US and Canada and need to fill up, I know what size filler nozzle and fuel type I put in my car. I don't have to worry that there are different pumps or gas that I can't use.

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