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Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

CO2 emissions and their negative impact on the environment can be significantly reduced by the electrification of transport. The scores of charging stations are required to motivate people to buy electric vehicles in order to electrify the transport sector. In this column, I am eagerly looking forward to being able to get you more familiar with the important roles of charging stations and the different aspects of them in smart mobility.

Energy is accounted as the key to electro-mobility. Absolutely, the insufficient charging infrastructure greatly blocks the cultivation of the electric vehicle(EV) industry. Therefore, you can guess now how important the roles of Charging Stations are in the development of EVs all around the world. The first question that you might have is that: “How Does Electric Vehicle (EV) Public Charging Work?” The answer is that the fast charging stations use direct current (DC) chargers. The fastest charging speeds available today are provided by DC fast chargers. For instance, Electrify America DC fast chargers are the fastest on the market today, and can charge compatible EVs at 350kW. For cars not capable of accepting 350kW, the 350kW chargers will give you the fastest charge your EV can accept. Many new EVs coming to market will be able to accept 100kW or higher charging power. At selected sites, you can recharge your EV with electricity from solar generation. At others, power from the grid may combine with on-site storage and solar panels to help deliver DC fast charging. Using solar energy assists in achieving the goal of lowering the energy-related emissions overall. (1).

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AC charging is important, too. Alternating current (AC) chargers, referred to as Level 2 (L2) and Level 1 (L1) chargers, are typically found in home and workplace settings, as well as in many public locations. These chargers will charge an EV at speeds from 3.3kW to 19kW, and are usually plugged in overnight at home, or during the day at a workplace charger. L2 chargers typically feature a non-proprietary J1772™ connector that allows nearly universal connection between the chargers and electric vehicles using the AC charging port. (1) For charging at home or work, some electric vehicles have converters on board that can plug into a standard electrical outlet or a high-capacity appliance outlet. Others either require or can use a charging station that provides electrical conversion, monitoring, or safety functionality. These stations are also needed when traveling, and many support faster charging at higher voltages and currents than are available from residential EVSEs. On the other side, public charging stations are typically on-street facilities provided by electric utility companies or located at retail shopping centers, restaurants and parking places. They can be operated by various private companies. (1)

Charging stations are typically connected to the grid, which in most jurisdictions relies on fossil-fuel power stations. However, renewable energy may be used to reduce the use of grid energy. Nidec Industrial Solutions has a system that can be powered by either the grid or renewable energy sources like PV. In 2009, Solar City marketed its solar energy systems for charging installations. The company announced a single demonstration station in partnership with Rabobank on Highway 101 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The E-Move Charging Station is equipped with eight monocrystalline solar panels, which can supply 1.76 kW of solar power. In 2012, Urban Green Energy introduced the world's first wind-powered electric vehicle charging station, the Sanya SkyPump. The design features a 4 kW vertical-axis wind turbine paired with a GE WattStation. (2)

Image Credit: Tom Moloughney

Another vital matter that have to be taken into consideration is that how we can choose Electric vehicles chargers and operate EVs at the lowest Cost. The charging infrastructure must be appropriate for the fleet. Charging with electricity is less expensive than filling up with gas or diesel. To make the most of this advantage, you should be aware of the important cost factors and variables involved in supplying your fleet with electricity. (3) The following are important considerations in choosing the EV charging:

  • Set-Up Costs: There is no standard answer as to how much the charging infrastructure costs, because the installation cost actually depends on the specific conditions in your area and the available subsidies. As the loading capacity increases, investment, installation, and operating costs tend to increase. (3)

  • Future-Proof: Even if you only want to electrify part of your fleet at first, you have to make sure that your charging infrastructure can grow with your fleet. Right from the start, lines, cables, and charging management must be designed in such a way that the new charging stations can be installed at a later point in time with little effort. Also, it is crucial to avoid solutions that tie you to one vehicle or charging infrastructure manufacturer. When it comes to charging management solutions, pay special attention to compliance with open communication standards. (3)

In designing electric vehicle charging infrastructures some steps like the analysis of routes and schedules, the analysis of depot infrastructures (grid connection and energy requirement), optimization of charging processes with analysis software, and the creation of a customer-specific energy and infrastructure concept should be taken by the decision-makers. Moreover, in the sector of charger implementation, issues like the design and planning of site-specific charging solutions, procuring the relevant components, e.g. charging stations, and the assembly and installation by qualified specialist partners should be considered before taking other measurements. (3)

Now, I think it is obvious for you why the charging stations have crucial roles in the continues of smart mobility’s life in the future. Therefore, it is clear that the long-term planning for the development and extension of charging stations ensures the accomplishment of other matters that are directly or indirectly affected by the charging stations’ function.



(2) SolarCity Installs Electric Car Chargers Along Cal Highway - Report - 22 September 2009.


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