North American Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) Charging Market and Supply Chain Report: Technology Hardware Gaps

Technology Hardware Gap Statement Analysis

Thirty-four (34) Technology Hardware gap statements were identified, which represent 14% of the total number of gap statements. Battery technology costs and bi-directional (V2G) charging technologies represent the most frequently occurring sub-gap areas in this category, though all are of interest to future hardware-focused R&D developments.  The following are highlighted as they represent clear statements about relevant gaps, bottlenecks or constraints.

  • Battery Gap Statements
    • “Batteries are extremely costly, so premature reductions in capacity with repeated cycling or deep discharges associated with V2B and V2G could lead to a bad consumer experience with automakers.”
    • “The objective is to match ICE vehicles in terms of the time it takes to charge.  This means we are looking to achieve a 7-minute charge time.  This means larger capacity batteries are needed and along with the larger capacity, more through-put is needed.  For the last 4-5 years, the focus has been on a 50kW standard, but this is already increasing as Electrify America is installing charging stations with a 50-350kW charging capacity.”
    • “EV batteries aren’t designed to receive a DC fast charge on a regular basis — the elevated temperatures will degrade a battery’s capacity if repeated too often. Supercharging is perfectly safe if it’s done on an occasional basis as intended, but supercharging an EV too frequently may eventually reduce range.”

  • V2G Focus
    • “The challenge now will be to get smart chargers (networked chargers) to operate as dependably as the “dumb” chargers (stand-alone, not networked) in operation.”
    • “Investment is needed in the area of vehicle integration, e.g., how do vehicles interact with charging stations independent of external influences.  A German automotive OEM recently said they want in-vehicle charge capability within the next year.  However, there are many issues that remain to be worked out.”
  • Lower Costs/Commoditization
    • “Commoditizing charging station equipment [could] result in cost savings of up to 50%. The VTO may have a role here in funding the development of cost-efficient solutions to achieve savings at the systems level. For example, there is not much room for reducing costs in terms of wiring, conduit, labor, etc. incurred in the course of providing electricity to a charging station, but there is significant cost-reduction potential in determining what charging equipment is used.”
  • DC Charger, Lower Costs
    • “Another area is the need for further development of a DC charger so automotive OEMs do not need to put an AC-DC converter in the vehicle.  Ideally, there would be a low-wattage DC network available for charging. ABB has taken a step in this direction with the development of the wall box charger which offers a faster charge than a Level 2 charger, but slower than a DC fast charger.”
    • “Need for a less expensive, more effective on-board charger that will allow EVs to accept faster chargers.  Currently, the limiting factor is not the lack of the high-power chargers, but vehicles that can accept high-power charging.  The main issue here is the need for chargers that can deal with the extra heat generated in a high-power charge.”
  • Connectors Need Improvement
    • “Lifetime of the connectors (quantity of charges) quite low — A connector of a terminal used 10 times a day lasts only between 2 and 3 years.”
  • MD/HD Retrofits:
    • “Figure out how to offer fast and cheap retrofits of existing transit buses and school buses to electric drive. Right now this is a very small, very boutique, very slow sector and it would help a lot of fleet managers if they had a way to go electric more quickly and at a lower cost, without having to buy whole new buses.”
  • Mobile chargers:
    • “Traditional charging stations cost approximately $100,000 to install a Level 2 charger whereas the re-location of our stationary unit costs about $30,000-$40,000.  In addition, it only takes about 1 month to complete the installation of our stationary DC Fast Charger compared with the 6-month time frame for installing permanent chargers.”

North American (NA) Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) Supplier Equipment Market and Supply Chain Gap Report (2019)

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

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