Author Archives: sppage2019

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

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

Business Model Gap Statement Analysis

Synthesis identified 59 Business Model gap or issue statements, which represent 24% of the total number of gap statements, and utility-related issues and EVSE supplier-level issues are the most significant sub-gap areas in this category. 

A few selected examples of utility-related gap statements include:

  • Utilities need to make the grid edge autonomous and interactive – But this capital investment for grid-edge improvements is based on distributed energy resources (DER) assets that Utilities do not own.
    • “Utilities considering how to manage two-way power flow and variable distributed energy resources (DER) while maintaining the reliability, efficiency and security of their operations.  Roughly one of every five respondents say their utility plans to spend more than $200 million into modernization over the next three years. An additional 26 percent report they’ll devote $100 million to $200 million to that cause.  The key drivers of the investments that utilities are making in distribution system modernization stem, perhaps ironically, from assets that utilities often don’t own, namely DER such as rooftop solar arrays, electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems.”
  • Utilities say that market conditions do not currently justify an emphasis on the away-from home charging market.
    • “Our view is that although we are willing to fund the placement of chargers away from the home for the convenience of our EV customers, market conditions do not currently justify an emphasis on the away-from home charging market.  For example, ChargePoint continues to build a fee-based charging infrastructure, but they have to wait for the market to develop to the point where they will even start to recoup their investment and actually turn a profit.  In the meantime, they are relying on subsidies.  This is not a sustainable approach and we have to be careful regarding how many resources we devote to developing a charging infrastructure that the market isn’t ready to support. Residential-based charging should be the first focus, high-power, fast-charging should be the 2nd priority.”

  •  EVSE OEM interactions with utilities are sometimes difficult.
    • “Our engagement with utilities, especially in California, has been a bit difficult.  For example, Southern California Edison (SCE) has its own “Charge Ready” program which provides free/reduced charging equipment and charging services for EVs, including buses.  (https://www.sce.com/business/electric-cars/Charge-Ready).  Programs such as this make it difficult for us to provide a competitive service.  For example, to offset the costs of its Charge Ready program, SCE has removed demand fees.  However, we expect that over the course of time the demand fees will be reinstated which will negate the cost benefits for fleet owners in the long term, but hurts companies such as ours in the near term by leading fleet owners to opt for the SCE program rather than ours.”

  •  Utility Demand Charges appear to be a barrier to EVSE market growth.
    • “For a market that is just getting started, the demand charges are a barrier,” Nelder says. If the stations had utilization rates of 80 percent, they might be able to absorb the demand charges, but at 10 percent utilization, they become unprofitable, he said. Utilities put demand charges on large industrial and commercial users who place high demands upon the grid and are based on the customer’s peak use of electricity. In California, utilities have put demand charges on each of EVgo’s stations.  The result is that in some cases, these charges were responsible for more than 90 percent of a charging station’s electricity costs—as high as a $1.96 a kilowatt-hour at some stations during the summer months.  “Demand charges are especially challenging to new charging infrastructure that has not yet reached a sustainable utilization rate,” the study says. “This issue will be compounded by the deployment of next-generation fast-charging stations.”

Examples of EVSE-supplier related gap statements include:

  • Turnkey Mobile Energy Storage vs. Installing Permanent Chargers.
    • “The battery in FreeWire’s charging unit is constantly being charged which negates the necessity of the infrastructure required by permanently installed chargers and results in a reduction in the overall costs, including the purchase of land, electric infrastructure, etc.  Currently, our units are mainly used in workplace charging and applications such as food trucks where our product proves to be more cost-effective than food trucks’ traditional use of diesel generators and as on-demand emergency charging.  Each unit has 2 connectors and average the charging requirements of 6-8 vehicles/day.”
    • “Quiet, non-polluting power for facilities or remote sites, such as food trucks, music events, construction sites, emergency response, and backup power needs. Mobi EV Chargers are ideal for applications that require flexibility and when installing permanent infrastructure is not feasible; they deliver high-performance EV charging capabilities beyond the confines of fixed infrastructure.”

  •  EVSE OEMs Have Reason to Use Proprietary Systems.
    • “If there is a need to create interoperable networks, they will do so.  Competition is Healthy.  Should a company go out of business, often another charging company will take over their business and take the steps necessary to ensure the acquired companies charging equipment is compatible with existing networks.  This was the situation when both Eaton and Schneider left the market – the companies that acquired these firms took on the responsibility to ensure the interoperability of the acquired hardware and software with their own equipment. To the extent that it is in the interest of several companies to work together to improve their collective profitability, then it is in their interest to make their equipment interoperable.  For example, AddEnergie is working with ChargePoint to achieve this.  AddEnergie does advocate roaming interoperability, that is, the ability for an EV to charge in different networks.  In Canada, this has largely been achieved while the U.S. is still working toward this.”

  •  Primary Role of Level 2 Charging vs. High Cost of Fast Charging.
    • “Suncor (through subsidiary Petro Canada) has had Level 2 chargers in operation for over a year and this year we are starting to install prototype Level 3 chargers.  Our equipment supplier, the same supplier used by VW, has been fantastic.  However, as we move forward, we have found that the high cost of electricity at peak times is expensive and means it is highly unlikely that the Level 3 chargers will be profitable.  To address this, we are considering the addition of on-site energy storage units at our fast-charging locations, but this also presents an additional expense and some of our sites have limited space available for energy storage units.”

  •  [MD/HD] Fleet Charging Needs More Development
    • “More funding programs to help fleet owners bridge this financial gap are needed. … For example, if fleet owners want to use Trillium’s EV charging product, PowerUP, the approach that makes the most financial sense over the long term is to build an EV charging capability that will handle projected fleet size.  However, due to the initial expense of this approach where savings will only be realized over time, a more viable near-term solution is to take a scale-up approach where additional charging capability can be added over time as the fleet grows.  However, even with this approach, most of the incentives available to fleet owners to acquired EV capability is spent on pilot buses with little capital remaining for fleet expansion and charging station cost.”

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

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

North American Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) Charging Market and Supply Chain: Final Recommendations and Conclusions

The following recommendations address how VTO or other USG entities may improve the vitality of the EVSE marketplace – according to all of the information analyzed during this research.

In support of the following recommendations, Synthesis identified twenty-one (21) VTO feedback statements, which represent just 8% of the total number of gap statements received.   This data, along with all the other data collected, provides the basis for the following recommendations.

  • Of top interest among sources is the call for assistance from USG entities with setting of EVSE standards in NA. This comes across in many ways, across several gap categories, as outlined above.
  • The second category of most interest to sources – a topic that is directly related to the first – is a call for government support in facilitating coordination among municipals, states and federal agencies in the delivery of EV charging nationwide.  Notably, a call for government assistance in coordination with utilities is not far behind in the fourth spot.
  • A core conclusion is that the main challenge in the NA EVSE market is less about technology and more about the need for targeted, practical design-thinking and design improvements.  Improved design thinking is needed in order to deliver better, faster, cheaper outputs (charged vehicles) in a better, faster, cheaper way (that is, more efficiently, flexibly and cheaply for vehicle or fleet owners).  Easier said than done, but this a core conclusion.
    • Fully 67% of gap statements among the top six gap categories analyzed in the Gap Analysis section of this report are about the general need for improved design thinking.
  • The third VTO feedback item points to the fact that government assistance with funding of equipment or manufacturing is not a high priority at this time in the NA EVSE sector.  This point is supported by all the data that shows that the EVSE marketplace has high vitality, numerous players and is meeting current market needs – but does require improved system design thinking.  
    • Put another way, the need is not first and foremost for manufacturing or technology-specific support, but rather for the design thinking “around” technology that can help market participants to accelerate and implement more efficient and effective EV charging infrastructure systems.
  • Overall findings from the gap analysis show that the top gap category of gap statements are covered by Business Model Issues – reinforcing the call for increased collaboration, standards development and design thinking.   These issues are followed by Technology Hardware and then again, design-related issues such as Standards, Data Gaps, Network Systems, and Technical Coordination.
    • Business Model Issues [24% of total gap statements]
    • Technology Hardware Issues [14%]
    • Standards Issues [13%]
    • Data Gap Issues [13%]
    • Network Systems Engineering Issues [9%]
    • Technical Coordination [8%]
    • VTO Feedback Points [8%]
  • Technical Coordination gaps include concrete recommendations for projects that can deliver rapid-turnaround, technical learning and potentially significant design impacts through VTO sharing of independently developed, expert guided, technical recommendations.  Several examples follow:
    • V2G Infrastructure Pilot Projects and Assessments: “The focus of the pilots needs to be to demonstrate the economic viability of a vehicle-to-grid infrastructure.  In particular, the pilots need to test and ensure that charging transactions can be resolved, e.g., initiated and completed.”
    • Fleet Charging at Scale: “It would be beneficial to have research done on how the infrastructure will handle the charging of thousands of EVs at once.  This type of research would quantify the resources available/needed in relation to a given population of EVs and could help determine the ideal ratio of vehicles-to-grid.  Pilot projects have been done using hundreds of vehicles, but a larger pilot program is needed that would cover thousands of vehicles.”
    • Off-Board Bi-Directional Charging Pilots: “A small-scale V2G pilot project utilizing off-board bidirectional inverter/chargers was completed by the Los Angeles Air Force Base beginning in 2013, but was too small to demonstrate the commercial viability of V2G.  Now, a larger pilot program is needed to encourage broader support and engagement.”
  • More Engagement with Utilities, Especially with Regard to V2G: “It might be helpful for the VTO to initiate a pilot project that would assess the best means for communication between utilities, EVs, chargers and charging networks.  There are a variety of solutions currently available and an assessment needs to be done to determine which solution offers the means to serve the largest percentage of the market.”
  • This research effort identified clear support for the following concrete technology development recommendations for VTO’s consideration.  Though of course these technology specific endeavors are recommended within the context of the call for design thinking as underscored above.
  • Reduce Battery (Energy Storage) Costs:
    • “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.”
  • Improve Battery Cycle Time and Capability:
    • “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.”

  • Focus on V2G Technology Integration:
    • “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.”

  • Reduce Costs: Commoditize Core EVSE Technology:
    • “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.”
  • Deliver Lower Cost, More Effective On-Board Chargers:
    • “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.”

  • Accelerate Mobile Charger Scale and Technology Development:
    • “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.”
  • Last, any technology development that accelerates the deliver of better V2G or V2H connectivity to faster chargers, at lower cost, where EV owners where spend the most of their time charging their vehicles (at home or at work) – is a topic for discussion.  At-home Level 2 units is a key focus among companies in the field even as this page is being written (examples below).  Certainly each of these units will benefit from increased V2G  and V2H capabilities.
    • October 1, 2019 – Electrify America announced Level 2 EV home chargers, available on Amazon for $499.  “The Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger is compatible with all electric vehicles available in the North American market today. It features a charging power of up to 7.6kW – about 6 times faster than the typical Level 1 charger provided to some new EV owners, depending on vehicle make and model.”

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

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

North American Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) Charging Market and Supply Chain: Gap Analysis

This post highlights the gaps identified through in-depth primary source collection in the NA EVSE market place.  The gaps are defined by sources’ specific statements about the constraints or bottlenecks that these sources state that they encounter in their business operations in NA.  Synthesis assessed 251 specific gap statements from primary sources, as well as selected secondary and market research sources for these findings.  The gap statements are analyzed to produce guidance on the most important areas for potential new VTO R&D or other investments. 

All gap data is documented in the Synthesis EVSE Gap Database (August 2019), which is not made public to preserve confidentiality of sources.  The following information provides illustrative, selected examples of gap statements.

Gap Statement Categories

The 251 gap statements are broken down into the following 12 categories for purposes of analysis and characterization.  The following categories are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of priority.

  1. Business Model Issues
  2. Cybersecurity Issues
  3. Data Gap Issues (e.g., Requests for information about EVSE infrastructure developments.)
  4. Grid Infrastructure Issues
  5. Materials Supply Issues
  6. Metrology Issues (e.g., Statements about metering technology improvements that are needed.)
  7. Network Systems Engineering (wire-line and wireless) Issues
  8. Software Issues
  9. Standards Issues
  10. Technical Coordination & Analysis Issues (e.g., Statements about the lack of pilot projects, testing and data management services)
  11. Technology Hardware Issues (e.g., EVSE hardware, including battery, gap statements.)
  12.  VTO Feedback (Direct feedback re: USG funding actions.)

As depicted below, the prioritization of concerns by and among EVSE sources about the factors that limit market growth begins with business model issues, followed by technology hardware, standards and data gap issues.

Priority Gap Areas, by Frequency of Gap Statements

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

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

North American Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) Charging Market and Supply Chain: Introduction

Note: The full report is not yet public, however selected data is available for public release. This report covers work completed by Synthesis Partners, LLC (“Synthesis”) for the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office during fiscal year 2019.

This work assessed the supply chain for the North American (NA) Light Duty Electric Vehicle (LDEV) charging market, including an assessment of what sources state are key gaps and technology developments of interest to the VTO.  This effort included research on companies, technologies, suppliers, supplier relationships, business model issues and sources’ views on technology and related gaps.  VTO approved the work-plan that guided this work in December 2018.  The collection cut-off date was July 31, 2019. 

Synthesis initiated and executed integrated primary and secondary source research across thousands of English-language sources to develop a baseline and analyze quantitative and qualitative data, on:

  • Class 1 (AC lower power), Class 2 (AC higher power), Class 3 (DC Fast (100-200kW), Extreme and Supercharging (200+: 350-400kW) chargers.
  • SAE J1772 (physical connectors); SAE TIR J2954 (wireless charging); and Tesla Standard chargers.
  • Main NA EVSE players and their equipment, revenue, technology, plans or business model types.
  • Key barriers, gaps and trends with regard to issues of interest to sources, for example, power level issues; siting Issues; installation costs; electricity rates; technology bottlenecks and gaps.

This report provides a summary of information, which is the information that can be made publicly available from this work effort.

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

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

Class 3-8 Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: NA Supply Chain Assessment Report: Final Recommendations and Conclusions

This work produced a new baseline of publicly available quantitative and qualitative information regarding the NA supply chain for Class 3-8 HEV and PEVs on the road in NA.  The research also provided a comprehensive view about gaps of concern to participants in the Class 3-8 HEV and PEV NA supply chain. 

Based on this research, several recommendations emerge and are placed below for discussion.

  1. Refine and improve the data presented.  For example, it is understood that Class 2 HEV and PEVs represent a class that is larger than Class 3-8 HEV and PEVs combined, and is therefore a gap in the current research and an important topic for future research and study.

  2. Determine whether the detailed information on Class 3-8 HEV and PEV usage provided here should be updated and refined each year, and further transformed into a user-accessible database.

  3. Extend the current data sets to wider geographic regions, or link it to other data sets of special value, for example in power electronics R&D, battery or motor component supply chain developments, or other fields – to efficiently and effectively produce added value.

  4. Leverage the data sets produced here to analyze topics of public policy significance, which are dependent both upon the Class 3-8 HEV and PEV supply chain conditions and other concrete (technological) aspects in NA mobility competitiveness. For example, further study on questions regarding: a) autonomous mobility in logistics employing Class 3-8 HEV and PEV systems; b) acceleration of Class 3-8 HEV and PEV battery development to make US mobility energy storage markets more competitive, and c) new materials for low-cost light-weighting of Class 3-8 HEV and PEVs specifically.

  5. Leverage the source relationships developed through this work to continue to identify and rapidly develop awareness about emerging weaknesses and strengths within the NA supply chain.

  6. Seek new, broad R&D pathways to support next-generation medium- and heavy-duty HEV and PEV vehicle growth, with a focus on building resilience and capacity for technology innovation in the US supply chain.

Map NA supply chain gaps across mobility categories, to include passenger vehicle, light duty, medium- and heavy duty commercial, rail, off-road and marine transportation elements, and seek out common hardware components, technology processes and materials that are needed across these categories to support transformational logistics.

Class 3-8 Hybrid & Electric Vehicles: Supply Chain Assessment Report (2019)

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

Class 3-8 Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: NA Supply Chain Assessment Report: Gap Analysis

The Chart below depicts the distribution of gap statements obtained from 100s of open-ended conversations with sources from 2013 through July 2018.  Please note that: a) double counting occurs because individual gap statements by sources may cover more than a single category; and b) it follows that the percentages add up to more than 100% because gap statements can cover more than a single category. In this way, the bias is toward inclusion rather than exclusion of perspectives across gap statements, and all data is consistently sorted.

Synthesis has endeavored to ensure every source statement about a supply chain concern or gap is represented in every category that it is relevant to. Statements by sources were not fit into pre-set categories, but rather were applied to as many relevant categories as considered reasonable. Additional information regarding Synthesis’ in-depth interviews, communications with sources and corresponding gap research findings is available, consistent with source confidentiality agreements.

Chart: Frequency of NA Class 3-8 HEV and PEV Supply Chain Gap Statements,
By Main Topic: 2013 to Present

Based on frequency of occurrence, Batteries represent the most important category of gaps, followed by topics that are essentially equal based on frequency of occurrence: Inverters, Motors and “Other” gap statements. 

The “Other” category addresses gap statements about manufacturability, public incentives and subsidies, regulation, standards, costs, materials and software (among other topics).

A further assessment of the gap statements is provided in Figure 10.  It shows how each main gap category includes several sub-topics, which are raised by sources with varying frequency.  Figure 10 is the basis of the summary conclusions reported on gaps in the NA Class 3-8 HEV and PEV supply chain.

Figure 10: Drill Down Analysis of Gap Statements, By Top-Level Categories and Sub-Topic Frequency: 2013-July 30, 2018*

  • Note: The “Other” sub-topic includes discussion of public incentives and subsidies, regulation and other cross-disciplinary topics.

The following findings are plausible based on the comprehensive gap statement data reviewed during this work.  Synthesis analysts based their conclusions on qualitative judgments of the underlying quantified data. 

Specifically, the analysis below is based on the understanding that significance of gaps can be valued based on frequency of source statements.  This does not mean that individual, low frequency gap statements were not given careful consideration.  In certain contexts, the significance of less frequently occurring gap statements can be high.  Synthesis analysts weighed all of the information collected about every gap statement (e.g., including source, context, specificity, timing, relevance to other gaps) in order to reach a reasonable and approximately accurate result as outlined below.

Findings:

  1. Batteries appear to be the most important field of gaps in the Class 3-8 HEV and PEV NA supply chain.
  2. After Batteries, the next priority category of gaps includes Inverter, Motor and Other Gap statements.  These three fields of gap statements appear to be similar in significance based on frequency.
  3. Converter gap statements emerge as the least significant in terms of frequency of occurrence.
  4. Drilling down within the Battery gap category, one finds that the majority of concerns or gap statements relate to “Other.”  To help clarify “Other” gap statements include statements such as:
    1. “Lithium-ion manufacturing continues to be based on the same equipment used originally for the manufacture of cassette tapes”;
    1. “Battery plants are of much greater scale, depressing prices ever further”; and
    1. “Engineering and infrastructure firms need to be given significant roles in innovating solutions.” 
  5. Across all major components – Batteries, Motors, Inverters and Converters – the existence of many “Other” gap statements reflects the diffuse and deep range of gap topics and suggests the need for more attention on such “Other” statements to help define, develop and execute a proactive and strategic response.
  6. Materials represent an important category of gaps in Batteries and reflect the ongoing need for fundamental materials science for better catalysts and electrolytes.
  7. Across Batteries, Motors, and Inverters, the core question of how to engineer solutions that maximize performance at competitive costs remains the topic of most general concern.  This is reflected in the data that shows across all main topic areas except Converters, the Engineering and Cost gap topics are represented with highest or near-highest frequency.
  8. In Motors, Inverters and Converters, the least important topics are Standards, Software and Materials.  This suggests that with regard to HEV and PEV Class 3-8 suppliers of Motors, Inverters and Converters, the first priority gaps they are addressing relate to Engineering, Costs and/or Other topics. 
  9. Finally, in batteries, the role of standards is considered a worthy area of attention as a gap- though certainly not as significant as Engineering, Costs, Materials and Other areas in the battery development domain.

Class 3-8 Hybrid & Electric Vehicles: Supply Chain Assessment Report (2019)

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

Class 3-8 Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: NA Supply Chain Assessment Report: Introduction

This report covers work completed by Synthesis Partners, LLC (“Synthesis”) for the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) under contract number DE-DT0006388, during fiscal year (FY) 2018.

Research Process to Assess Class 3-8 HEVs and PEVs on North American Roads and Their Suppliers.

This work assessed the number and type of Class 3-8 (medium- and heavy-duty) HEV and PEVs on North American (NA) roads, including analyzing information on the suppliers of traction drive inverters, converters, motors and batteries for Class 3-8 HEV and PEV vehicles operating on NA roads.  VTO approved the work-plan that guided this work on 28 November 2017 and the collection phase of the work was completed on July 30, 2018. 

Across thousands of English-language sources to develop a baseline for the most recent calendar year, of quantitative and qualitative data, on:

  1. Number, make, model, manufacturer of Class 3-8 HEV & PEV commercial vehicles on the road in North America (NA: U.S., Canada, Mexico) for the most recent full year public data is available;
  2. For the population of vehicles identified, for the same year, identify the suppliers of drive-train inverters, converters, motors, and batteries (which can include cells); and
  3. Rank suppliers identified by revenue and numbers of units shipped (as publicly available, or reasonably inferred).

In addition, Synthesis employed the information and insights obtained in addressing the above questions to identify gaps, constraints and bottlenecks in the NA supply chain for traction drive components for Class 3-8 HEV and PEVs.  This report provides a summary of information, which is the information that can be made publicly available from this work effort.

Class 3-8 Hybrid & Electric Vehicles: Supply Chain Assessment Report (2019)

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Report: Other Research and Development Collaboration Gaps

Findings from Other R&D Collaborations

  • The top gaps in this category have relatively high work-plan relevance scores, showing the significance of two or more of private sector investment gaps, 5-year time horizons and possibilities in hardware R&D among the highly interdisciplinary topics in this gap category.
  • 40% of the total number of gaps discovered (15 of 37 gaps) are binned in this “Other” category – suggesting the increasing relevance of interdisciplinary research in autonomous and connected vehicles for future R&D planning.
  • 93% (14 of 15) of gaps in this category are identified by SP as consensus gaps, demonstrating the strong interest-level indicated in primary sources in these gaps.
    • It is plausible that this category will increase in size and significance in the future and therefore VTO has a clear opportunity to explore expanding its role in the types of topics raised here.
  • The topics raised in this category are mostly multi-disciplinary, underscoring a potential role for VTO.  A more detailed review of the top five consensus gaps for this category is contained in the Recommendations section.
  • Only one gap is not a consensus gap – Balancing Vehicle Design Time with Software Upgrade Time-Cycles – and therefore is ranked at the bottom of this category.

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Report (2016-2018)

Introduction

Gap Analysis

Final Recommendations and Conclusions