Category Archives: LDEV Charging & Market Supply Chain

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

Cyber Security Gap Statement Analysis

Ten (10) Cyber Security gap statements were identified, which represent 4% of the total number of gap statements.  Questions about the vulnerability of the EV charging infrastructure predominate followed closely by the call for additional EV charging cyber security analysis coordination.   It is important to note that this study did not reach out to cyber security professionals to ask specifically about cyber security questions. 

As a result it is reasonable to assume that the priority given to cyber security issues here is too low, based on the fact that this study did not drill down with cyber security experts regarding cyber security vulnerabilities, and because there is a strong recency bias with regard to cyber security vulnerabilities. Indeed, should a major breach of EV charging networks occur as this sentence is being written, the number of respondents that raise cyber security as a top concern will increase significantly.

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: Technical Coordination Gaps

Technical Coordination Gap Statement Analysis

Twenty-one (21) Technical Coordination gap statements were identified, which represent 8% of the total number of gap statements.  Pilot Projects and Education are the most frequently occurring gap areas, followed by Bi-directional charging and issues related to utilities, and other topics.  Below, we highlight the types of pilot projects that sources are seeking for VTO leadership on, to help remove constraints and bottlenecks in the NA EVSE supply chain.

  • 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. Hubject of Germany has already demonstrated the capability to do this.” 
    • “In conjunction with this, information on the energy status of the infrastructure needs to be available to optimize charging rates. MOEV has developed software that allows this to take place on a microgrid level.  Implementing this capability at the microgrid level is probably the best approach given the disparity of electricity rates amongst utilities and the high cost of transferring electricity across distances.”
    • “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.”
    • “In addition to encompassing thousands of vehicles, it would be beneficial to have the V2G pilot project cut across utility territories to help determine what is required to develop a truly national charging infrastructure.  The envisioned pilot would focus on how EVs are pulling energy from the grid and how to best manage this energy flow.”
  • 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
    • (Some) “Utilities do not appear to support, and even delay (thru cost and technology barriers) bi-directional energy flow infrastructure pilots from getting off the ground.  [For example …] from the outset, [in DOD Pilot that involved Air Force and Army bases in California, Texas and Maryland as well as the PJM Market, EV OEMs and utilities] … utilities were unwilling to change the way they do business and their approach made the project so costly that it wasn’t viable. Participants in the pilot soon realized that the rates utilities were charging combined with their reluctance to accept new approaches made for an unprofitable business.”
    • “The utilities involved in the pilot as well as utilities in general have proven to be reluctant to accept new generation devices and insist on charging exorbitant prices for electricity and related services.”
    • “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.”

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: Network Systems Engineering Gaps

Network Systems Engineering Gap Statement Analysis

Twenty-two (22) Network Systems Engineering gap statements were identified, which represent 9% of the total number of gap statements.  Fleet charging, Bi-directional charging, network infrastructure, charging power loss and utility telematics issues represent the most significant sub-gap areas in this category.

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: Data Gaps

Data Gap Statement Analysis

Thirty-two (32) Data gap statements were identified, which represent 13% of the total number of gap statements.  Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) issues, infrastructure studies and utility services and planning represent the most significant sub-gap areas in this category.   The data gaps highlight the constraints in EVSE market development caused by inaccurate, imprecise or insufficient data about each of the topics listed above.  The main focus by NA EVSE participants is on the need for improved data regarding V2G developments, infrastructure studies, utility services and planning and MD-HD EV developments.  In essence, participants are seeking accurate, current technical, electricity usage, grid-usage and cost data to help EVSE suppliers design, develop, plan and deliver new products and services.  More information on the study gaps is available upon request.

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: Standards Gaps

Standards Gap Statement Analysis

Thirty-two (32) Standards gap statements were identified, which represent 13% of the total number of gap statements.  Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) issues and interoperable EV charging standards represent the most significant sub-gap areas in this category.  In general, respondents that discuss standards are almost uniformly frustrated with the slow adoption of a national standard in the US for EV charging.  The main takeaway from the standards gap statements is that key players seek assistance in expediting the process to reach a uniform set of technology protocols for the NA EVSE supply chain.

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: 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