Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

We have officially entered the age of electric cars, in fact, we may have been here for a while.  Electric vehicles (EV), including battery-electric and plug-in hybrids, made up 7.2% of global car sales in the first half of 2021.  

What does this mean for business?

It means that people are adjusting, the uptake of electric vehicles is occurring faster than previously thought and businesses must match that stride.  

How are Businesses integrating Electric Vehicles Infrastructure?

In general, most corporate environments with large teams and building responsibilities are having conversations about electric vehicle infrastructure.  Not only to address employee satisfaction and loyalty but to also further the effort to lower the corporate carbon footprint.  

There are 4 main benefits that this can have for a company. 

  1. Rebates.  In an effort to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles, federal, state, and local governments have sought to provide incentives and subsidies for individuals and businesses who embrace change.  These come in the form of federal tax credits and state, provincial and local rebates.  
  2. Promote Sustainability.  In the long run, continued action towards promoting sustainability will show others that you are serious.  As a result, you begin to build trust.  You company will believe when you speak on a subject or take action to mitigate your carbon emissions.  This will help to build your brands position in the marketplace as a company that genuinely cares about business sustainability. 
  1. Entice Customers.  This seems straightforward enough, but often businesses forget to give the whole picture to their customers.  Rather than just being transactional in nature a company can increase their influence by showcasing things that are important to them.  It also may be the delineating factor in a purchasing decision from a client, especially if they drive EV’s and you have charging stations.
  2. Recruit and Retain Quality Employees.  Similar to customers, many employees report that they want to work for a company that is bigger than just the transaction.  They also want to be part of a company that can affect change.  

As a business, it is critical that you keep your eye on the future, and on what social trends are emerging that need to be incorporated into what you do.  EV’s are not going away, and the businesses that adopt them now will be the ones that win.  

Is it time to get electric vehicle infrastructure for your company?

What is electric vehicle infrastructure?

Electric vehicle infrastructure (EVI) refers to an installed system of charging stations for electric vehicles. Currently, many governments and businesses are working on– or interested in– implementing these types of networks. As of right now, one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks is the Tesla Supercharger network in California. This particular charging network has 56 charger stalls.

There are two types of electric vehicle infrastructure. 

  1. Proprietary Solutions.
  •  Proprietary vendors generally do not allow their customers to switch their charge stations or switch to different network vendors.
  1. Hardware agnostic solutions– like EVConnect. 
  • Hardware agnostic solutions do allow their customers to switch.

How much charging infrastructure do electric vehicles need?

The amount of charging infrastructure that is needed may differ from country to country, based on the number of electric cars. It can also depend on the number of garages in an area, for example– areas with high availability of garages can rely on private charging for daily charging of their cars, for example. 

Areas that do not have this luxury may be in greater need of public charging infrastructure. It is also necessary to have high power charging stations located along with high travel and high traffic areas, such as highways or near airports, in order to support long-distance driving. 

This may be of a higher priority in areas that are sparse or countries that are very large and require a lot of driving, rather than an area with many dense cities. It is also important to have a mix of different charging options, such as private charging stations, opportunity charging stations– such as at the grocery store, and high power charging stations for distance driving. 

The current amount of charging stations and infrastructure may also limit the usage or production of electric vehicles. This is because, without the proper supply of electricity, the infrastructure would not be able to support the number of electric cars that are in use. 

What is EV architecture?

EV architecture is a term that refers to the combination of network communications, electronics hardware, software applications, and wiring to build one central and integrated system to control vehicle functions. Some of these functions include the areas of vehicle control, active safety, and infotainment. EV architecture, at its core, consists of a motor that is self-started and easily controlled by the input current. EV architecture also produces uniform power and speed. 

However, EV architecture is not one size fits all. There are a few different types of EV architecture. The first category is the hybrid electric vehicle, followed by the categories of the battery electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Each category has slightly different qualities and configurations.

Hybrid electric vehicles are basically just modified conventional vehicles, with electric motors. Battery electric vehicles have fewer components in their architecture and only have a battery– no gas tank. However, a plug-in hybrid vehicle has a fossil fuel tank and a battery. This type of vehicle can be driven on an empty gas tank due to the battery, or on the gas tank when the battery is not charged. 

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 EV Chargers?

An EV charger is a charger for an electric vehicle. It pulls the electric current from a 240v outlet– or from the grid that it is hardwired to– and then delivers the electricity to the electrical vehicle. It works similarly to any other type of charging process, such as when you charge your cell phone. During charging, there are two types of currents, which correlate to the different charger types that are required. These two currents are called alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). AC allows for charging up to 43 kW, while DC allows for fast charging up to 350 kW.

There are also different types of EV chargers– including Type 1 and Type 2, which are the charger types for AC.

Type 1 is common for American vehicles.

It is a single-phase plug that is standard for EVs from both America and Asia. Type 1 plugs can charge an electric vehicle up to speeds of 7.4 kW, though this also depends on your car’s charging power and the power of the grid and grid capability. It is a single-phase plug.

The other charger for AV is the Type 2 charger.

This charger is the standard for American or Asian cars made after 2018. They are triple-phase plugs, as opposed to Type 1’s single-phase plug– this means that the Type 2 charger has three additional wires to run a current through. This also means that this charger can charge your car faster. If using an at-home charging station, Type 2 chargers can charge at a rate of 22 kW, while public charging stations can charge a vehicle at rates of up to 43 kW. 

What is the difference between CCS and CHAdeMO?

When it comes to chargers for DC, which stands for direct current, there are two different charger types. These are known as CCS and CHAdeMO. A CCS plug is similar to the alternating current Type 2 plug, and a CCS plug can also be utilized on an alternating current, not just on a direct current. The CCS plug is basically an enhanced version of the Type 2 plug that has two additional power contacts for quick charging. When it comes to charging speeds, this charger allows for charging at speeds up to 350 kW. 

The second type of DC charger is the CHAdeMO plug. This is a quick charging system that was first developed in Japan. As can be discerned from this, Asian car manufacturers are currently leading in offering CHAdeMO compatible electric cars. This charger allows for very high charging capacities and can also allow for bidirectional charging. It features charging rates of up to 100 kW. 

Summary

As a business or a business leader within your company, are you considering EV charging stations and want more information?

At Solas Energy Consulting we have a deep understanding of the current and future market penetration of EVs, customer motivations, market segmentation, value chain providers, and grid impacts of the rapidly accelerating EV industry.  We recently built a national model for a car fleet, which involved analyzing the potential integration of new EV deployment, as well as the impact of EV infrastructure and charging requirements.

If you are looking for a solution for your company, or your corporate building contacts us and let’s get started in building the right project for you.  

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