The 10 trends in electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EV)

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Hariram Subramanian, CTU  Digital Power Europe of  Huawei, presenting the 10 trends in electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EV) at the Solar & Storage Live  Virtual Exhibition held online last December, stressed the intention to create a “green” and efficient industrial ecosystem with large providers, charging infrastructure manufacturers and automakers, noting “Our goal is the maximum value and the best experience of our customers, creating the right conditions for the healthy and rapid development of the charging infrastructure of electric vehicles (EV)”.  

Trend 1: EV charging  will look like the supply experience 

In the coming years, the charging voltage of passenger cars will be upgraded from 500V to 800V, the charging power of a charger will increase from 60 kW to 350 kW and the charging time will be reduced from about 1 hour to 10-15 minutes, corresponding to the charging time fuel.  

Trend 2: Greater availability of charging facilities 

Charging infrastructures should have high availability, reliability, and quality and at the same time be able to adapt to complex and harsh operating environments, such as high temperature and humidity, salty air, and dust.  

Trend 3: Energy saving and greener environment 

By 2025, there will be 40 million electric vehicles worldwide with an annual capacity of over 330 billion kWh. Improving efficiency by 3% will save 11 billion kWh of electricity and reduce 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Through transformers of new technology, new topologies, new components, and new algorithms, the design of charging stations will include new energy sources, such as photovoltaic (PV) as well as energy storage systems, steadily enhancing the creation of a “green” and efficient charging network. 

Trend 4: Standardization of key elements 

Charging units from different suppliers vary in models and dimensions and cannot be replaced or compatible with each other. 

Trend 5: Availability at every point and respect for the environment 

With the proliferation of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure will increase rapidly. Charging stations will be available in shopping malls, offices, residential areas, and hospitals. Therefore, as charging plants will be developed on a large scale, noise, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and power grid friendliness will be key factors in ensuring environmental friendliness. An improvement in the heat dissipation design of the units and charging stations will initially be required to achieve less noise. Secondly, will need to comply with EMC design standards and adopt energy innovation topology and design electromagnetic shielding to reduce electromagnetic radiation and its effects on both electrical equipment and the human body. Third, we see the use of advanced power control algorithms to reduce the effect of high power charging on the grid. To achieve these three “friendly” new technologies, intelligent technologies and systems engineering must be adopted in parallel with the improvement and strict application of standards.  

Voltage 6:  Low power  DC charging

By 2025, the number of electric vehicles will reach 15 million in Europe and 80% of passenger car charging will come from low-power urban areas. This will be the final stage of the charging network and will promote the construction of large-scale charging stations in urban centers, an important element for charging comfort. In the future, the low-power DC charging solution will replace the AC charging solution to speed up charging (20 kW DC vs. 7 kW AC). The solution will allow plug-and-play charging without the need to scan code. The future low-power DC charging solution focuses on cooperation between vehicles and charging stations and smooth charging and will be one of the key technologies for charging scenarios in urban areas.  

Trend 7: Different forms of charging 

According to industry forecasts, the charging demand for commercial electric vehicles will increase by more than 25% in 2025. The electrification of transport vehicles, which are represented by electric heavy trucks, will be an important growth point. Heavy truck charging facilities should have a simple choice of location, reduced footprint, and easy operation and maintenance (O&M). Therefore, the battery replacement solution that meets the requirements of high frequency, high battery level, short charge, and intensive construction, will be increasingly popular. 

Trend 8: Digital and smart charging facilities 

Smart grids, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, remote control, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) allow for intensive operation and smart transportation. The charging infrastructure will be digitized and made smarter in terms of charging, operating, and maintenance (O&M) experience as well as networking. This will allow a safe and fast charging experience, without the need for monitoring, with remote operation and maintenance, smart and efficient charging facilities. 

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