[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
ChargePoint introduces modular Express Plus EV fast-charging platform; up to 400 kW
January 06, 2017
ChargePoint announced ChargePoint Express Plus, an ultra-fast DC charging solution that can deliver up to 400 kW. It supports charging voltages ranging from 200 volts (V) to 1000 V including today’s 400 V cars and 750 V buses, and tomorrow’s 800 V cars.
A modular platform designed for businesses and charging centers along major roadways or transit depots, Express Plus can charge today’s newest electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Bolt EV, at their maximum rate; is equipped to charge upcoming EVs such as the Tesla Model 3; and is ready to deliver maximum charging speed to EVs coming to market in the years to come. Express Plus will be available in July 2017. ChargePoint up to now has offered 24 kW and 50 kW fast charging via its Express 100 and 200 platforms. (Earlier post.)
Electric Vehicle Arteries (EVA+) fast charging: Enel, Verbund, Renault, Nissan, BMW & Volkswagen partner in Italy & Austria
December 23, 2016
Enel, as coordinator, and Austria’s main utility Verbund are collaborating on a fast-recharging network project in Italy and Austria, alongside some of the world’s largest EV carmakers including Renault, Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen Group Italia (represented by Volkswagen and Audi).
Electric Vehicle Arteries (EVA+) aims to create a fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles on key roads and motorways in Italy and Austria. A grant agreement worth a maximum of €4.2 million (US$4.4 million) has already been signed with INEA, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency delegated by the European Commission (EC). EVA+ will be officially launched in Brussels in January 2017.
California Public Utilities Commission approves PG&E EV charging program for 7,500 charging stations in NorCal
December 16, 2016
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to approve Charge Smart and Save, a program initiated by Pacific Gas & Electric to deploy 7,500 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Northern California. Under the approved program, PG&E will primarily deploy stations at multi-family dwellings and workplaces, with electricity price based on time-of-use to encourage drivers to fill up during off-peak hours or when renewable energy is abundant.
The approval for PG&E’s $130-million program builds on vehicle infrastructure programs approved for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric earlier this year, which combined will result in a total of 5,000 charging stations deployed in Southern California. (Earlier post.) Each program has a goal of using lessons learned to improve future, larger scale deployments in the state.
Volkswagen Group invests in Hubject eRoaming platform for EV charging
December 15, 2016
The Volkswagen Group is joining the eRoaming platform Hubject GmbH as shareholder. Hubject, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler AG, EnBW, innogy and Siemens (earlier post), launched its eRoaming EV charging platform “intercharge” in 2013.
With the strategic investment in the Berlin-based company, Europe’s largest car maker will push ahead with the digital interconnection of charging stations for electric vehicles starting in early 2017 as well as the expansion and internationalization of Hubject GmbH together with the founding shareholders.
BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, Audi & Porsche JV for up to 350 kW CCS ultra-fast charging network along major highways in Europe
November 29, 2016
BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe. The goal is the quick build-up of a sizable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers. This will be an important step towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.
The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology. The planned charging infrastructure expands the existing technical standard for AC- and DC charging of electric vehicles to the next level of capacity for DC fast charging with up to 350 kW. BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations will recharge brand-independently in a fraction of the time of today’s BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.
BMW Digital Charging Service optimizes charging and integrates electric vehicles into the energy market
November 28, 2016
BMW i is expanding its engagement in electric mobility with the new BMW Digital Charging Service (DCS)—an intelligent service for predictive, convenient, cost-effective and green power-optimized charging. The Digital Charging Service optimizes charging technology for BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles and will be extended in a later phase to other brands. Pilot markets for the new service are Germany and the Netherlands in early 2017, subsequently more countries will follow.
After activation, the service carries out the charging process fully independently and autonomously. The BMW Digital Charging Service is based on two core functions: tariff- and solar-optimized vehicle charging.
Japan-US DRIVETHEARC EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in Northern California; 50 fast chargers by March 2017
November 16, 2016
DRIVETHEARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, broke ground in El Dorado Hills, Calif. DRIVETHEARC is a joint international project promoted by Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), under the agreement between NEDO and the State of California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, and in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo.
In addition to increasing the ease of long-distance EV travel along one of California’s most important travel arteries, DRIVETHEARC will also study EV use and driving patterns through a smartphone app that will provide a user-friendly charging experience.
BMW begins Phase 2 of ChargeForward Program with PG&E to study advanced electric vehicle charging; results from Phase 1
November 14, 2016
In an effort to further understand and expand the possibilities of smart charging for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), BMW of North America announced a second phase of its BMW ChargeForward program. BMW i3, BMW i8 and iPerformance owners in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area who are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers are invited to apply for participation in a 24-month program focused on managed EV and PHEV charging. Funding for this second phase was secured through a competitive bid for a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant.
Phase 1 of the program demonstrated the viability of creating grid value by optimizing smart charging of EVs. (Earlier post.) BMW developed innovative solutions that utilize the existing vehicle communication system both to create value for customers and to help optimize the electric grid through demand response, which improves grid reliability, lowers costs and helps the environment by incentivizing customers to reduce usage during periods of high peak demand.
Navigant Research ranks EV charging network companies
In a new Leaderboard Report, Navigant Research assesses the business strategy and execution of 12 companies offering public charging networks and EV charging services.
Navigant Research estimates the global commercial charging market for plug-ins will be worth $2.7 billion annually by 2025, compared to $168.5 million in 2016—reflecting a 36.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). To date, the market has been driven by a combination of market pull from the growing number of PEVs on the roads in major automotive markets such as North America and Europe and market push from stakeholders such as governments, automakers, and utilities.
Qualcomm and Preh sign commercial wireless electric vehicle charging license agreement
November 08, 2016
Qualcomm Incorporated and Preh, GmbH, part of the Joyson Electronics Group, have entered into a Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) license agreement. Preh will include Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology in its product portfolio and will focus on commercializing WEVC systems for Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers.
Based on the agreement, Preh intends to develop, make and supply WEVC systems based on Qualcomm Halo technology. A specialist in automotive power electronics and connected vehicles, Preh is currently developing automotive WEVC systems based on Double D magnetics, which deliver high power, superior performance in an industry-leading small vehicle package size, supported by Qualcomm’s comprehensive technical support.
UC Irvine study concludes intelligent PEV charging can minimize scale of stationary energy storage needed to meet renewable targets
October 24, 2016
A new study by a team at the University of California Irvine highlights the importance of intelligent plug-in vehicle (PEV) charging for minimizing the scale of infrastructure required to meet renewable utilization targets.
In the study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, the UC Irvine team examined how the intelligence of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) integration impacted the required capacity of energy storage systems to meet renewable utilization targets for a large-scale energy system, using California as an example for meeting a 50% and 80% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2030 and 2050.
SAE J2954 Wireless Charging on track to make decision for WPT 2 (7.7kW) in January; planned commercialization in 2020
October 13, 2016
In a program track on Charging Infrastructure at the World of Energy Solutions Conference in Stuttgart, Germany this week, Jesse Schneider (BMW), SAE Taskforce Chair, Wireless Power Transfer and Alignment Methodology, presented the recently published SAE TIR, Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for Light-Duty Plug-In/ Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology (earlier post) along with plans for standardization by 2018 to support commercialization. The SAE TIR J2954 contains a normative specification for both the vehicle and infrastructure side coils for the power level WPT 1 up to 3.7kW and informative specifications for WPT 2 to 7.7kW.
The current timing plan projects a commercial rollout of Wireless Power Transfer infrastructure by 2020. The SAE J2954 Standardization plan includes coordinated bench and vehicle testing, industry consensus work (standards documents) and three milestones from 2016-2018 in support of commercialization of wireless power transfer.
2017 Mercedes-Benz S550e PHEV will offer wireless charging system built using Qualcomm Halo inventions
October 11, 2016
With the facelift of the Mercedes-Benz S550e plug-in hybrid in 2017, Daimler AG plans to launch a wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) system, manufactured by a Tier 1 power electronics supplier, which has licensed Qualcomm Halo inventions. The commercial application of WEVC will be a first among hybrid vehicles. Drivers of the S550e (badged S500 in Europe) equipped with the wireless charging option will simply park atop a special pad and charging will begin.
Qualcomm Halo uses high-power, resonant magnetic inductive wireless energy transfer and supports a relatively wide air gap between base charging unit (BCU) and vehicle charging unit (VCU). The charging pad’s multi-coil design (“Double “D” Quadrature”) delivers high energy-transfer efficiency and high power even if the pads are misaligned. The high degree of tolerance in both the vertical (z) and lateral (x,y) planes means drivers do not have to park accurately or need complex and expensive on-board alignment systems.
ELIX Wireless & Zongshen partner on wireless chargers for China and NA; Magneto-Dynamic Coupling (MDC)
September 21, 2016
ELIX Wireless, a Canada-based startup developing novel wireless power transfer technology, signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Chongqing Zongshen Power Machinery Co Ltd, a listed entity of the Zongshen Group. Zongshen Power also acted as the lead investor in ELIX’s US$5-million Series A funding round.
ELIX began as a spin-out from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2013 to commercialize its patented, Magneto-Dynamic Coupling (MDC) technology. ELIX MDC technology uses the interaction between magnetic fields to create a “remote magnetic gear” system with full 360-degree freedom of orientation. MDC operates at a frequency of 80-400 Hz, 1000 times lower than a resonant inductive system.
WiTricity and Prodrive Technologies to develop 11 kW EV wireless charging system for European carmaker’s 2019 planned introduction
September 20, 2016
Wireless power transfer company WiTricity is collaborating with Prodrive Technologies, a Tier-1 supplier of power electronics and sensors, to design a high-performance 11 kW wireless charging system. The two companies were selected to design the system by a leading European carmaker that plans to release its first wirelessly-charged vehicles in 2019.
WiTricity will provide its foundational magnetic resonance intellectual property, complete reference designs and consulting services to the project. Based on the WiTricity designs, Prodrive will develop and industrialize an automotive mass market system and implement the automaker’s specific requirements.
Kreisel Electric introduces Li-ion home energy storage systems; 9.6 kW output for faster EV charging
June 29, 2016
Austrian manufacturer of high-performance batteries Kreisel Electric (earlier post) has introduced the MAVERO home energy storage system. The Li-ion battery packs are available in four different sizes, with usable capacity ranging from 8 kWh to 22 kWh. The casing is available in two colors and communicates all charge and discharge activities by means of LEDs. First deliveries are planned for early 2017.
MAVERO is a wall-mounted home energy storage system that stores electricity from any renewable energy source. Featuring a sophisticated design and a compact size of 105cm x 140 cm (41" x 55"), the discharge power of the system ranges from 4.8 to 9.6 kW in the voltage range from 288 to 384 V. The system enables accelerated EV charging with 100% self-generated electricity.
Columbus, Ohio wins $40M DOT Smart City Challenge; $10M more from Vulcan, $90M from private partners
June 24, 2016
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that Columbus, OH has been selected as the winner of the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. (Earlier post.) As winner of the Challenge, Columbus will receive up to $40 million from US DOT and up to $10 million from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to supplement the $90 million that the city has already raised from other private partners to carry out its plan.
Using these resources, Columbus will work to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology, and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout their city.
INEES report shows intelligent integration of EVs reduces power fluctuations, but not currently economically viable
June 16, 2016
Partners Volkswagen AG, Lichtblick SE, SMA Solar Technology AG and the Fraunhofer Institute Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) have submitted the final report from the INEES research project (Intelligent integration of electric vehicles into the power grid for the provision of system services).
The findings of the report show that it is technically possible to absorb grid power fluctuations by connecting electric vehicles to the power supply. The research results will in future help to link electric mobility with the energy industry.
Toshiba to start field testing medium-sized EV bus with wireless recharging, SCiB Li-ion battery
May 31, 2016
Toshiba Corporation has developed a fast, cable-free contactless charger for electric vehicles (EVs), and will field test it on a medium-sized EV bus designed to handle the power demands of regular high-speed journeys on expressways. Field tests will start from 1 June and continue until December.
The 45-seat bus is powered by a long-life, high-output 52.9 kWh SCiB (earlier post) pack, Toshiba’s advanced lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and will make regular trips between All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. facilities in Tonomachi, Kawasaki and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) journey will test the bus and its performance under various traffic conditions, and will allow Toshiba to verify the convenience and practicality of contactless charging, along with its contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
SAE International approves TIR J2954 for PH/EV wireless charging; targeting finalized standard by 2018
May 18, 2016
SAE International approved for publishing “SAE TIR J2954 Wireless Power Transfer for Light-Duty Plug-In/ Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology,” a milestone industry guideline to establish wireless power transfer between infrastructure, vehicle suppliers and OEMs for plug-in electric and electric vehicles (PH/EV). (Earlier post.) The document will be available from the SAE website on 31 May.
With wireless charging quickly becoming mainstream for consumer electronic devices in low power applications, standardization is needed for commercialization of high power wireless power transfer (WPT) of PH/EVs. (The current SAE Standard SAE J1772 establishes the wired charging standard.)
Cal Energy Commission hosting technology merit review workshop on EV charging infrastructure project
April 22, 2016
The California Energy Commission will host a workshop Monday, 25 April, in which executives from four companies including ChargePoint and Green Charge Networks, two non-profits, one municipal utility district and one state agency will discuss the successes and challenges of developing electric vehicle charging technology in California.
This workshop will influence future funding opportunities at the Commission through its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which provides up to $100 million a year for alternative fuels and vehicle technology development.
ORNL achieves 90% efficiency with 20 kW wireless charging for vehicles; looking ahead to 50 kW
March 31, 2016
A 20-kilowatt wireless charging system demonstrated at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has achieved 90 percent efficiency and at three times the rate of the plug-in systems commonly used for electric vehicles today.
ORNL’s power electronics team achieved this world’s first 20 kW wireless charging system for passenger cars by developing a unique architecture that included an ORNL-built inverter, isolation transformer, vehicle-side electronics and coupling technologies—all in less than three years. For the demonstration, researchers integrated the single-converter system into an electric Toyota RAV4 equipped with an additional 10 kWh battery.
Group of European electric bus manufacturers agrees on an open interface for charging
March 15, 2016
European bus manufacturers Irizar, Solaris, VDL and Volvo have agreed to ensure the interoperability of electric buses with charging infrastructure provided by ABB, Heliox and Siemens. The objective is to ensure an open interface between electric buses and charging infrastructure and to facilitate the introduction of electric bus systems in European cities.
Common, preferred interfaces will be opened up for all market participants and will be used for electric buses for opportunity charging (fast charging at end stops) and for overnight charging. The group is committed to contribute to European standardization activities and to share experiences with CEN/CENELEC and ISO/IEC in order to establish a common European standard for electric bus systems.
Cal Energy Commission awards $1.5M to Berkeley to advance open-source advanced smart charging technology; OpenVBOSS
February 11, 2016
The California Energy Commission is awarding the University of California, Berkeley $1.5 million to develop an advanced smart charging technology that maintains plug-in electric vehicle consumer needs while reducing charging loads, to achieve electricity grid benefits. The project will focus on controlling the charging of PEVs in residential and small commercial settings using a novel and flexible open-source, open-software architecture charge communication and control platform.
The proposed project addresses the problem of access and signals/controls for local data streams in order to control electricity systems loads for grid management. PEVs are proliferating in California under the Advanced Clean Cars Program, sometimes in geographic clusters; this is creating potential load management issues for electrical utility grids at the feeder and transformer level.