[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.]
Researchers developing DC micro smart grid for charging EV fleets; Li-ion, redox flow batteries and renewables
March 07, 2014
|Up to 30 electric vehicles at a time can recharge in Fraunhofer IAO’s parking garage. Click to enlarge.|
A team from Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, together with Daimler AG and the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management at the University of Stuttgart, is developing both the charging infrastructure and the energy management systems required to manage large fleets of EVs in a project called charge@work.
The aim of charge@work is to design a micro smart grid (MSG) capable of supplying the EV fleet with electricity produced exclusively from renewable sources. This year will see the installation of a photovoltaic unit and a small wind power system at the Fraunhofer Institute Center Stuttgart IZS, where up to 30 electric vehicles at a time can recharge at AC charge spots in the Fraunhofer Campus parking garage.
Navigant Research forecasts global annual sales of wireless charging equipment for light-duty EVs will surpass 300,000 units by 2022
February 27, 2014
|Navigant projections of wireless EVSE sales. Click to enlarge.|
In a new report, “Wireless Charging Systems for Electric Vehicles”, Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide sales of wireless EV charging equipment for light-duty vehicles will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 108% from 2013 to 2022, reaching annual sales of slightly less than 302,000 units in 2022.
Until recently, wireless charging systems were in the R&D and pilot stages only, but now products have begun to reach the market. In 2013, Bosch announced a sales and distribution agreement with Evatran, maker of the Plugless Power system, with products scheduled to reach the market in the first quarter of 2014. Toyota has begun verification testing of its newly developed wireless battery charging system based on WiTricity technology. (Earlier post.)
Sumitomo installs first large-scale power system using used EV batteries
February 08, 2014
Sumitomo Corporation has developed and installed the first large-scale power storage system which utilizes used batteries collected from electric vehicles. This commercial scale storage system, built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, will begin operating in February 2014.
Sumitomo Corporation created the joint venture company, 4R Energy Corporation, in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in September 2010, to address the secondary use of EV lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) The used EV batteries that will be recycled into this large-scale storage system have been recovered and have gone through thorough inspection and maintenance at 4R, to confirm safety and performance. This prototype system (600kW/400kWh) consists of sixteen used EV batteries.
CMU researchers find controlled charging of PHEVs can cut cost of integration into electricity system by 54-73%; higher benefits with wind power
January 24, 2014
In a new study published in the journal Applied Energy, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers found that controlled charging of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) reduces the costs of integrating the vehicles into an electricity system by 54–73% depending on the scenario.
More specifically, controlled charging can cut the cost of integrating PHEVs approximately in half. The magnitude of these savings is ~5% to 15% higher in a system with 20% wind penetration compared to a system with no wind power, and the savings are 50–60% higher in a system that requires capacity expansion.
California ISO publishes roadmap for integrating EVs into grid
December 28, 2013
|Summary of the path to enable EVs to provide grid services. Source: CA ISO. Click to enlarge.|
The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has released a blueprint for integrating electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid: “California Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap: Enabling Vehicle-based Grid Services”.
The VGI blueprint outlines three inter-dependent tracks to assess how consumer use of electric vehicles could benefit electric reliability, and to determine policies and technologies necessary to elicit that value through appropriate market signals for a more reliable, sustainable electric grid.
INL releases results of testing of Evatran Plugless 3.3 kW Level 2 wireless charging system
December 11, 2013
|System efficiency at 100mm gap for 3.3kW output plotted against primary coil position relative to secondary coil (mm). Source: INL. Click to enlarge.|
Idaho National Laboratory researchers recently released independent testing results of a wireless charging system designed for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The system tested, Evatran’s Plugless 3.3 kW Level 2 Charging System, uses inductive technology to wirelessly charge a PEV’s traction battery, which powers the vehicle. The Plugless system is the first wireless power transfer technology to be independently documented and published.
INL researchers performed 2,600 separate tests of Evatran’s Plugless Level 2 Charging System, which included testing at different distances and varying alignments, said Jim Francfort, INL’s principal investigator for advanced technology vehicles. INL continues to conduct independent testing of PEVs and charging systems.
Honda joins vehicle-to-grid technology demonstration project in partnership with University of Delaware and NRG Energy
December 05, 2013
Honda has joined a demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology aimed at providing a potentially valuable energy storage resource to the electrical grid while providing for more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.
The Honda technology builds off of the research conducted by the University of Delaware and now supported by NRG Energy, Inc. through their eV2g joint venture (earlier post). eV2g came online early in 2013 with the first revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid project, demonstrating the controls, regulatory requirements, and market participation rules for selling energy storage from vehicles into the PJM Interconnection Regulation Market. (Earlier post.)
Nissan testing LEAF as electrical power storage and supply for office buildings; LEAF-to-Building a development of LEAF-to-Home
November 29, 2013
Nissan reports a successful early field test of a system that will allow companies to regulate their electricity bills using the batteries of Nissan LEAFs used by their staff to commute to work. “Vehicle-To-Building” allows up to six Nissan LEAF EVs to be connected to a building’s power distribution board.
Charging is phased during the day so at peak hours, when electricity is most expensive, the building draws power from the cars. When electricity is cheaper it flows the other way. The system ensures the Nissan LEAFs are fully charged by the end of the working day for their owners to drive home.
Euro Parliament Transport Committee backs draft directive mandating expansion of alternative fuel stations; grandfathering CHAdeMO
November 26, 2013
|Minimum number of publicly-accessible recharging points for electric vehicles in each member state. Click to enlarge.|
EU member states would have to ensure that specified numbers of publicly-available electric vehicle recharging points and hydrogen and natural gas stations are built by 2020, under a draft directive endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday. The draft rules aim to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.
Private sector players should play a leading role in developing this infrastructure, but member states should provide tax and public procurement incentives for them to do so, say the members of Parliament (MEPs). The directive specifies that:
Inaugural PlugInsights report highlights need to expand public fast charging
November 15, 2013
|The study shows that home charging is dominant. Data: PlugInsights. Click to enlarge.|
Electric vehicle software and information services company Recargo Inc., has launched a plug-in vehicle (PEV) research firm—PlugInsights—which released an inaugural report addressing the experiences, behaviors and opinions around charging a plug-in vehicle in America.
The sample for the study was drawn from PlugInsights’ PEV panel, comprising more than 3,700 plug-in drivers of 17 different vehicle makes and models of plug-in hybrid, mid-range battery-electric vehicles and long-range battery electric vehicles (the Teslas), mathematically modeled to reflect the “real world”. The growing panel will be the data source for upcoming PEV studies, and will be used for custom survey and focus group research with PlugInsights clients.
SAE task force agrees on frequency of operation and power classes for wireless power transfer for light-duty plug-in vehicles
SAE International J2954 Task Force for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) of Light Duty, Electric and Plug-in Electric Vehicles, has agreed upon two key factors for the Technical Information Report (TIR) on interoperability for the first phase of pre-commercial development: a common frequency of operation (85 kHz) and the definition of three power classes for light duty vehicles: WPT 1, 2 and 3.
Made up of OEMs, WPT Suppliers, industry experts and government representatives, the Task Force plans to complete the TIR in early 2014. The SAE Technical Information Report will be followed by publication of SAE J2954 Standard, based on field data confirmation.
NCSU team proposes new system for dynamic wireless EV charging
Researchers from North Carolina State University are proposing a new topology appropriate for dynamic wireless charging—i.e., wireless charging on the go. Currently, at peak efficiency, the new system can transmit energy at a rate of 0.5 kilowatts (kW). The team’s goal is to move from 0.5 kW into the 50 kW range.
The system, outlined in a paper published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, features a transmitter made from segmented multiple coils, each of which broadcasts a low-level electromagnetic field and is powered by a single inverter. A receiver coil that is the same size as each of the transmitter coils is placed in a car or other mobile platform. (The size of the coils is important, because coils of the same size transfer energy more efficiently.)
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi to provide financial assistance for EV charging infrastructure in Japan
November 12, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have agreed on the details of specific financial assistance they will provide to installers of charging stations for electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, and EVs). This announcement follows an agreement the four companies announced in July jointly to promote the construction of a user-friendly network of charging infrastructures. (Earlier post.)
In order for electric vehicles to become widely adopted, the partners point out, it is imperative that charging infrastructure be made widely available as quickly as possible. By assisting installers with the part of their costs not covered by government subsidies, the four companies intend to promote wider availability of chargers to make electric vehicle use more convenient.
Consortium including Volvo Car Group completes successful study of EV wireless charging
October 24, 2013
|Inductive battery charging components. Click to enlarge.|
A consortium of companies, including Volvo Car Group, Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool, has successfully completed a 3-year research project studying the possibilities of inductive charging for electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) The results show that this technology for transferring energy via an electromagnetic field has “great potential,” according to Volvo.
The inductive charging project was initiated by Flanders’ Drive, a research and test center for the automotive industry in the Flanders region in Belgium and was partly funded by the Flemish government. Volvo Cars supplied the car for the inductive charging project: a Volvo C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a 24 kWh battery pack.
Navigant Research forecasts rapid growth in V2G for ancillary services to 2022; $190.7M in frequency regulation revenue by then
October 18, 2013
In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that global vehicle-to-grid (V2G)-enabled plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) servicing the ancillary services market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 64.3% from 2013 to 2022.
In North America—which Navigant sees as the strongest initial market opportunity—Navigant sees frequency regulation revenue for PEVs growing from just more than $500,000 in 2013 to just less than $50 million in 2022. Globally, Navigant Research forecasts that frequency regulation revenue will reach $190.7 million by 2022. Navigant Research has not developed revenue forecasts for PEVs participating in demand response (DR) programs, as it is currently unclear how PEV owners will be compensated.
Navigant Research projects global market for plug-in charging equipment to grow to 4.3M units and $5.8B in revenue in 2022
October 02, 2013
The market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has expanded in recent years in parallel with the deployment of publicly accessible charging stations, mainly funded by government programs. According to a new report from Navigant Research, there are now almost 64,000 public charging stations installed globally. Overall, Navigant Research expects global sales of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8%. The company expects revenue from the sales of EVSE to grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 29.4%.
Residential EVSE sales are directly driven by the increase in PEV sales, as many drivers purchase a charger for exclusive use at home. Commercial charging, which includes workplace, public and private chargers, is more indirectly tied to PEV growth and is still driven to a great degree by government support, the market research firm observed. However, this dynamic is changing, as government programs in some regions are coming to a close.
Opel bringing Ampera with special nav system and Meriva EVs to iZEUS project on intelligent electric driving and recharging
|iZEUS Ampera. Click to enlarge.|
Opel has presented a specially-equipped Ampera extended range electric vehicle to the Technical Institute Karlsruhe (KIT), marking the beginning of a field trial in the research project iZEUS (intelligent Zero Emission Urban System) in Stuttgart.
The research project iZEUS is developing concepts and practical examples for the integration of electromobility in private and urban commercial transport. The goal of the research is to develop one uniform transport concept that will be tested and demonstrated with the help of fleet tests made up of a significant number of test vehicles. These will ultimately include up to 30 vans (Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL) and some 90 electric cars (smart ed, Opel Ampera and Toyota Prius) for private transport.
DENSO and Nagoya University jointly develop in-vehicle battery-based energy management system for house and car; field testing begins
September 30, 2013
Global automotive supplier DENSO and Nagoya University have developed an in-vehicle battery-based energy management system (EMS) which uses forecasting models of household electricity demand and vehicle use to reduce electricity costs.
The two organizations will start to evaluate the performance of the system in October this year under the Toyota City Low-carbon Society Verification Project, one of the Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects in Japan led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Burns & McDonnell develops bi-directional fast chargers for SPIDERS program
September 01, 2013
|Bi-directional fast charger at Ft. Carson. Click to enlarge.|
A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, along with subcontractor Coritech Services, has developed a system of bidirectional, fast-charging stations for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles at Fort Carson, Colo. This first-of-its-kind system will push power back to the base microgrid when needed to meet installation demand or improve overall power quality.
On 29 August, the team successfully commissioned five bidirectional chargers and the aggregating control system as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) microgrid project at Fort Carson. (Earlier post.) Commissioning was performed using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, which are being provided for use on SPIDERS under separate agreements with the US Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).
Toyota broadly outlines next-generation Prius; developing wireless inductive charging for the plug-in model; bullish on hydrogen
August 28, 2013
Toyota’s next-generation Prius will deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost, according to Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso. Ogiso—who earlier in his career had been the chief engineer for the Prius, chief engineer for the Prius family, and chief engineer, product planning—made the remarks at the “2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour” event the company staged in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The performance of this new generation of powertrains will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies. Among the broad technology advances Ogiso outlined during his talk were:
KAIST rolling out dynamic wireless charging in buses in South Korea
August 08, 2013
|The OLEV bus in Gumi. Click to enlarge.|
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is trialing a bus application for its Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) technology, a dynamic wireless charging technology that recharges a vehicle’s battery while the vehicle is in motion. (Earlier post.) An OLEV bus thus requires no pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.
Following the development and operation of commercialized OLEV trams (at an amusement park in Seoul) and shuttle buses (at KAIST campus), respectively, the city of Gumi in South Korea, beginning on 6 August, is providing its citizens with OLEV public transportation services. After the successful operation of the two OLEV buses by the end of this year, Gumi City plans to provide ten more such buses by 2015.
SoCal Edison white paper shares data about PEV usage and charging
August 06, 2013
|About 50% of the more than 12,000 PEV owners in SCE territory charge at Level 1. Click to enlarge.|
Southern California Edison (SCE) released a white paper summarizing learnings from its Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness program. The paper, “Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Our Customers and Grid Reliability,” shares information based on customer data and utility operations gathered since SCE began to prepare the distribution system and its customers for widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption in its service territory.
Currently, SCE customers lease or own more than 12,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), both battery electric (BEVs, for about 35%) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs, for about 65%)—about 10% of national EV sales. (SCE estimates that by 2020, there will be about 350,000 PEVs in its service territory.) Because California leads the nation in EV adoption, other utilities and stakeholders in the auto industry may find the information from the white paper useful, SCE suggested.
Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure
|Aspirational targets among seven countries participating in the Electric Vehicle Initiative would see growth from just under 2 million EV and PHEVs to just under 20 million by 2020. Source: “Electric Vehicle Grid Integration”. Click to enlarge.|
A recently published paper by M.J. Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), examines key drivers of EV adoption in the US, Europe and China, with an emphasis on vehicle charging scenarios and infrastructure.
This report examines hurdles to EV adoption in these regions, and identifies critical success factors that should guide policymakers in the transportation and electric sectors. Accelerating the pace of EV market growth requires a coordinated evolution in both sectors, the report argues, from the power plant to the charging station to the vehicle. Supportive policies should work to ensure that EV owners are able to capture the full economic value of their decision to fuel switch from electricity to gasoline, including any benefits to the grid operator, and any emission reduction benefits, in addition to realizing the savings from replacing gasoline or diesel fuel with electricity.
AKASOL providing Li-ion systems for Bombardier PRIMOVE; wireless charging
August 05, 2013
German Li-ion battery systems specialist AKASOL is supplying Li-ion battery systems for Bombardier’s PRIMOVE system. (Earlier post.) PRIMOVE is a Business Unit of Bombardier that specializes in creating market-ready solutions in the field of electromobility; its portfolio comprises integrated charging, battery, and power solutions for all types of electric rail and road vehicles. The wireless PRIMOVE charging technology permits automatic inductive rapid charging with up to 200 kW of power.
AKASOL’s water-cooled PRIMOVE Li-ion battery systems feature an extremely compact size and low weight. Depending on use, the energy capacity of the system packs varies between 50 and 90 kWh. Under the Bombardier partnership, AKASOL will supply 5-10 MWh of its Li-ion battery systems to Bombardier by the end of 2014 for use in various applications and at sites of operation around the world. Starting in 2015, volume should rise to a middle to high double-digit MWh range.
BMW unveils the production i3 in New York, London and Beijing; efficiency, dynamics and a supporting ecosystem of services
July 30, 2013
|The production version of the i3. Click to enlarge.|
In a simultaneous—and video linked—unveil in New York, London and Beijing, BMW introduced the production version of its i3 battery-electric vehicle on Monday. (Earlier post.) The i3 is the first series-production vehicle out of BMW’s i brand, and is purpose-built around an electric powertrain to serve needs of megacities customers, said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, during his remarks in New York. With its new architecture, use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and premium mobility service offerings, the “i3 marks the beginning of a new mobility age,” said Dr. Reithofer.
On a full lifecycle basis, with an average European electricity mix, the i3 offers approximately a 30% lower carbon footprint over 150,000 km (93,200 miles) of use than the fuel-efficient diesel-powered BMW 118d, said Dr. Julian Weber, head of Innovation Projects e-Mobility at BMW. With a renewable electricity mix, that increases to about 50%. EVs in general currently have a larger carbon burden in the production phase than conventional vehicles (e.g., earlier post), but gain their advantage in the use phase. The crossover point for the i3 vs. the 118d is at about 50,000 km (31,000 miles), Dr. Weber said.
GM OnStar partners with TimberRock for demo of EV solar charging and market-based regulation; OnStar Demand Response service
July 10, 2013
|The OnStar-TimberRock project. Click to enlarge.|
GM’s OnStar announced a project with TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. that uses aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid. It will be the first “real-world” use of OnStar’s Smart Grid solutions. (Earlier post.)
TimberRock will monitor the output of its solar charging stations, how much stored energy is available and when it can sell energy back to the grid to help meet peak demand. To help balance this system, TimberRock will then manage its fleet of four Chevrolet Volts to help regulate energy flow. This practice is known as market-based regulation.
SEAT unveils plug-in hybrid prototype based on the new Leon hatchback; smart charging and V2G
June 12, 2013
|SEAT Leon Verde PHEV prototype. Click to enlarge.|
SEAT, a Spanish motor company and member of the Volkswagen Group, has unveiled a plug-in hybrid R&D prototype based on the new Leon hatchback. The Leon Verde (“Green”) prototype is the culmination of the four-year Cenit Verde research project in Spain, and was presented at the official closing event of the project.
The plug-in hybrid combines a 120 hp (90 kw) 1.4 TSI gasoline engine with a 75 kW electric motor. Combined maximum output is 125 kW. Combined cycle fuel consumption is estimated at 1.6 l/100 km (147 mpg US), with 36 g/km CO2; all-electric range is 31 miles (50 km). With a fully charged battery and a full 40-liter (10.6 gallons US) gasoline tank, its total range is 507 miles (816 km).
ABB develops and demonstrates “flash charging” system for electric buses
May 31, 2013
|Close-up of the charging mechanism on the demo TOSA bus. Source: ABB. Click to enlarge.|
ABB has developed and is demonstrating a high-capacity “flash charging” system for electric buses. The system enables onboard batteries to be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kW boost at selected stops using a roof-mounted system (“Flash station”). The flash stations are connected to the 50kVA electricity network and also have a 3kWh storage unit (supercap) for smoothing peaks in consumption.
At the end of the bus line (“Terminus station”) a 3 to 4 minute boost at 200 kW tops up the batteries. At the depot station, the bus plugs into a multi-bus supply station connected to the 50 kVA network.
Australian Smart Grid demand management project shows EV drivers could halve charging costs
May 28, 2013
In Australia, as part of the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial (earlier post), DiUS Computing delivered a demand management demonstration project using Victoria’s Smart Grid. The project, which ran from June to December 2012, was the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s Smart Meter infrastructure for electricity demand management.
The results of the project, released this week in a project report available via the DiUS website, showed that drivers could save around $250 each year—about 50% of their charging costs—just by using grid-friendly smart charging technology.
Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos
April 24, 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.