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SPX and Aker Wade partner to develop new low-cost fast chargers for EVs

SPX Service Solutions, a business unit of SPX Corporation (earlier post), and Aker Wade Power Technologies, LLC, a designer and manufacturer of advanced fast charging systems (earlier post), signed a letter of intent jointly to develop a new family of practical electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers for the global vehicle market.

These new charge stations will utilize an all-in-one connector from SAE that provides Level 1, 2, and DC Fast Charging for any EV, with a power level that permits fast charging. (Earlier post.) A typical 100-mile range EV with a 25 kWh battery pack can add an additional 50 miles in less than 20 minutes, and deliver a full charge of 100 miles in approximately 40 minutes. The first product, a 30 kW dealership-based unit, will be available in North America and Europe and meet SAE and IEC standards.

The new charge station is designed to be a low-cost, wall-mounted indoor unit aimed initially at vehicle dealerships. It features an ergonomically designed connector handle for easy and safe operation and utilizes high frequency power conversion technology for efficient power delivery. Future products leveraging the same technology will be launched to accommodate outdoor applications such as retail and public locations and other global charging standards/protocols.

DC fast charge infrastructure will reduce range anxiety, which will encourage the more widespread adoption of EVs. With SPX’s global presence and Aker Wade’s expertise in fast charging, we can offer a solution that will allow dealer networks to play an active role in EV sales and customer service.

—Tanvir Arfi, president of SPX Service Solutions

The letter of intent signed by SPX Service Solutions and Aker Wade outlines parameters for a partnership that is expected to be formally established in Q2 2012. Details will be released at that time, along with details of the fast charger expected to be available by early 2013.

SPX Service Solutions is a leading global developer and manufacturer of advanced diagnostic systems and service solutions for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), their dealer networks, and retail and aftermarket channels. The business also provides consulting, strategy and technical information for vehicle servicing and maintenance, as well as for charging and the servicing of electric vehicles. The company is working with GM and Daimler for charging stations and installation services for the Chevy Volt and smart fortwo electric drive and Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, respectively.



It is less costly to build a hydrogen infrastructure then a fast charger infrastructure. Also for the car owner it is easier to refuel with hydrogen 5 minutes to fill-up for 400 miles range then to get a fast charge in 40 minutes for 100 miles range.


The most convenient would be on-the-move energy transfer system that would supply unrestricted e-range to all equipped EVs. Home chargers would not be really required in most cases....charge as you drive.


I do not agree with either statement. It does not take much to create fast chargers. If we have standards it could attract investment.

This is one of the areas where private investment may actually get the job done. If there are enough EVs capable of quick charging with standards for doing so, there may be a business case that could be made.


I wonder what AD is smoking. A hydrogen infrastructure would cost about $1 trillion, or $3,300 per vehicle served. When chargers come down to the 10 cent/watt price of computer power supplies, they'll be perhaps $300 per vehicle--or even free such as AC Propulsion's reductive charging scheme which uses the existing inverter. Chargers are already cheaper than hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen is a dead end.


H2 may have its place but not on the Hydrogen Highway any time soon. I look at quick charging as relieving range anxiety. No one wants to get stuck out of gas nor out of energy, so this could help.


A.D., or 'Goodoldgorr' as he variously titles himself uses mathematics as yet undiscovered by the rest of humanity, and far beyond the furthest realms of quantum mechanics.


Say you can actually travel 100 miles on a 25 KW charge at 60 mph. This is 1 hour 40 minutes. Then it will take 40 minutes to recharge. Thus, you spend 2/7 or 28% of your time recharging on long runs.

This assumes you have recharging stations on exact 100 mile increments and immediately find a charger with no waiting around.

I guess this is why "Better Place" go for battery swaps.

As Harvey says, on the move charging is the way to go, but it has a long way to go before we see it deployed.

Car swapping is another way to go, requiring organisation, rather than new technology.
I can see 2 ways of doing it: DIY and Valet.

In DIY, you drive your EV to a swap station on the ring motorway (or wherever) and switch to an ICEv (by previous arrangement).

In Valet, they drive an ICEv to your house, drop in the keys and pick up your EV for the duration.

In either case, they could service or rent (by arrangement) your car to defray the cost. They would switch the insurance for you so you wouldn't have the hassle of doing it.

This would give the benefit of an EV for the 90% of the time you have shorter journeys, and an ICEV for the other 10%. This service could be offered with the EV, or by 3rd parties.

Or you could just have a second car which would be an ICEv.

(you could get a sticker which says "My other car is a Leaf" (if it mattered to you)).


The 40 minute figure is what these guys can do, not what can be done. Some of the battery chemistries can take a faster charge.

I don't look at this as taking a long trip, but getting people over the worry about running out of energy. If they are about to, they stop by the local quick charge and get 30,40,50 miles worth of a charge, whatever they need.


I SAID that an hydrogen infrastructure is less costly then a fast charger infrastructure, is it clear now ?

Nobody is stupid enouph to wait 40 minutes or more to do 100 miles thereafter then put hydrogen for 5 minutes for doing 400 miles thereafter.


It is clear what you said, you just happen to be WRONG.


And not just slightly wrong. SPECTACULARLY wrong.


With h2 it will cost only about 5% of the fuels retail price to build out the infrastructure. And the companies involved can handle this financing very easy.

With fast chargers... we are mostly going to be seeing the cost in that the power will be charged at say 25-75 cents per kwh.. in short a fast charge for 5-10 bucks.

Both syetems will do very well because they cater to very different people and both have fairly large markets avaialable to them.


In the old days, people used to change horses every 20 miles or so. Changing the battery pack every 80 miles or so would be much the same?

In the not too distant future, there will be better ways to increase e-range of most vehicles. Batteries will improve by 2x to 5x and may be more in the next two decades or so. That could solve (at a price) the e-range problem. Wireless charging would still be required.

Alternatively, on-the-move wireless charging lanes together with road side solar panels + wind mills to supply part of the energy could be a solution in many places.

High speed e-trains, like in EU and China, is one of the most efficient way to transport people and cargo.


@ wintermane299 ''With fast chargers... we are mostly going to be seeing the cost in that the power will be charged at say 25-75 cents per kwh.. in short a fast charge for 5-10 bucks.''

This is a catastrophy, 10 $ for doing 100 miles is costly and not counting the 40 minutes to do so and also if the charger is occupied then another 40 minutes to wait.


Wintermane2000 not wintermane 299


"5% of the fuels retail price..."

Where do you get that figure? 150 billion gallons per year of fuel at $4 per gallon comes to 600 billion dollars per year, so 5% of that is $30 billion.

Are you saying that you could fit 100,000 gas stations across the U.S. with H2 for $30 billion? If that is what you are saying then say it and tell us where you get those numbers.


sjc I got that figure from the industry.. over a 40 year rollout it would only take that much to do it.

And ad its not a disaster thats only 10 cents per mile.


Over 40 years sounds a bit more reasonable. Perhaps if the fueling stations made the H2 using natural and gas or electrolysis it could be done. I just don't like the high pressure tanks, I would rather reform methanol on board and make it bio methanol.

You realize that 70% efficient electrolysis times a 50% efficient fuel cell leave you with .7 x .5 = 35% electricity, which is best case optimistic. Put the same electrical power into a lithium battery pack and you have 90% for the charger and 90% for the battery for .9 x .9 = 81% efficient battery in an EV.


Toyota did a study on it and found generaly evs will get 33% well to wheels while fuel cells will get 40%

Now yes if you have a POWERFUL solar array you can charge up.. but it would have to be far more powerful then most home solar arrays to charge most evs.. otherwise you are in fact STILL using grid power OR you have to dump the power into a mass storage battery,, mostly lead acid right now and then from that charge the ev... that REALY kills well to wheels.

Solar array to lead acid... 75% ish.. lead acid to charger 75% charger to car 90%,, result....

And not all chargers are 90% One of my old friends found out his car charger was only 77 ish% eff... And the poor shmuck had been using an old and bad lead acid storage system.


No matter how you make the power it still comes out of the wall and either charges a battery or makes hydrogen. The Honda Clarity fuel cell car with home refueling either reforms natural gas or uses electrolysis. Reforming natural gas probably has the higher well to wheels number, but that is not sustainable.


You could make methane with CO2 from ethanol plants and H2 from solar PV, wind turbine... electrolysis, but it would be wasteful. Better to put the power on the line than make methane out of it, put it in pipe and just reform it on the other end to make H2 for a fuel cell. There are too many loses in too many conversions.

Henry Gibson

Actually, at the moment, hydrogen can be extracted from water with electricity and made into fuel that would cost less than a gallon of gasoline, if the electricity is available at the lowest industrial night rates. Ammonia can also be used as a zero carbon fuel and making it directly from air and water and electricity is being developed as a much more compact fuel than hydrogen and it can be stored in concentrated form in propane cylinders with about the same density as methanol which should become the standard fuel for automobiles because it is easily made from hydrogen and recycled CO2. It is possible now to build an automobile that burns any carbon fuel, including charcoal but captures the CO2 for recycling.

Since most automobile journeys are well within the range of lead acid batteries and the Atraverda batteries will improve this even more with higher energy and horsepower, small cheap electric vehicles with range extenders should be used for most travel, and have a large cheap used vehicle for planned long range travel.

The large number of battery manufacturers is actually making the electric automobile more expensive. The ZEBRA battery is suitable for most electric vehicles and could be bought at one fifth the price if made in the quantity needed for present electric automobiles because it is made of cheap materials and has no fire hazzard or cooling problems. GE in the US is pretending to make them in the future. FZ SONICK may expand production beyond the numbers done by MES-DEA.

Fast charging stations need an energy storage system so that the grid does not have pulse loads. These systems are best powered by a natural gas engine of the required capacity. Such engines can support the grid at critical times or be available during grid failure and also be used for cogeneration to heat or cool nearby buildings. ..HG..


Well I think the idea is to make use of the massive pipeline system. Find places with massive amounts of low cost resources like hydro or geo that arnt near people.. build out the pipeline to it and start supplyin massive amounts of h2 all over the continent.


I really cannot understand the absolutiist mentality which loves to set up a battle between fuel cells and batteries on grounds of infrastructure cost and efficiency generating electricity by means which at present is hardly used anyway, electrolysis.

In reality you optimise systems to the job in hand, and mix and match a variety of technologies.

This means that if you use batteries where they work ok and low energy density is important and fuel cells where you need higher energy density or it is too slow/difficult to plug in you obtain better efficiency overall than by using either on its own.

So the more sucessful batteries are the less the cost of the infrastructure for fuel cells, and the lower the overall assumed energy penalty.
OTOH the more sucessful fuel cells are the easier it is in combination with batteries to overcome remaining range limits as batteries and fuel cells go together superbly in a single plug in vehicle, and the less you have to worry about an pay for charging points at everly single roadside location.

As for the long term supply of hydrogen, there are all sorts of ideas around such as direct sunlight to hydrogen.
Whether they will work out or not we don't know, anymore than we know whether the vast increases in battery energy density and reductions in cost and charging time some are eager to assume for batteries will work out.

In the meantime we have pretty good batteries, especially if we can combine them with fuel cells, and it is perfectly fine producing hydrogen from natural gas at reasonable efficiency.

I don't see the point of demanding that transport systems are one trick ponies.


Although 'hydrogen' is complete misunderstanding of the basics there is another point aganst hydroge. In case you have FC car with high preasure tanks and all hydrogen stuff you still obliged to have full electrical system with bigger or smaller battery. Therefore hydrogen acts just as range extender for EV. JUST price of driving those several miles of extended range would thousand times more expensive than using conventional ICE range extender.

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