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UMD researchers receive funding to develop onboard fast-charging system for electric vehicles

Professor Alireza Khaligh and and Professor Patrick McCluskey at the University of Maryland Energy Research Center have received a three-year Grant Opportunity for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) valued at $460K from the National Science Foundation. Their project, "Integrated On-Board Universal SiC-based Fast Charging for Plug-In Electric Vehicles centers on the design of an integrated, universal on-board fast charger compatible with all charging levels.

Using level-1 and level-2 low power charging at home overnight or during the day at the office with a 120VAC or 240VAC main connection can take 4-20 hours depending on available power and battery size. Therefore, trips of significant length would involve significant planning and vehicle downtime. The current alternative is to charge through high power level-3 off-board chargers which are bulky, costly to manufacture, expensive to install, and requires comprehensive evolution of the national charging infrastructure.

Khaligh and McCluskey are collaborating with Steven Rogers of Genovation, an electric car company in Rockville, Md. Their ultimate goal is to provide a transformative solution to overcome present limitations of the charging methods for electric vehicles. This research is intended to:

  • lead to theoretical advancements in the design of onboard, integrated high-power chargers;

  • result in innovative packaging and thermal management methods as well as physics of failure mode analyses for wide band gap based converters, leading to increased efficiency with lower size, weight, and cost; and

  • involve interdisciplinary research in power electronics, control, adjustable speed drives, packaging, reliability assessment, and thermal management.



Up to 100 KW Level III and up to 200 KW Level IV chargers will probably have to use 440 and 660 Volts AC supply sources respectively?

That may be a challenge for on-board chargers.

James McLaughlin

Level 3 is an obsolete term in J1772 (if that is what you meant) and Level 4 never was defined.

I don't know of anywhere in the world where 440 VAC or 660 VAC is common, please educate me on that.

The Renault Zoe can accept about 44 kW with the Type 2 connector at 230 VAC line-to-neutral, 400 VAC line-to-line three phase in Europe. That is also an integrated charging system if I understand (meaning the same electronics that perform regenerative breaking in drive mode also charge the battery form the mains grid when stationary).

There are advanced versions of the Type 2 connector that could deliver 110 kW at those European AC voltages (230/400 V) and over 130 kW at US voltages (277/480 VAC). It is not clear to me yet if the Type 2 connector can be listed for 346/600 VAC use in Canada.


The 400+ VAC and 600+ VAC sources vary from Province to Province in Canada. It is a bit like the Star and Delta systems in Europe.

Basically, it is difficult to operate quick charge and very quick charge facilities with easily available single phase 110/120 and/or 220/240 VAC

Three phase and/or higher voltage on-board chargers would not be very useful (would be limited) if matching sources are not easily available.

When you have 200+ mile range, the requirement for fast onboard charging for non commercial applications disappears. How often have you driven more than 200 miles in-town in a single day?

Smaller, lighter and cheaper we could use.


@ e-c-i-c:

You refer to second short range city type e-cars ONLY. An all purpose family e-car in a very cold area needs 500+ Km range to get at least 250 Km on very cold Snowy days.

James McLaughlin

Harvey, what Canadian provinces have "400+ VAC" distribution?

The advanced Type 2 connector could theoretically carry almost 77 kW at 240 VAC single phase if a line pin was reassigned as another neutral pin.


We already have 400+ VAC and 600+ VAC in our high-rise Condo building garage/mechanical rooms in Laval, QC.
Apartments are restricted to 115/220 VAC.

Individual internal garage spaces (150+) are not yet equipped with (legal) easy access to 115/200 VAC. Not too many owners are interested to participate in the cost of extra electrical circuits required at the rate of about $5K per space (less the $2.5K subsidy)

PS: I will try again soon since we have/own a huge main transformer (less than 40% used) and plenty of low cost hydro electricity.

That's why we drive HEVs instead of PHEVs.

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