Changes in Charging Technology Will Accelerate EV Adoption
I recently took an Uber while on business travel in Chicago and the driver couldn’t stop “commenting” on the lengthy charging time for his electric car. He told me he would charge it for 14 hours on his plug at home and only get about a 15 percent charge. He added that he would likely have to face additional costs to upgrade his home infrastructure for efficiency reasons.
Charging EVs is still cumbersome, difficult and slow, which is a main reason why EV adoption in the U.S.—around 5 percent—lags far behind Europe—around 20 percent. But there are some promising signs that greater acceptance is on the way:
- Lower EV Costs: New vehicles prices in general rose by an average of 2.2 percent from 2020 to 2021, compared EVs which decreased by 10.8 percent
- Increased Public Interest: 60 percent of consumers say they would consider purchasing an EV
- Traditional Automaker Investment: $500 billion in EV development by 2030
- Government Support: The Biden Administration has committed $5 billion in the next few years to build an expanded network of EV charging stations
So, prices are lowering, people are more interested and there is a growing industry and government commitment. What’s lacking is the technology but it’s just around the corner with a showroom of innovations.
Smart EV charging delivers reliable, safe, renewable and cost-effective energy to EVs while meeting the needs of drivers and local grids. The technology relies on sophisticated back-end software that captures data from EVs, networked chargers and the grid to optimize charging of EVs, integrate power from storage and renewable sources and minimize impact on the grid.
Wireless charging is on the horizon. Companies like WAVE are currently doing this for busses. Drivers pull up to a stop, the charging infrastructure is buried in the road and a receiving panel on the bottom of the bus is engaged wirelessly to charge when driven over the road plate. There is talk and testing of this on U.S. freeways.
Mega-watt charging (sounds like something out of Back to the Future) is coming in 2023. This is the highest and fastest level of charging that will be used for Class 6-8 electric trucks. This system could reach 1250 volts and 3000 amps DC.
Improved Battery Technology
An alternative to lithium-ion batteries is being pursued that is less expensive, faster to charge, longer-lived and not reliant on scarce minerals. New options such as sodium-ion offer possibilities, and innovators are also exploring solid state batteries and even quantum batteries, which can charge fully in three minutes.
Other Made-for-Home Solutions
NeoCharge has developed smart outlet splitters that enable Level 2 charging at home without a panel upgrade, saving customers $2,200 on average on charger installation. SPAN created a smart electrical panel that, combined with an EV charger, software platform and user-facing app, provides intelligent management of electric appliances and devices.
If the infrastructure is built, people will come. That’s why TTI is making such a significant commitment to their future of EVs, offering the broadest and widest variety of electronic components, powertrain units, charging stations and more for the exciting road ahead in this fast-paced industry.
My Uber driver from Chicago will be excited.