Spring 2012 IA-HEV meetings discuss EV charging interoperability and data collection

July 20, 2012 03:46 PM
ExCo and Task 1 meetings.
© Photo courtesy of Justin Woodjack.

Increasing industry participation in IA-HEV and the interoperability of charging solutions across country borders were big topics as IA-HEV member and guest country delegates met in Los Angeles, California, U.S., for the group’s 36th Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting on May 3-4  and 33rd Task 1 experts meeting on May 6, 2012.

Topics discussed at the ExCo meetings included:

  • Increasing industry participation: It was suggested that engaging industry in IA-HEV Tasks may attract new members. Industry has not historically played a large role in IA-HEV, as some have pointed out that the timelines for the research projects of most Tasks are generally longer than those of industry. However, Task 10 (Electrochemical Systems) has been operating through workshops that do not require on-going commitment, with plenty of participation by industry. This model might be extended to future Tasks, especially in the current economic environment in which European companies might be more willing to contribute to a joint-research project through collaboration instead of committing funds.

  • Cross-border standardization and interoperability of charging solutions: In May 2012, the standardization and interoperability of charging infrastructure — or the ability of EVs to plug into charging posts as they drive across international borders — moved a step closer towards becoming a new Task, after discussions about these issues at several previous ExCo meetings. Delegates from three countries will prepare a joint proposal for a new Task to present at the next ExCo meetings scheduled for October 2012.
  • Data collection: Many organizations are collecting data from plug-in EVs running in test deployments. There are questions about what kinds of data to collect, as well as whether organizations might share data. A workshop to discuss all aspects of data collection from vehicles is under consideration.
  • New Task on accelerated ageing testing for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries: The ExCo unanimously voted to start Task 21 on Li-ion ageing accelerated testing procedures. Accelerated ageing testing is necessary for Li-ion batteries because EVs have not yet been on the road long enough for the batteries’ performance and durability to be tested in real-world conditions over several years. Task objectives are to compare, the Li-ion battery ageing test procedures that are currently being used in different countries through both analysis and experiment, and to share the testing data between countries to support the development of an internationally agreed upon Li-ion battery ageing  test procedure that can be eventually used for the development of a specific standard.
  • Other possible new Tasks under consideration: The topics of wireless charging of EVs and e-mobility business models have also attracted some interest for possible future IA-HEV Tasks. These proposed Tasks will be presented at the 37th ExCo meeting in Germany in October 2012.

Task 1, Information Exchange, meeting highlights of the reports from member countries and guests attending include:

  • How a transition in U.S. transportation technologies might occur: Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have modeled various scenarios for the market penetration of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles (HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs, also referred to as “xEVs”) based on consumer demand. The “high-technology” scenario shows xEVs constituting 70% of vehicle sales in 2050, versus a “low-technology” scenario in which xEVs make up only 27% of that year’s vehicles sold. However, two-thirds of forecasts made by market research and consulting firms over the past three years point towards a consensus of a low-technology future for xEVs. This suggests that advanced vehicle technology needs a push now in order for xEVs to avoid the predicted outcome and achieve a larger market penetration.
  • Large-scale EV deployment programs continue in several countries: Germany’s “Electromobility Model Regions” program has already yielded useful statistics on car and charging point usage from more than 350 EVs in the study, which has been running since 2009. Austria has its own model regions program, which during 2011 grew to cover eight regions, each of which is deploying at least 200 EVs. In Belgium, the Flemish Living Lab Electric Vehicles program has made progress towards its goal of 600 charging points and 600 EVs ranging from bicycles to trucks and buses, which are being tested in real-world usage. The “Test an EV” project run by Danish charging infrastructure company ChoosEV claims to be the biggest EV demonstration project in Europe, with 2,400 families testing 300 EVs during three-month periods over two years. Also in Denmark, the Danish EV Test Scheme run by the Danish Energy Agency encompassed 252 EVs distributed over 28 EV projects since 2009, with many results anticipated this summer. Italy also has a new program of five pilot demonstration projects to investigate three different business models for EV charging.
  • Changes in EV incentives: In February 2012, the United Kingdom Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) began to offer a Plug-in Van Grant to encourage fleet uptake of low emissions vans, which can get an incentive worth 20% of a van up to £8,000. Though Finland has offered none of the types of incentives that other countries set for EVs, since April 2012 Finland now gives a reduction in purchase tax based on the CO2 emissions of a new vehicle, which will benefit EVs. On the other hand, Belgium eliminated its substantial tax incentives for purchasing low CO2 emissions vehicles, because so many citizens were buying qualifying vehicles that the cost to the national government exceeded the program budget.
  • Policy changes due to changes in government: Following the election of a new government in Denmark in October 2011, a new Danish Energy Strategy was announced in April 2012, with goals of wind power providing 50% of electricity consumed by 2020 and all electricity from renewables by 2035. Together with prolonging tax exemptions for EVs and HEVs until 2015, and the extension of a pilot program for EVs until 2015 and to include PHEVs, this policy bolsters support for plug-in electric vehicles in Denmark. As mentioned above, Belgium eliminated tax incentives for low CO2 emissions vehicles in order to shrink its budget after the new national government was formed in December 2011.
  • “Future-proofing” for EV charging: In Australia, it has been observed that new construction planning should include EV charging requirements because retrofitting of a site will cost more than installing the correct electrical cabling from the start. Enforcing parking constraints to guarantee that the correct cars can access Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) infrastructure is also necessary, starting with developing license plate identification for PHEVs and BEVs.
  • The European Commission (EC) is working on standardization for EVs: In June 2010, the EC mandated a standardized charging interface for EVs connecting to EVSE, and a decision on standards for a plug is expected within a year. However, a consensus on DC fast charging is already emerging, with vehicle manufacturers announcing an agreement for the “Type 2-Type 2 Combo” interface, though the CHAdeMO interface is also currently used. The EC is also working on international technical standards for motor vehicles in order to facilitate compliance for European-based companies that operate worldwide and do business in non-European markets.

Delegates at the meetings came from the IA-HEV member countries Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Guests from Australia, Colombia, the European Commission, and EV-related organizations such as AVERE (the European Association for Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles), the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative, the City Council of Santa Monica, and APVE (the Portuguese Association for Electric Vehicles) also participated in the meetings.

Contributed By Kristin Abkemeier