Task 20, Quick Charging Technology, to focus on business models, interoperability, batteries, and communication

July 20, 2012 11:41 AM
An quick charge takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
©  Photo courtesy of ABB.


Widespread acceptance of battery electric vehicles (EVs) will require overcoming several obstacles, including the relatively lengthy time required to charge them. Task 20, Quick Charging Technology, will provide a forum through the end of 2014 for discussing the challenges in offering consumers the fastest way to “refuel” or charge an EV battery.

On May 6, approximately 40 participants from Europe, Japan, and the U.S. attended the Task’s kick-off meeting held in Los Angeles in conjunction with EVS 26 and the IA-HEV Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting. Meeting participants represented automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), utilities, distribution systems operators, and battery and EV charging infrastructure manufacturers.

The kick-off meeting had a goal of identifying the main challenges to growth of the quick charging market. Twelve speakers from companies at the forefront of quick charging in the U.S., Europe, and Japan presented case studies from various perspectives as well as several potential solutions for the entire EV charging value chain.

Participants agreed that the use of EVs and charging can realize environmentally-friendly “green” mobility. Achieving this will require the cooperation of multiple stakeholders to implement efficient EV charging timed for minimal impact on the electrical grid. One size will not fit all in the case of EV charging business models—a wide-portfolio of solutions will be needed to enable EVs and quick charging to succeed.

The participants identified four areas where IA-HEV Task 20 can play a significant role through fostering information exchange over the next three years:

Business cases – Real-life data from EV users is needed to determine pricing models for quick charging that customers will find attractive and that allow it to be a financially sustainable business. Also, new ways of integrating information and communications technologies (ICT) with power distribution (also known as the “smart grid”) may encourage adoption of EVs and charging technologies. Finally, business cases may need to be tailored according to regional requirements.

Communication –When EV sales fall behind the projections made by OEMs and governments, there is a risk that the public may conclude that EVs are not yet a viable technology. This perception can also limit support for quick charging technology, and thus it is important to get a realistic message out. Consistent, clear, and transparent communication about EV technology showing its solutions, benefits, and environmental sustainability will improve consumer confidence in EVs and quick charging as real and useful technologies.

Batteries – High costs for lithium-ion batteries remain a significant barrier for a broader deployment of EVs and quick charging technology. It is necessary to develop lower-cost batteries that can sustain the technical demands imposed by quick charging and regenerative braking, while maximizing the all-electric range of an EV. Task 20 expects to work on identifying suitable innovations towards this end, and is in conversation with IA-HEV Task 10 (Electrochemical Systems) for future collaboration.

Interoperability –Quick charging technology currently exists, but is not yet in widespread use. However, the emerging smart charging infrastructure may consist of a mix of different types of charging capabilities: ultra-quick charging stations (DC), quick charging stations (3-phase AC), slow charging stations (single-phase AC) and also, in the near future, induction charging. Task 20 plans to discuss to what degree EVs should be designed to operate with multiple charging systems.

Task 20 anticipates holding a meeting during fall 2012 in either Europe or Japan where these discussions will be continued. The Task welcomes new participants to join the key players in the dialog on this exciting topic. For further information, please contact Task 20 Operating Agent, Mr. Ignacio Martin.


Contributed By Mr. Ignacio Martin