Future Development of EV Charge Points

Created: Wednesday, October 17, 2018, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am



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By Jérôme Faissat, co-founder, Andersen

Until quite recently the electric vehicle (EV) was viewed as an idea largely promoted by environmentalists. However, there has been a rapid rise in the popularity of EVs.

In 2010, only around 100 EVs were sold in the US, yet by 2017 over 200,000 were sold. In total, there are estimated to be over a million EVs currently on the road in the US alone. Research suggests that by 2030 there will by 500 million EVs worldwide and that, given the exponential growth rate so far, even that figure may be an underestimation.

There is an infrastructure issue currently facing the EV market – availability of charge points. There is a shared pain for all drivers worrying about how far they can drive before they might get stranded.

Given the rapid speed at which the EV market is evolving and the issues for mass-adoption, let’s look as what may happen to increase charge points.

Increase in Charge Points

EVs are still rather limited in terms of range, maxing out at around 240 miles on a single charge. As such, we need to see an increase in commercial charge points for those driving long distances.

Fortunately, governments and private businesses are on the case. The European Union is pushing for charge point facilities to be available in new residential and commercial buildings and governments, such as the UK, are providing consumer subsidies for charge points. In fact, the UK government recently unveiled plans to become a world-leader in low-emission tech at the world’s first Zero Emissions Vehicle Summit.

Nissan predicts that the number of charge points will overtake petrol stations by August 2020. This is due both to the decline in petrol stations and the increase in charging points. Over the next two years, you’d be hard-pushed to find any car manufacturer that isn’t unveiling their hybrid or electric vehicles so they recognise the need to solve the charge point issue.

The variety of charge points is also increasing. EV customers and businesses now have a choice, albeit limited, between a range of functional, utilitarian charge points and more aesthetically-pleasing options. For example, Andersen EV’s charge point was nominated for a Design Week Award, demonstrating the mainstream attention charge points are receiving. For luxury hotels, golf clubs and other venues, aesthetics are important, so the availability of design-led charge points should help to increase adoption.

Increase in Charging Speed & Better Batteries

Huge strides have been made in terms of the speed of charging. A few years ago fully charging an EV would take several hours. Far too long for drivers to spend in a service station!

Now, with Three-Phase chargers, most modern EVs can charge to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. While this is a significant improvement, it doesn’t compare to the five minutes it takes to fill a tank of petrol.

The good news is that manufacturers are looking at solid-state batteries which use graphene as a potential solution and, meantime, we expect a graphene/lithium-ion hybrid to increase the range and charging speed of EV batteries.

Efficiency in battery design will be matched by improvements to charging points, allowing far more voltage to be run from the charge point. This is likely to double every few years, leading to rapid charging of much higher capacity batteries, which in turn will minimise range anxiety.

More Diverse Power Sources

Along with improvements in battery and charge point design, there will be a significant shift towards diversifying the sources of power for EVs. I don’t expect any of these alternatives to provide all of the power needed to charge an EV, but if each one contributes a little to the charge of the vehicle, it will keep them going longer between stops at charge points.

Solar panels, otherwise known as photovoltaics (PV), have already become much more efficient at capturing the sun’s energy. They can already be seen on commercial and residential buildings, but increasingly they will be seen on the roofs of EVs, helping boost the car’s energy as you drive.

Another source of energy will likely lie under our roads, charging EVs as we drive. As early as 2015, the UK government was testing charge-and-drive solutions for buses, providing a small amount of charge at each stop to keep EV buses operating their entire route without having to plug in. The same approach could be installed at traffic lights or even along stretches of motorways to give EVs a welcome energy boost.

Contactless Charging

Some suggest that the rise of autonomous vehicles will signal the end of car ownership. Instead, they suggest that cars will be booked and drive passengers autonomously to the destination.

While this seems inevitable with the amount of money Uber and Google are ploughing into the technology, I still think there will be a place for personal vehicles and family cars. Longer trips, for example, will require the vehicle for long periods and anyone who’s tried to organise their kids for a holiday will know how long it takes to pack the car!

I think personal autonomous vehicles will make use of wireless charge points, which will become the new standard for EV charging. Wireless charge points use induction to charge the vehicle from underneath, eliminating the need for a human operator to plug them in.

Many cities around the world are become increasingly congested with pollution skyrocketing.  This means there will be considerable pressure on this technology to keep evolving.  It’s an exciting time for the industry and a chance to contribute to a better, greener environment.


Jerome Faissat
    
Jérôme Faissat is co-founder of Andersen, makers of premium electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

Timeless design, hand styling, superior quality and the latest technology are all key to every Andersen EV charging point.

 

 


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