Electric vehicle charging is an evolving field with new products and advanced EV charging technologies developing globally.
In this exclusive write-up for EVreporter, Ravin Mirchandani from Quench EV Chargers shares his perspective on wireless EV charging and wall-mounted quick DC chargers.
Classification of EV charging infrastructure
The charging infrastructure solutions can be quite cleanly classified under:
Home charging (AC slow charge 3.5kW to 7.5kW)
Destination charging (AC 11kW- 22kW or DC 30kW – 60 kW)
Distress or highway charging (DC 60kW -240kW and hyper-fast DC 350kW)
Opportunistic charging (Pantograph or wireless charging, usually for fleets)
Conductive wireless charging
Wireless charging solutions are really in a very early stage of development. I have seen taxis being able to use wireless charge pads in Sweden, but it will be a while before these become ubiquitous as there are many challenges. It requires both an infrastructure investment (transmitter pad) and a vehicle investment (receiver pad) and is also a lot slower than conductive DC fast charging, – hence its use is opportunistic.
Suitable use cases for wireless charging
For buses and taxis whose daily mileage may exceed the capacity of the batteries in the vehicle, small top-ups of opportunistic charges at taxi ranks whilst waiting, or even in bus stops and depots help bridge the range gap – and therefore justifies the additional investment that is required for such wireless charging. The primary application (of wireless charging) is a top-up charge.
In most markets, the cheapest technology wins, and so it will be some time before we see the costs of wireless or wireless-related applications in EV charging drop and for this technology to become ubiquitous.
Is wireless charging relevant for the Indian market in the near future?
India rewards “cheap and best”. Cost is a digital zero-one game. Whilst that’s not the most efficient way to make a decision – the technology that will be most implemented will be the one that is cheapest. Today that is AC chargers. Numerous companies advertise that they have installed thousands of chargers, but these are really AC slow chargers.
As the costs of DC chargers drop, we will see a gradual implementation of fast destination and highway chargers in India. Until the costs of wireless charging technology drop significantly for both the off-vehicle and on-vehicle related additional investment, it will be some time before we see it implemented in India.
Trend of wall-mounted DC charger installations, with up to 25kW/30kW power output
The evolution of wall-mounted DC chargers is happening in 2 separate directions. In India, some Charge Point Operators (CPOs) who wish to enter the highway charging segment are choosing to reduce their capital spending till the market demand grows to justify additional capital on higher capacity charging infrastructure. This also works well for CPOs in a few states which do not have any mandate to set up a separate transformer for less than <30kW. This is perhaps more of short-term demand. 30kW single gun wall boxes also are popular at car dealerships to charge new EVs before deliveries.
In Europe, where car parks are dominated by AC wall boxes, charge point operators are starting to replace some of the 11 and 22kW AC chargers with 30kW single gun chargers. The reason for this market growth is unique to the northern parts of Europe, where there has been a significant move from ICE to EV users. Most folks with street-front apartments have no access to charging and typically charge at the office or commercial car parks. 30kW wall boxes allow for a rapid top-up of the state of charge during an hour of shopping. This will be an interesting market in the future globally as they address a unique requirement without needing significant electrical infrastructure.
Manufacturing wall-mounted DC chargers
We designed our 30kW Quench Oasis wallbox and pedestal charger in 2022, it is undergoing ARAI approval for use in India, and we expect to launch commercially in October 2022.
We have already exported our 30kW Quench Oasis units. The chargers are OCPP 1.6 compliant. They use a single SIC-based 30KW Quench AC-DC converter and power a single CCS gun with 30kW of fast charge.
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