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Power Transportation

EV Fast-Charging Standards In Flux 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the throw-electrons-at-it-and-see-what-sticks dept.
savuporo writes "With the first battery electric vehicles becoming available on markets worldwide, there is an increased push to establish standards for fast-charging plugs. Unfortunately, the story is far from simple. The US hopes to establish its own DC fast-charging standard by 2012, and Europe cannot come to an agreement about their version. Meanwhile, the CHAdeMO fast-charge standard developed and widely deployed in Japan, used on both the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV, is gaining momentum with deployments underway both in the US and Europe. CHAdeMO is limited to a 62kW charge rate, able to charge smaller battery packs to 80% SoC in 15-30 minutes."
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EV Fast-Charging Standards In Flux

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  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:25PM (#35916770)

    Obviously a fast switch of batteries is a better idea. I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge. Then they can have fast chargers dedicated and efficient to re supply the batteries. I know batteries are expensive so the biggest obstacle is just figuring out a credit/ID system so that people can be trusted to trade $1000 batteries quickly.

    I don't think the cost of the battery pack is a factor, nor is verifying credit/ID a difficult problem...I can rent a $25,000 car from a car rental agency in a few minutes -- if I'm in the right car rental membership program, my reserved car is waiting for me in the lot so I just hop in and drive to the gate, then show my driver's license to leave the lot.

    I think a bigger obstacle is that people would have to agree to battery leasing programs instead of ownership. If you own the battery, you're not going to want to swap out your brand new battery with some old worn out battery that happened to be on the shelf at the service station.

    Coupled with the fact that it's even harder to standardize on battery design/voltage than on charging connector/voltage. Physical dimensions of battery packs can vary widely depending on the design of the car.

  • by robot256 (1635039) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:29PM (#35916788)

    You don't want to wait 5 minutes for a recharge? It takes longer than that to fuel a gas car. If it were such a big problem they would have invented swappable gas tanks long ago.

    Besides, it's far easier to standardize a plug than an entire battery pack. Car manufacturers would hate the constraint of standardized battery packs--it's much easier to design a usable car if you can shove batteries wherever you want. But it's relatively easy to put any kind of plug on any kind of car.

    It's also one thing for a gas station to have three different plugs at each booth; another thing to stock 10 different kinds of batteries for trucks, SUVs, sport cars, family cars, mini cars, etc etc etc. Not to mention the huge investment in robotic battery changers at all the gas stations--that costs way more than plugs on a rack.

    Don't worry, by the time EVs are common enough for battery swapping to make any sense at all, the batteries themselves will be so advanced they will charge in a reasonable amount of time and it will be unnecessary. In the meantime, we have to put up with the practicalities of boot-strapping an entire market in the face of subsidized competition (petroleum industry).

  • by black6host (469985) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @04:39PM (#35917132)

    Obviously a fast switch of batteries is a better idea. I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge. ...

    How about if the range of the vehicle was quadrupled? Would you wait then?

  • by Rei (128717) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:00PM (#35917240) Homepage

    Think of the battery pack like the frame of the vehicle -- huge, heavy, expensive, and critical to the structural integrity of the vehicle. Yes, you *could* make a "hot swappable frame" for a vehicle -- but that doesn't make it a good idea. The frames would be tough to swap, expensive to stock, ridiculously bulky to stock, and as much as you tried to standardize between vehicles, you'd need different models of frames. It's the exact same thing with battery packs. Swapping heavy, structurally-integrity-critical devices with high power, high voltage connectors whose needs in terms of shape, weight distribution, capacity, weight, and voltage discharge profile vary dramatically between vehicles, and which cost many thousands of dollars each to stock... it's just, no. Fast charge is the only realistic way to go.

  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:11PM (#35917300)
    Because then you might plug your car into any generic 3 phase outlet instead of the one dedicated to vehicular charging with the built in road tax metering.

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