The International Energy Agency expects worldwide EV sales to reach 14 million in 2023, and 28 million in 2024. They predict that by 2030 there will be 140 million electric cars on the road worldwide. Scientists, engineers, and manufacturers are developing new battery technology to meet demands—and to make EVs lighter, more efficient, more affordable, and be capable of faster charging.
Very simply put, lithium-ion batteries store and release energy via a chemical reaction. During this reaction, lithium ions move from one electrode to the other through a liquid electrolyte, either shedding or gaining electrons along the way. Run a current of electricity through the battery and it “charges.” Connect the terminals to a circuit and they discharge.
Commercial lithium-ion batteries contain a liquid or gel electrolyte. Solid-state lithium batteries use a solid electrolyte instead, reducing the overall size and weight of the batteries. Solid-state lithium batteries have several advantages over their liquid counterparts:
Solid-state lithium batteries have been in development since the mid-1970s, but they haven’t been made commercially available in large quantities. Recently Toyota and Honda have announced plans to manufacture solid-state batteries, along with US battery manufacturer QuantumScape. Toyota claims they developed a breakthrough in manufacturing and hope to produce EVs with solid-state lithium batteries as soon as 2025. Honda hope their new solid-state battery tech will reduce the weight of their batteries by up to 50%. QuantumScape recently announced they’ll be producing a 5Ah solid-state lithium battery that could be used in EV battery packs. The company claims the battery can endure 800 charge cycles without significant degradation.
Nissan have also recently announced their solid-state lithium battery project, which they claim will go online sometime in 2028. And in 2022 GM announced they’re investing $7 billion in solid-state battery tech.
Toyota claim their solid-state battery could give EVs a range of up to 1,200km (745 miles) and charge in about 10 minutes. Other manufacturers are promising similar range and charge times, but haven’t provided real-world data as of yet.
Most of today’s lithium-ion batteries use cobalt, an expensive and potentially dangerous element that’s only available in a few places on earth. Battery manufacturers are seeking alternatives to cobalt to avoid supply-chain interruptions and reduce costs. Many of the world’s largest cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo also have dangerous working conditions that endanger the lives of tens of thousands of miners. Reducing or eliminating the use of cobalt in lithium-ion batteries has many advantages. Lithium-sulfur batteries eliminate the need for cobalt or nickel, another rare element. They offer many benefits over lithium-cobalt batteries, including:
However, lithium-sulfur batteries face challenges like shorter cycle life and issues with sulfur’s stability. Researchers are actively working to overcome these obstacles and bring lithium-sulfur batteries to the mainstream EV market. Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory recently announced a major breakthrough in lithium-sulfur battery chemistry, uncovering a key chemical process that stabilizes the sulfur cathode. The researchers hope they can refine the process to produce longer-lasting, more energy dense lithium-sulfur batteries in the future.
Lithium-ion batteries of all forms have been popular for decades due to their power density and power output. But alternative battery chemistries are gaining popularity as lithium ore becomes harder to mine and lithium supply lines are stressed by increasing demand. Sodium lies just below lithium on the periodic table and has similar properties, but it is far more common and easier to process. Sodium-ion batteries promise to deliver most of what lithium batteries deliver, but at a much lower cost.
Sodium-ion batteries have been in development for more than 50 years, but they haven’t been commercially developed until recently. In the past, sodium-ion batteries weren’t able to match the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, were heavier, and deteriorated more quickly. Now some sodium-ion batteries are approaching the energy density of lithium-ion batteries and Chinese manufacturers CATL and BYD plan to release cars with sodium-ion batteries late in 2023. CATL plans to start mass-producing sodium-ion batteries in late 2023.
Sodium-ion batteries probably won’t replace lithium-ion batteries anytime soon, but they could be used in lower-cost EVs and for grid storage in the future.
Many next-generation batteries promise faster charging times than current batteries. Improving battery technology is crucial to improving charging times, making EVs more convenient for drivers everywhere. The world is rapidly building fast-charging infrastructure to ensure drivers can use their EVs for anything from daily commutes to road trips. The same fast-charging infrastructure will be crucial for electric commercial vehicles moving goods between cities.
At Tritium we work with EV manufacturers to ensure our chargers work flawlessly with the latest battery technology, conducting interoperability testing of vehicles at our facilities throughout the world. To learn more about our scalable, modular fast chargers, review our PKM150 fast chargers.
If you’re building the world’s fast-charging infrastructure, or if you’re interested in working with us to test your latest EVs before launching to the market, contact one of our experts today.
With Karim Farhat, Chief Commercial Officer, EVCS
Tritium is proud to feature our partner EVCS, one of the largest public EV charging networks on the US West Coast. Tritium supplies direct current (DC) fast chargers for the growing charging network. EVCS and Tritium are working together to help more people drive electric.
EVCS was founded in 2018 and has quickly become one of the largest and fastest-growing public EV charging networks on the US West Coast. EVCS’ mission is to accelerate access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable EV Charging. Powered by 100% renewable energy, EVCS develops, owns, and operates Level 2 and DC Fast charging stations that can be used by all EV models on the market today, including Tesla. EVCS has more than 850 chargers across more than 175 locations and continues to grow rapidly. In addition, EVCS offers EV drivers flexible subscription charging plans. This includes unlimited charging plans designed for gig and high-mileage drivers, with significant potential savings.
EV drivers prioritize several key factors when using our network and charging publicly in general. These include affordability, convenience of charging locations, and reliability. As a publicly accessible charging network, we always strive to optimize the customer experience across all three dimensions. We aim for charging sites that are safe and near attractive amenities. We work hard to ensure that every charger is available and those that are offline are rapidly repaired; and we continue to innovate with first-of-kind charging subscription plans and services that are cost-effective and appealing for a wide range of EV drivers with different needs. We’re committed to establishing EVCS as a trusted EV charging provider, ensuring that our customers have seamless and enjoyable charging experience.
EVCS offers a variety of charging services that are designed to fit the unique charging needs of a wide variety of EV drivers. Today, we offer four monthly subscription plans for regular and high-mileage drivers: Our most popular plan, Standard Anytime, includes 200 kWh monthly charging credit (about 720-780 miles range) for as low as $0.25/kWh. Essential Anytime is an entry-tier plan that includes 30 kWh of monthly charging credit (about 105-115 miles range) and is designed for drivers who might rely on EVCS’ public chargers less often. For high-mileage drivers, EVCS offers two very cost-effective charging plans: The Unlimited Anytime plan allows unlimited 24/7 access to any charger in the entire EVCS network, and Unlimited Off-Peak Pro allows similar unlimited access during nighttime. Enrolling in these plans helps EV drivers save significantly on their charging costs. Drivers can learn more and enroll at evcs.com/plans.
In addition, EVCS works with strategic partners to offer innovative charging plans that are customized to fit their drivers’ needs. Our partnership with Hertz on rideshare EV charging is a great example: Hertz rideshare renters in California get exclusive access to three price-competitive weekly charging plans. The EVCS + Hertz Rideshare Program is very successful, and we are excited to keep expanding our EV charging offerings through strategic partnerships.
DC Fast charging is critically important for EV drivers who may not have access to home charging. As EVs hit the mass-market, more prospective EV drivers, especially renters with no guaranteed and dedicated charging spots, need access to reliable and fast charging infrastructure. DC Fast chargers could be placed at destination locations such as public parking sites, grocery stores, shopping malls, gyms, and universities where people can charge while conducting their normal daily activities. DC Fast chargers can also work well at apartment complexes to benefit both residents and the public. In addition, DC Fast chargers are very beneficial near highways and major roads, to minimize range anxiety and meet the commuting needs of drivers; essentially aligning with people’s refueling habits at traditional gas stations. Today, EVCS installs and operates Tritium’s DC Fast chargers at all these locations to accommodate our customer needs. DC Fast charging makes electric vehicles a more viable and practical choice for a wider range of consumers, ultimately resulting in greater EV adoption.
The biggest challenges facing the industry today to build a fast-charging network are finding the best locations, reducing deployment timelines, and ensuring maximum network reliability. Installing a DC fast charger requires a large uptake of power capacity from the grid, usually anywhere from 50 to 350 kW for charging light duty vehicles. Finding the best location for deploying a DC Fast charger requires balancing several factors, including availability of grid capacity, site specifics, and market demand. Subsequently, deploying the chargers requires close coordination with several players, including the EV charging network, the local utility, local permitting jurisdictions, subcontractors, and others. Sometimes, because of potential grid constraints and lack of streamlined processes among the various players involved, deployment timelines can get very long.
Once the chargers are deployed and commissioned, ensuring they are always available for customer use becomes the main objective. DC Fast chargers are sophisticated machines with several hardware and software technologies that serve various functions: dispense high-power electricity; modulate power output based on EV battery status and grid conditions; connect to and communicate with several EV makes and models; communicate with charging network operator; communicate with the customer charging app(s); payment processing; etc. As publicly available critical infrastructure, these units are sometimes subject to unexpected and harsh conditions (e.g., extreme weather events, vandalism, accidents), requiring rigorous and regular inspection and maintenance to maximize their uptime.
Tritium has played a significant role in helping us address these challenges and enhance our EV charging network. Our partnership has been invaluable. Tritium offers some of the fastest and most reliable chargers in the market. Chargers like the RT50, RTM75, and PKM150 are durable and fast, delivering speeds of up to 150 kW, which allows vehicles to get a full charge in as little as 30 minutes. The units also occupy a relatively small footprint, which makes them easier to deploy. Tritium chargers also offer seamless payment options to drivers, including convenient methods such as connecting through the EVCS app, online payment, credit-card swipe, and tap payments.
If I’m to describe our experience working with Tritium in one word, it’d be “collaborative.” Tritium has proven to be a great partner, and they have made the collaboration process smooth on all fronts. We continue to learn together, grow together, and succeed together, and we look forward to growing our partnership.
With Alan Dowdell, Head of Sales and Marketing, Enel X Way
Tritium and Enel X Way partnered to pursue a shared vision: to electrify transpiration and help enable renewable energy. Enel X Way provides EV charging at home and on the go, deploying Tritium chargers for EV drivers on the go.
Enel X Way is a subsidiary of Fortune 200 renewable energy leader the Enel Group and is dedicated to electric mobility. The company is driven by innovation and electrification to meet sustainability goals with their smart home, commercial, and public charging solutions. Enel X Way operates in 16 countries and manages more than 500,000 charge ports globally and more than 193,000 in North America.
Enel X Way’s award-winning home charging station, the JuiceBox, has been named the “best EV charger overall” by CNET, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, and Road & Track.
Fast charging is an essential piece of Enel X Way’s charging solutions portfolio. Alongside Level 2 charging for home or commercial use, accessible and reliable DC fast charging is needed for those unable to charge at home or who that require charging capabilities that gets them on the road sooner. Enel X Way’s comprehensive lineup of Tritium JuicePump DC fast chargers can charge EVs up to 80% in less than 20 minutes. It’s the perfect solution for fleet depots, shopping centers, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores.
The United States White House Administration has set targets of having 50% of all new vehicle sales be electric by 2030 and is on track to install around 200,000 DC fast chargers by 2030. By deploying public and private DC fast chargers nationwide, we will support rapidly growing EV adoption. By 2025, the Enel Group will invest $22.8 billion in renewables. As a core region within the Enel Group, North America has pledged to meet ambitious goals including 475,000 EV charge ports, 5 GW of new utility-scale renewable and storage capacity, 37 MW in demand response capacity, and 155 MW of distributed energy storage capacity.
An integrated solar, storage, and EV charging solution is critical for reducing stress on electrical grids during peak hours and preventing blackouts. Renewable energy from solar panels and wind farms can generate clean energy to power EV charging stations during the day, minimizing electricity drawn from the grid. Storage can then hold excess solar or wind energy and deploy it at night or when grid demand is high.
The case for driving electric is undeniable. Transportation accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., causing the Earth to warm at an ever-increasing pace. EVs provide zero emission transportation while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and improving air quality in communities around the world.
Driving EVs also helps owners save money through incentives, rebates and tax credits that lower the cost of purchasing an EV and home charging station. Not to mention the perks of driving an EV, including access to HOV carpool lanes, reduced tolls, free public charging in select areas, and less vehicle maintenance.
Expanding access to DC fast charging comes with some challenges, such as determining where to install the stations. DC fast chargers must be placed in locations that are highly visited by EV drivers close to highways, shopping centers or other public locations that have ample parking space, amenities to use while charging, and adequate power supply. Stations must also be able to scale with increased demand for electric vehicles while meeting complex charging protocols that continually evolve. For this reason, Enel X Way and Tritium provide modular kW configurations that grow with your business needs. User experience is also critical. DCFC must be easy to find and use, and they need to be reliable with ample uptime.
Tritium has been an excellent DC fast charging partner that will help us meet increasing demand for fast charging and achieve our mutual goal of electrifying transportation. Pairing Tritium’s DC fast charging technology with Enel X Way’s smart charging platform delivers fast, flexible, and scalable charging solutions for our customers.
Enel X Way has historically been a leader in Level 2 charging for home and commercial applications. The addition of DC fast charging to our portfolio from Tritium has expanded the solutions we can offer to our customers while ensuring charger availability and reliability. Working with Tritium provides Enel X Way with the highest quality manufacturing, best practices for hardware installation, remote monitoring capabilities, and maintenance support.
ChargerHelp! is an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and infrastructure service provider in Southern California. They provide crucial support for direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) fast chargers and help maintain charging infrastructure across the region. ChargerHelp! is a trusted Tritium partner and we’re proud to feature them for our first Plugged in With Tritium partner spotlight for National Drive Electric Week.
ChargerHelp! is an EV Charging Reliability Management Company. ChargerHelp! deploys advanced technology solutions that enhance EV infrastructure reliability while fostering workforce development through inclusive training programs for individuals from diverse communities.
The role of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) technician was non-existent until very recently. ChargerHelp! trains employees in-house and offers workforce development services through agencies and community groups. In addition to increasing EV charger uptime, ChargerHelp! strives to remove barriers so that people in disadvantaged communities have access to opportunities in operations and maintenance in the EV industry.
The EV market is growing rapidly, and charger malfunctions and downtime can disrupt this growth. ChargerHelp! provides a swift and effective solution to keep charging stations operational, delivering our vision of reliable and accessible charging infrastructure and helping to build the future of sustainable transportation.
ChargerHelp! EVSE technicians work on DC fast chargers performing services like commissioning, diagnostics, power electronics, rebuild and repair, electronic component replacement, firmware configuration and update, Coolant replacement and system repair, cable replacement, retractor system replacement and repair, and preventive maintenance. Technicians test the DC fast chargers with an EV at the conclusion of service. They activate a charge and process a transaction to ensure that everything is operating as designed.
Interoperability and cross-functionality of the chargers, vehicle, and network are some of the biggest challenges when repairing DC fast chargers. Networked EV chargers have many different data exchange failure points and precise diagnosis of operational problems require a combination of accurate data combined with in-field experience.
Having skilled EVSE technicians to perform the work is of the utmost importance. With the relative newness of EV charging and the rate at which it is growing, it’s important to hire and train.
Tritium, like ChargerHelp!, is motivated to achieve the highest uptime. As their partner, ChargerHelp! receives detailed issue descriptions and support through the Tritium Network Operations Center. Tritium is a leader in ensuring reliable services are available in this fast-growth industry.
We take pride in the capabilities that our EVSE technicians have because of our training programs. In addition to our extensive training and specialized curriculum, they also receive manufacturer-specific guidance. Tritium holds learning sessions for our company periodically so that as our team grows, we are always armed with the tools to ensure that corrective maintenance is done swiftly and to specification.
There are many reasons to drive electric: environmental, health, and economic. The transportation sector significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and EV’s, especially when charged by renewable energy, can play a crucial role in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change.
On a more micro level, tailpipe emissions are hurting people in our communities. Children living in urban areas have a higher risk of developing asthma due to exhaust, and here in Los Angeles County children of color have the highest rates. Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions and reduce the pollutants that can cause respiratory problems and other health issues where we live, work and play.
In addition to reducing the health risks associated with emissions, increased EV driving has economic benefits. It shifts consumption away from imported oil towards domestically produced fuel sources leading to more stable energy costs. These costs become more predictable and lower with EV’s, which also have a lower cost of ownership. Those savings are big for people who have significant commutes and for businesses and community fleets.
On September 13, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced a $100 million program to help US states and government agencies repair and upgrade level 2 alternating current (AC) chargers and direct current (DC) fast chargers. Here’s what the program is all about and how you can apply for federal funding.
The EVCRAA is part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, a $5 billion infrastructure program in the US to build a coast-to-coast EV charging network. The EVCRAA is a $100 million program that focuses on repairing or replacing broken or non-operational EV chargers to improve the reliability of existing EV charging infrastructure.
According to the US Department of Transportation, approximately 5,700 level 2 AC charging ports and 550 DC fast charging ports were listed as “temporarily unavailable” in the US as of September 11, 2023.
“We know that people expect public EV chargers to work the first time, every time,” said Joint Office of Energy and Transportation Executive Director Gabe Klein. “That’s why we have a multi-pronged approach to create a seamless charging experience by building a capable workforce, tracking reliability metrics, and convening industry to ensure they can meet the performance standards for federally funded chargers set earlier this year.”
State departments of transportation and local governments are eligible to apply for EVCRAA funding. States and localities can then work with manufacturers like Tritium, and maintenance providers to repair or replace non-operational chargers. Based on initial estimates of eligible chargers and the funding available, the US Department of Transportation anticipates that all eligible projects will likely be awarded under this program.
Projects must support repair or replacement of existing broken or non-operational publicly accessible level 2 AC chargers or DC fast chargers, as of October 11, 2023. States may apply for funding to repair or replace chargers identified as temporarily unavailable in the US as of September 11, 2023 by the US Department of Transportation. A full list of inoperable chargers by state can be found here. Chargers can be repaired, or replaced with upgraded equipment and must be operational within 12 months.
Chargers need to be NEVI and Buy America compliant; Tritium has chargers available now that meet these requirements with the short lead times necessary to meet operational conditions within 12 months.
States and government agencies may consider replacing broken level 2 AC chargers along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors with DC fast chargers using EVCRAA funds. Applicants are encouraged to include multiple locations to streamline the application process and review.
The federal government will cover up to 80 percent of the total cost of the repair/replacement project. Awardees must provide at least 20 percent of the total cost of the project as a matching share in cash or in-kind services.
States and government entities can apply for EVCRAA funds through the US grants website here. The deadline for applications is November 13, 2023.
The Tritium RTM75 (50-75kW) standalone DC fast charger is a compact, all-in-one charger for tight spaces like parking structures, retail environments, distribution centers, or warehouses. It’s designed to be easily maintained in the field thanks to its modular design and construction.
The Tritium PKM150 (100-150kW) distributed DC fast charging system is designed for highway rest stops, fuel centers, convenience centers, commercial depots and distribution centers, or anywhere passenger or commercial EVs need fast charging. The PKM150 makes the most of available grid power, dynamically distributing electricity to EVs based on their needs. That means greater efficiency, so you can charge more vehicles with less equipment and less-than-optimal power feeds. One PKM system with four chargers can charge eight EVs. The PKM150 is also designed to be easily maintained and repaired in the field thanks to its modular design and construction. Tritium customers report impressive uptime with their PKM150 chargers.
Tritium’s PKM150 NEVI system and RTM75 charger meet requirements of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program and is assembled in our Tennessee facility.
To learn more about Tritium’s NEVI charging system, contact an expert today.
Load balancing is more than just an efficient way to distribute power to charging EVs. It can enable charge point operators (CPOs) to use less-than-optimal power feeds by maximizing available power capacity, save on electricity costs, and help them charge more vehicles overall. Here’s how.
Tritium chargers use advanced load balancing algorithms to dynamically and efficiently distribute power among EVs in a charging hub. Load balancing provides the right amount of power to EVs at the right time. EVs don’t all charge at the same rate, and they don’t charge at the same rate over time from 0% to 100% battery capacity. EVs typically draw maximum power early in charging when they have a low state of charge to preserve battery health. Load balancing algorithms provide only the power each EV needs, leaving the rest of the available grid power to charge other EVs in the hub. To learn more, read our article about load balancing here.
Load balancing lets CPOs take advantage of less-than-optimal power feeds. Grid power is limited at many proposed charging sites, requiring CPOs to work with local utilities to upgrade site power to meet the needs of DC fast chargers. Load balancing lets CPOs build fast charging sites where grid power may not meet the full demands of all the chargers at the site.
For example, four 150kW chargers can draw a maximum of 600kW, which would require 600kW of site grid power. But thanks to charging curves and load balancing, four 150kW DC fast chargers will almost never draw a full 600kW simultaneously. A CPO can effectively install four 150kW chargers at a site that has 400kW of available power. One or two EVs at the site can utilize 150kW power for ultrafast charging while the other cars with a higher state of charge can utilize less power later in their charging sessions. This is known as “site oversubscription,” because the site initially contains more chargers than the power grid can support.
That means load balancing allows CPOs to install charging stations at more locations regardless of available grid power on site. As EV charging demands increase, CPOs can upgrade site power to match them over time.
The Tritium PKM system has a unique direct current (DC) grid that distributes power from the power cabinet (AC to DC rectification) to the chargers. DC cabling is light gauge and is about 30% of the cost of comparable alternating current (AC) cabling. The PKM DC grid also has less energy loss due to resistance than a comparable AC grid system. Overall, the PKM system is more than 99% efficient in converting AC grid power to DC. That means more of the power you pay for is delivered to charging EVs with minimal power loss.
Tritium’s unique granular 1kW load balancing system provides more available power for charging other EVs in the hub. When an EV requests 70kW of power, Tritium’s load balancing system can allocate exactly 70kW. In contrast, some other load balancing systems allocate power in larger 25kW increments. In this case, when an EV requests 70kW, the load balancing system allocates 75kW, leaving 5kW of power capacity unused.
When compared to other systems, Tritium’s built-in load balancing system makes more efficient use of available grid power. Because it can more effectively allocate power in granular increments of 1kW to charging EVs, the Tritium load balancing system can charge multiple EVs in less time than comparable systems.
Efficient charging is profitable charging. Tritium’s built-in load balancing system enables CPOs to achieve profitability quickly by reducing capital costs, facilitating a diverse range of charging locations, increasing overall efficiency, and charging more EVs faster.
To learn more about how Tritium charging systems with advanced load balancing can help CPO’s reach profitability faster, contact one of our experts today.
Shell Recharge, Parkopedia, and Plug-in America recently surveyed thousands of drivers around the world and the results are in: They want more public chargers that are easier to use and easier to find.
According to Parkopedia survey results, two thirds of all EV drivers worldwide and 73% of American EV drivers have run out of charge at least once. The same survey found that 22% of EV drivers across the globe and 25% of US EV drivers have run out of charge more than once. It’s clear that EV drivers everywhere could use better charging infrastructure. And when asked, they admit it.
Plug-In America found that about 42% of EV drivers they surveyed were concerned about charging stations being too far apart. Charger availability is also a major barrier to EV adoption. From Parkopedia: 52% of those surveyed who wouldn’t consider an EV are worried about the number and availability of chargers away from home. The same survey found that 53% of drivers who are considering an EV are worried about finding chargers away from home.
Parkopedia also found that more that 33% of drivers around the world stress about being able to find a charger when away from home. Range anxiety levels were highest in drivers in the US and France. And more than one in five drivers find it challenging to locate EV charge points away from home “very frequently” or “all the time.” In the US, 14% of EV drivers struggle “all the time” to find chargers away from home.
The lack of charging infrastructure in the US and some parts of Europe seems to be hindering EV adoption. More chargers in convenient locations will help alleviate fears and encourage more people to purchase and drive EVs. Better charger locating apps and app integrations will also help drivers find those chargers and plan long-distance trips more effectively.
EV drivers want easier ways to pay for public charging. Shell Recharge found that 47% of EV drivers they surveyed are willing to pay more for a single method of payment for charge points. And 73% of drivers surveyed would prefer an EV with integrated EV charging and payment.
More data from Parkopedia reveals how EV drivers are currently using public charging networks (excluding Tesla’s network, which was considered as separate from other networks). Around 27% of drivers use a card at charging locations, 25% use contactless payment, and 25% use app/website payment options. There were some differences in preferred payment systems among countries. For instance, UK EV drivers like to use contactless payment when charging, while French drivers like to pay by credit/debit card. RFID cards are the least popular payment type. There were also differences between urban and rural EV drivers: Urban drivers preferred apps, advance payments, and Plug & Charge while rural drivers preferred paying with a credit/debit card.
Unfortunately, Plug-in America found that broken or unavailable chargers in public charging networks (excluding Tesla) are the leading concern for EV drivers. About 37% of respondents said broken or unavailable chargers were a major concern and 9% said they were a dealbreaker for using a network. Maintaining high charger uptimes is critical for charge point operators, and for changing public perception about EV charging.
Tritium modular chargers are designed for reliability and maximum uptime. If a single module requires maintenance, Tritium chargers can still operate at reduced power until that module can be replaced. Tritium power modules are compact and lightweight and can easily be replaced in the field by a technician. Both our PKM150 and RTM75 chargers use the same power modules, leading to greater parts availability and faster repairs.
Tritium also offers robust service level agreements (SLAs) and works with certified repair and maintenance companies to ensure chargers achieve maximum uptime. Through these agreements, we can offer 24-hour support to Tritium customers across the globe.
To learn more about our chargers and service level agreements, contact an expert today.
DC fast chargers handle tremendous amounts of power and are exposed to harsh conditions. It’s crucial that charge point operators have robust service level agreements and maintenance contracts to ensure chargers remain available for drivers.
When it comes to fast charging, location is everything. Nearly half (49%) of Shell Recharge survey respondents said that they choose where to shop and travel based on the availability of charge points. More than half (57%) said they would visit destinations more frequently if they had charge points. Shell has also found through other research that EV drivers are willing to spend an hour or more at supermarkets while charging, which could boost sales for retail establishments with charge points.
According to the Parkopedia survey, EV drivers chose charging sites based on distance to the destination, charger availability, and charging cost. Charging cost was less important than location and in the US, EV drivers will pay more for convenient charging locations. Nearly two thirds said they’d be willing to pay a premium of up to 10% when charging at a convenient location. Almost a quarter of American EV drivers surveyed (23%) said they’d pay more than a 10% premium to charge up at a convenient location.
In January and February 2023 Shell Recharged ran an online survey. They sampled a total of 24,771 battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) drivers in the UK (4,698 respondents), Germany (8,368), France (2,303), Italy (1,364), the Netherlands (6,715), and Belgium (1,305).
From December 2022 through February 2023, Plug In America surveyed over 3,300 electric vehicle (EV) owners and nearly 600 individuals interested in purchasing an EV.1 This survey builds on data collected from surveys conducted in 2020 and 2021.
Independent online survey of 5454 drivers, including 2225 EV drivers. The survey asked screening questions to understand drivers’ personal and car ownership and questions covering drivers’ parking and charging habits.
Tritium’s CSO David Nicholl recently spoke with the organizers of the London EV show about the future of EV charging. This article was published on their website on 31 August 2023.
As the global automotive industry undergoes a profound transformation, the rise of electric vehicles has become a central focus. With the shift towards sustainability and cleaner transportation solutions, the development of fast-charging infrastructure has emerged as an enabler of this transition. To delve into the intricate landscape of EV charging and its role in shaping the industry, we had the privilege of having a Q&A Session with David Nicholl, Chief Sales Officer of Tritium, a leading name in fast-charging technology. Let’s delve into the world of electric vehicle charging with David Nicholl, shedding light on the technologies, strategies, and visions that are driving this transformative journey.
David Nicholl: The biggest trend has been a vast investment in DC fast charging across the globe. There are now around 5,000 rapid and ultra-rapid charging points in the UK alone (ZapMap) and the government is making a huge investment to build out charging infrastructure even more.
But we’ll need even more rapid and ultra-rapid chargers if we want to meet driver demands and emissions targets. New EV sales in the UK were up almost 20 percent this year (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders). Those drivers want to know that there will be a rapid charging station within easy reach no matter where they are. And the chargers at those stations need to be operational. The UK government recently passed a 99% uptime or reliability standard for rapid and ultra-rapid chargers. That will greatly improve charger availability, but it’s important that operators have robust service level agreements and preventative maintenance contracts in place with charger manufacturers. Preventative maintenance measures must be adhered to, and spare parts should be readily available to maintain uptime.
It’s also important that we have charging infrastructure that can work with a wide variety of utility power levels and different vehicles. Tritium uses dynamic load balancing to make the best use of grid power and to deliver optimal power to EVs that have varying charging speeds. Load balancing lets us distribute power among chargers, delivering the right amount of power at the right time without much waste, and ensuring power capacity is better utilised and assets provide a better return.
Mr Nicholl: Again, dynamic load balancing is a big advancement in DC charging for EVs. Very basically, it lets charge point operators charge more vehicles at the same time. It knows how much power each EV needs at a given time and only provides what’s needed. It dynamically distributes power to charge multiple EVs very efficiently in increments of just 1kW, saving power and making better use of the available power grid minimising unused capacity. The power grid is a huge issue here in the UK. In many places we simply don’t have robust power feeds that can support multiple rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. Distributed systems like our PKM let charge point operators install rapid chargers even where grid feeds are limited.
Today’s advanced ultra-rapid chargers like our PKM150 are also modular and scalable. That means the power can be upgraded over time, and additional charging stations can be added to meet the future demands of EV drivers. They’re also more reliable and easier to maintain. If a single module in a charger has an issue, the charger can still operate at a lower power output until the module can be investigated by a technician and if needed, replaced in minutes. Serviceability and modularity are key to building reliable charging infrastructure.
Chargers now also include easy payment options and drivers don’t have to download an app or sign up with a charge point operator to charge their cars.
Mr Nicholl: Fast charging can eliminate range anxiety if it’s widely available. If EV drivers know they’re never more than a few miles (or kilometres) from a rapid charger, range anxiety disappears. That’s why it’s crucial to build vast rapid charging networks across the world.
Availability of fast chargers is also critical to advancing EV adoption. Drivers want to know that they will be able to accessibly recharge an EV when arriving at a charging site without having to wait or think about it, much like the experience ICE vehicle drivers have. By increasing availability, and visibility, to fast chargers, drivers will gain the confidence that they can go whenever, wherever and never be stranded.
Amenities in and around charging stations will also help address range anxiety. If drivers know there’s a coffee shop or even a vending machine nearby, they’re more likely to stop at that station.
Lastly, and most importantly, chargers need to be reliable. Broken or unavailable chargers only erode the public’s confidence in EV charging and EVs.
Mr Nicholl: We conduct extensive interoperability testing with EV manufacturers across the globe to ensure that our chargers are compatible with their latest vehicles.
Now most charging infrastructure is largely compatible with most EVs on the market. Across Europe auto manufacturers are all adopting the CCS2 connector standard, while you’re seeing a split between CCS1 and Tesla’s NACS connectors in North America.
Rapid chargers like ours can use any connector. For example, most of our chargers in the UK and Europe have connectors for CCS and CHAdeMO—the Japanese standard. And in North America we’re planning on offering our chargers with CCS and NACS connectors and many Tritium chargers in the US also have CHAdeMO.
Easy payment processing will also help with charger-EV compatibility. In the early days many charge point operators had their own apps or cards, you had to be a member to use their systems. Now many charge point operators are using credit card readers so anyone can use their chargers. All of Tritium’s chargers have the option for contactless credit card readers so anyone can use them without being a member of a charging network.
Mr Nicholl: Chargers for heavy machinery see much more abuse than other chargers. They need to be robust and capable of handling that abuse. All our chargers are weather sealed to keep dust and dirt away from sensitive electronic components and undergo robust impact testing to ensure resiliency in the field. They’re also designed to be easily maintained and repaired. Heavy machinery operators should look for chargers that can take a beating and that can be rapidly repaired. They should also have service level agreements, or SLAs, to ensure their chargers can be repaired right away if they’re damaged. I think once heavy commercial operators know they can count on their chargers and their service providers they’ll make the switch. Electric machines are far less complex than their diesel counterparts and they should be much less expensive to operate and maintain. Electric machines make a lot of sense, the charging infrastructure just needs to be there.
Mr Nicholl: Commercial vehicles have much larger battery capacities than passenger vehicles. They need ultra-rapid chargers to charge up in a reasonable amount of time so they can spend more time on the road moving goods and getting work done. From a business perspective, fast charging means you can use your fleet more, and use it more efficiently.
High-power chargers need more power from the grid, which operators will have to consider. Commercial vehicle chargers will also need to be durable because they’ll see more use and abuse.
High-power commercial charging stations are necessary for commercial vehicles, there’s no way around it. They’re crucial to long-distance trucking and other commercial industries. I predict that many commercial vehicle operators will build their own charging infrastructure. We have many commercial vehicle operator customers who install chargers at their depots and offices for their commercial EVs. That lets them take control of their energy or “fuel” costs and achieve greater operational efficiency. They can even offset some of those costs with solar panels, wind turbines, on-site storage, or other forms of clean and renewable energies.
However, the number of chargers and charge locations an EV fleet needs really depends on the size of the fleet, utilisation rates of the fleet, and the dwell or idle times for the vehicles. In some cases, EV commercial fleets may not need ultra-rapid chargers if they can charge up overnight using level 2 AC chargers.
Mr Nicholl: People love to interact with vehicles and talk to experts. Shows like this can help answer their questions and can inspire them to move away from ICE vehicles.
And business owners need to see how EVs can fit into their organisations, what the advantages are. And there are a lot of advantages. EVs just aren’t cleaner and better for the environment—and let’s be honest mandated in a lot of countries—they’re also cheaper to own and operate. Shows like this can demonstrate the many advantages that EVs have over ICE vehicles and help businesses make the switch.
These shows are also a good way for manufacturers, charge point operators, and businesses to review the latest regulations around EVs and EV charging. The UK is rolling out new regulations and Europe has its own plan for rapid charging in the next five to 10 years. Businesses need to know these regulations so they can future-proof their EV charging investments.
The European Parliament and the United Kingdom recently adopted rules that should make driving an EV better in Europe and eventually the world. The new rules should help improve charger availability, speed, and reliability.
The new rules are part of the European Union’s “Fit for 55” package that aims to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. They focus on reducing the distance between chargers and increasing average charging speeds. The new rules dictate that charging plazas must be placed every 60km (about 37.28 mi) along TEN-T core network highways—Europe’s continental highway system. Each plaza will need to deliver a minimum of 400kW of total charging capacity and include at least one 150kW+ charger. Charging stations must be installed by 2026.
In 2028, the EU plans to raise the minimum total charging capacity for each charging plaza to 600kW and at least two 150kW+ chargers.
The rules also outline requirements for commercial vehicle charging: Charging points every 120km with total output of 1.4-2.8 MW, depending on the road.
Some charging networks require drivers to sign up for a service or use a proprietary app to pay for a charging session. The new regulations require charging networks to include contactless credit card readers to make charging easier and more universal. Charging providers will also have to publicly display charging rates.
Lastly, the EU will also develop a database of charging stations that includes availability, wait times, and pricing by 2027.
The UK government has also proposed new charger reliability standards, requiring 99% uptime for all chargers. According to government surveys, 15% of UK charging stations were out of service in 2017 and 8% were unavailable in 2019. The UK government wants to reduce downtime to 1% by 2024.
The Netherlands has already set 99% charger uptime targets, urging charge point operators to make sure their chargers are available 99% of the time during the month.
UK charging providers will also be required to provide credit card readers and accept Apple and Google Pay at charging stations. And like charge providers in the EU, they’ll need to provide real-time status/availability updates.
In 2022, the UK government earmarked £1.6 billion to build 300,000 charging points across the country, which is about five times as many petrol pumps currently in operation. These charging stations should be completed by 2030.
As more people purchase EVs and more commercial fleets go electric, public rapid charging infrastructure will be critical. These new regulations ensure that drivers will never be too far from a rapid charging station, nearly eliminating range anxiety. More public charging will only increase the rate of EV adoption—more people will purchase EVs knowing there’s always a place to charge them up. Without range anxiety, drivers may even consider mid-priced EVs with less range and rely on more frequent charging stops.
All of Tritium’s newest chargers meet the EU and UK requirements. Our PKM150 charger can deliver a sustained 150kW, meeting rapid-charging requirements. Our RTM75 chargers also meet the new EU and UK regulations for charging plazas.
To learn more about our chargers and regulations that could affect your charging business, talk to a Tritium expert today.