Electric Vehicles & Charging Stations Introduction

With sustainable urbanization, economical personal mobility and security of energy in emphasis, there is a shift from the monopoly of Internal Combustion automobiles to alternative fuel vehicles. Alternative fuels are vehicle fuels that are not composed of petroleum. Alcohols, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Electricity, Hydrogen, Liquefied natural gas (LNG), Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (also called propane), Liquids made from coal, Compressed Air, Liquid Nitrogen, and Biodiesel are some alternative fuels.

Electricity is the only fuel that can economically replace petroleum products as the main source of fuel as it is easier to mass produce on a scale to satisfy the population of India.

Electric vehicles are divided into two broad categories, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV). PEVs are further classified into Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). Hybrid Vehicles allow the customer to run the car on gasoline as well as electricity.

They boost energy security, improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs, and reduce emissions because they employ electric-drive technologies. However, the drawbacks faced are frequent and long charging time, non-availability of charging stations and range anxiety.

In 1908, Aero vironment first came up with an idea of Electric Vehicle for General Motors. Then, General Motors converted this invention from prototype to the production class that was marketed in 1996 and 1999. After that Electric Vehicle came into existence. Electric Vehicles are vehicles that use one or more electric motors and are powered by electricity which is stored in an onboard storage device like batteries.

Electric vehicles are classified as Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEVs), Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). HEVs are a type of vehicle that runs by using a combination of the conventional gasoline engine propulsion system and electric propulsion system. PEVs are vehicles which run entirely on a battery and electric drive train, without a conventional internal combustion engine. PHEVs are the vehicles that run mostly on batteries that are recharged by plugging into the power grid. These vehicles are equipped with an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery and/or replace the electric drivetrain when the battery is low and more power is required.

The first round of production of PHEVs successfully proved and provided the various lessons to move ahead and develop the charging stations. Charging stations are of two types, onboard and off-board stations. The onboard is fitted in the vehicle while offboard is placed at some specific location to create commercial charging stations. At that time, EV and PHEVs planned to bring the use of onboard chargers that convert AC to DC power that required the battery, which is typically called slow charging though Tesla or eBox have a relative capacity of fast charging through integration method. Slow charging could not complete the operational needs which needed to be replaced by fast charging stations. So to compete for the requirement of fast charging, the off-board chargers were developed. Slow charging is typically associated with night charging while fast charge can be done at any time. The charging infrastructure of EVs varies from household plug to the equipment of high power supply. Under these considerations, Society of Automotive Engineers based in the USA was established that got larger later on and then multitudinous erudite from around the world joined SAE. This society has established some specific rules and protocols for vehicles and also for Electric Vehicles.

The rapid AC option is a relatively new development and only available on one or two EV models in the UK while the fast DC option is more prominent in the UK. Due to their high power, rapid AC units are equipped with a tethered cable with a non-removable Type 2 (Mennekes) connector. The fast AC is more common in Europe while being less visible in the USA. In the USA, fast DC charging is preferred. A total number of 457 chargers have been installed till 15/11/15. Renault’s Zoe supports 3 kilowatts single-phase AC charging, and 42-kilowatt three-phase AC charging. It uses the motor windings as part of the charging circuit, allowing the car to handle rectifying high power AC down to DC for charging the battery pack. Renault held an endurance test of the Zoe in May 2012 and achieved a 1000 miles total driving distance in 24 hours while undergoing 18 fast charges.

Charging stations for Electric Vehicles need to be developed and made accessible the way petrol pumps are for conventional automobiles. There are two modes of charging, residential and commercial. Commercial charging deploys fast AC charging and fast DC charging. Fast AC is a salubrious option over fast DC because it is easily available from the grid and can be transmitted easily over long distances.

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