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Electric Cars

Charging station
An EV charging station, also called electric recharging point, charging point, EVSE
(Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), and EVCE (Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment),
supplies electricity for the recharging of electric vehicles and other plug-in vehicles
(including plug-in hybrids).

Although most electric cars can be recharged from a domestic wall socket, many support
faster charging at higher voltages and currents that require dedicated equipment with a
specialized connector, or more convenient charging without a physical connection through
inductive charging.

In SAE terminology, 240 Volt AC charging is known as level 2 charging, and 500 Volt DC
high-current charging is known as level 3 charging. Owners can install a level 2 charging
station at home, while businesses and local government provide level 2 and level 3 public
charging stations that supply electricity for a fee or free.

The coordinated development of charging stations in a region by a company or local

government is discussed in electric vehicle network.

An alternative to recharging the battery in the vehicle is battery swapping: a battery switching
facility that exchanges the vehicle's discharged battery for a charged battery.

"Charging station" may also refer to filling of compressed air vehicles.


Charging stations for electric vehicles may not need much new infrastructure in developed
countries, less than delivering a new alternative fuel over a new network. The stations can
leverage the existing ubiquitous electrical grid and home recharging is an option. For
example, polls have shown that more than half of homeowners in the USA have access to a
plug to charge their cars. Also most driving is local over short distances which reduces the
need for charging mid-trip. In the USA, for example, 78% of commutes are less than 40 miles
(64 km) round-trip. Nevertheless, longer drives between cities and towns require a network of
public charging stations or another method to extend the range of electric vehicles beyond the
normal daily commute. One challenge in such infrastructure is the level of demand: an
isolated station along a busy highway may see hundreds of customers per hour if every
passing electric vehicle has to stop there to complete the trip. In the first half of the twentieth
century, internal combustion vehicles faced a similar infrastructure problem.
Fast charging

A relatively inexpensive charging station providing 3.3 kilowatts of power (240 volts at 14
amperes) will take several hours to fully recharge an electric vehicle. For example, the Nissan
Leaf with its 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack takes approximately 8 hours to recharge.

However, most users will charge every day, so they will very rarely need to fully recharge
their battery. So 3.3 kilowatts charging is more than enough for parking at home or work, but
not for "refueling" in the middle of a trip.

Subject to the power handling of the car's charging electronics and battery chemistry, higher-
power charging stations reduce charging time significantly. The SAE J1772-2009 connector
can supply 16.8 kW (240V, 70A), the VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2 connector in Europe provides up
to 43.5 kW (400V, 63A, three-phase) and CHAdeMO DC Fast Charge (formerly referred to
as Level 3) charging stations can supply 62.5 kW (500V DC, 125A); the latter reduces the
time to recharge the Nissan Leaf to 80% of capacity to about 30 minutes
Technical issues
Fast charging requires an industrial-type electric service (i.e., voltage greater than 120 VAC,
and maximum current capacity greater than 15 A; the values found at a typical US residential
wall outlet). For example, given a 50 kWh vehicle battery pack and 100% charger efficiency,
a 10 minute quick-charge from 10% to 80% battery capacity requires that 210 kW of power
be provided to the charger. (80% minus 10% equals 70%. 70% of 50 kWh equals 35 kWh,
the amount of energy that the charger must provide to the battery. 10 minutes equals 0.167
hour. 35 kWh divided by 0.167 hour equals 210 kW, the amount of power that the charger
must provide during each moment of the charge time.) As a comparison, 210 kW is the total
power drawn by approximately 140 US homes (if each home draws 1.5 kW of power, a
reasonable value). If the vehicle charger is fed using 480 VAC, 3-phase service, the charger
must draw 253 A of current on each phase so that it receives 210 kW of power. In the US,
when the electric utility provides 480 VAC, 3-phase service, the most common maximum
current capacity provided is 200 A.

A fast charge 'service station' designed to simultaneously fast charge multiple vehicles in the
way current gasoline or diesel stations simultaneously refuel multiple vehicles might require
a peak power service on the order of several megawatts.

In practice, the energy efficiency of ten-minute charging is likely to be somewhat lowered in

any case due to the ohmic losses caused by the required high current inside the vehicle. The
lost energy is converted directly to heat, which could be detrimental to the battery pack or
surrounding electronics; additional power may be required for cooling equipment that
removes the excess heat. Increasing the capacity of the battery pack increases the required
power, current and heat loss linearly, which is why ten-minute charging may require new
innovations as vehicles with increased range are developed.

The high peak power requirement of ten-minute charging can also stress the local power grid
and might increase the risk of power brown- or black-outs during peak demand if enough
vehicles choose to charge at these times. Time of use metering can help alleviate this stress
by creating economic incentives for vehicles to be recharged at off-peak times. Another
solution is to use an energy storage system to bridge the gap between the charging station
demand and the power grid. The energy storage system suffers some efficiency drop and thus
trades lower overall system efficiency in favor of higher peak demand capacity. Another
possibility is on-site, on-demand power generation.

Most charging development focuses on speed of charge using conductive coupling rather than
safety, convenience, and ease using inductive charging. Inductive charging had been used on
the GM EV-1, Chevy S-10 EV and Toyota RAV4 EV. With current technology, inductive
efficiency losses of 8-13% are to be expected.
Faster charging

JFE Engineering Corporation is developing a quick charge system that it claims can take a
battery from zero charge to 50% full in about 3 minutes. It has two batteries, one that stores
electrical energy from the grid and another that delivers it to the car at extremely high current
(500-600 amps, 20kW), which allows it to use a low-voltage power supply (AC200V; while
the existing rapid charging systems require a higher power supply voltage 50 kW or more,
AC6.6kV). The company claims that even though one station costs about $63,000, that’s
roughly 40% less than the competing CHAdeMO system.

AeroVironment's Fleet Fast Charging Station aims to making "filling up" at the EV30-FS
similar to using a gas pump. According to AV's website, "As battery chemistries evolve to
support faster charging, a 25kWh EV battery may eventually receive up to an 80% battery
capacity charge in less than 10 minutes, depending on conditions."

Smart grid communication

Recharging a large battery pack presents a high load on the electrical grid, but this can be
scheduled for periods of reduced load or reduced electricity costs. In order to schedule the
recharging, either the charging station or the vehicle can communicate with the smart grid.
Some plug-in vehicles allow the vehicle operator to control recharging through a web
interface or smartphone app. Furthermore, in a Vehicle-to-grid scenario the vehicle battery
can supply energy to the grid at periods of peak demand. This requires additional
communication between the grid, charging station, and vehicle electronics. SAE International
is developing a range of standards for energy transfer to and from the grid including SAE
J2847/1 "Communication between Plug-in Vehicles and the Utility Grid"

Charging stations can be found and will be needed where there is on-street parking, at taxi
stands, in parking lots (at places of employment, hotels, airports, shopping centers,
convenience shops, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses etc.), phone booths, as well as in
driveways and garages at home. Existing filling stations may also become or may incorporate
charging stations. They can be added onto other public infrastructure that has an electrical
supply, such as phone booths and smart parking meters.

Anxiety regarding range and finding charging stations can be a major concern for EV drivers;
this can be helped with online directories such as EV-Networks or some charging station
providers like POD Point in the UK publish live availability of their charging locations for
EV drivers.

In the UK most charging points have highly visibly indicator lights on the charging point to
show whether it is available, charging or out of service.

Public-domain European charge station sign

Vehicle and charging station projects and joint ventures

Electric car manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, and regional governments
have entered into many agreements and ventures to promote and provide electric vehicle
networks of public charging stations
Block heater power supplies

In colder areas such as Finland, some northern US states and Canada there already exists
some infrastructure for public power outlets provided primarily for use by block heaters and
set with circuit breakers that prevent large current draws for other uses. These can sometimes
be used to recharge electric vehicles, albeit slowly, when the temperature falls below -20°C

Battery swapping
A charging station is different from a battery switch station, which is a place to swap a discharged
battery or battery pack for a fully charged one, saving the delay of waiting for the vehicle's battery to
charge. Battery swapping is common in warehouses using electric forklift trucks. The company
Better Place, Tesla Motors, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and others are currently working in
integrating battery switch technology in their electric vehicles to extend their driving range. Better
Place is using the same technology to swap batteries that F-16 jet fighter aircraft use to load their

In a battery switch station, the driver does not need to get out of the car while the battery is
swapped. Better Place's automated battery-switching station (also called Quickdrop Stations) can
complete a battery swap in less than one minute, which is faster than refueling a conventional petrol

SwapPack, a Texas entity, is developing as of April 2010 a swap arrangement, similar to the swapping
out of butane gas tanks at convenience stores, a similar swap at car dealerships and large wholesale
big box retailers. These locations will allow drivers the security of a making a quick change of battery
packs to have a power pack that is totally rechargeable. As of November of 2010 the batteries of
existing electric cars i.e. Prius have not yet expired after a 100,000 mile duration.

Battery swap depends on at least one electric car designed for "easy swap" of batteries. However,
electric vehicle manufacturers that are working on battery switch technology have not standardized
on battery access, attachment, dimension, location, or type. Better Place announced the Renault
Fluence Z.E. would be the first electric car with a switchable battery available on the Better Place
network; also Tesla Motors are integrating one minute battery switch technology in their Model S
sedan with the possibility to rent 300 mile batteries for longer trips.

Summary of benefits of battery swapping:

Fast battery swapping of around 59.1 seconds.

Unlimited driving range where there are battery switch stations available.

The driver does not have to get out of the car while the battery is swapped.

The driver does not own the battery in the car, transferring concern over battery life, maintenance,
capital cost, quality, technology, and warranty issues to the battery switch station company.

Contract with battery Switch Company could subsidize the electric vehicle at a price lower than
equivalent petrol cars. The spare batteries at swap stations could participate in vehicle to grid
Renewable electricity and RE charging stations

Solar power is suitable for electric vehicles. SolarCity is marketing its solar energy systems along with
electric car charging installations. The company has announced a partnership with Rabobank to
make electric car charging available for free to owners of Tesla Motors' vehicles traveling on
Highway 101 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Other cars that can make use of same
charging technology are welcome.

E-Move Charging Station

The E-Move Charging Station is equipped with eight monocrystalline solar panels, which can supply
1.76KWp of solar power. With further refinements, the designers are hoping to generate about
2000KWh of electricity from the panels over the year.