ubitricity and UK Power Networks to launch program that shifts charging demand from peak hours

UK EV charge point operator ubitricity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell, has signed an initial two-year “flexibility tender” agreement with electricity distribution network UK Power Networks to implement a pilot smart charging program at selected public charge points. 

The program is designed to reduce strain on the grid by shifting a considerable portion of network use for EV charging away from peak periods. By actively managing the charging schedule of its charge points and promoting smart charging, which allows customers to schedule charging sessions to pause during peak hours over the winter period, ubitricity will help UKPN to alleviate pressure on the electricity grid, while providing convenient and fairly priced charging for drivers. 

ubitricity says that although smart charging is now possible with some home chargers, it will be the first company to introduce it at scale on a public network to optimize EV charging infrastructure for the power grid.

“We are opening up opportunities for even more people through flexible charging. Widening participation in flexibility is a key part of our plan to keep connecting low-carbon technologies to the electricity network,” said Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Director of DSO at UK Power Networks.

Source: ubitricity

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Does Germany have too many public EV charging stations?

We’re used to hearing a steady drumbeat of pleas for more public EV charging stations. But in certain markets, there might just be too many.

Viewing the new technology through the lens of the old, EV-curious drivers assume that driving an EV will still require regular stops at fueling stations—with gas pumps replaced by super-duper-high-speed chargers—and consistently tell pollsters that “not enough public charging” is their main concern about going electric. Politicians are generally happy to subsidize public charging, as it’s a comparatively cheap way for them to do something, or appear to do something, to encourage EV adoption. (For pols, allocating a few million taxpayer dollars to charging projects is much easier than, for example, raising taxes on polluting vehicles.)

Now, we don’t mean to belittle the plight of an apartment-dwelling EV driver in Silicon Valley, or an EV driver facing a long commute in Iowa (to give two examples). In some parts of the world, more charging stations are badly needed—either because existing stations are overloaded, or because there simply aren’t any. However, in other markets, the authorities’ well-meaning zeal for deploying chargers may have outrun the demand from drivers.

According to the German media outlet taz, Germany now finds itself in such a situation. Electric utilities and others are deploying new chargers at an impressive pace, even as the growth in EV adoption has slowed.

In fact, says taz, the number of new EV registrations collapsed in Germany in September. This was not unexpected—the plunge coincided with the phase-out of incentives for electrifying company cars, which make up the majority of new registrations in the country. However, taz reports that electric utilities and others have been saying in recent months that the number of public EV chargers has grown to exceed current requirements.

New registrations of pure EVs in Germany fell to around 31,700 in September—14 percent of all new registrations. That’s a drop of almost two thirds compared to the previous month, and a fall of 30 percent compared to September 2022. By taz’s calculations, there are currently about 13 EVs to every public charging point in Germany.

One reason that politicians have overestimated the need for charging points may be technical progress. Over the past few years, charging power levels have dramatically increased, which reduces the charging time required, and enables each charging point to serve more vehicles.

Electric utility trade group BDEW estimates that 250,000 public charging points will be enough to serve Germany’s needs in 2030. However, the German Federal Government appears to be sticking to its goal of deploying a million by that date.

According to BDEW, public EV charging points are occupied, on average, around 11 percent of the day. Industry estimates indicate that DC fast charging stations must be used at a rate of 15 to 20 percent in order to return a profit. At the moment, many existing charging stations are surely uneconomical.

Source: taz

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Avoiding EV charging station gotchas: site design considerations (Webinar)

In this webinar at next week’s Virtual Conference on EV Infrastructure, presented by Terralink Communications, we’ll discuss how to avoid common EV charging site design problems, including:

  • Safety – Traffic flow pitfalls
  • Customer Education – Preparing property owners for costs and construction impacts
  • Scalability – Designing sites for future capacity needs

Reserve your spot—it’s free!

See the full session list for the December Virtual Conference here.

Broadcast live on December 4-6, 2023. This virtual event will span all things EV charging in two main tracks:

  • Track 1: Deploying EV Infrastructure & Fleets
    Content for fleet/facility managers, charging network operators, public transport planners, etc.
  • Track 2: Design & Manufacturing of Charging Systems
    Content for engineers who are building, testing, and manufacturing charging systems.

The free-to-attend conference will feature live presentations, interactive Q&As, on-demand webinars, and whitepaper downloads. All live webcast sessions are free to attend and will be recorded and available to watch on-demand after the event. Register to reserve your spot to watch it live or on-demand.

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

SAE International announces alignment methodology for wireless EV charging standard

SAE International’s Wireless Power Transfer & Alignment Taskforce has been working on a new wireless EV charging standard for some time. Now, following a “lengthy consensus process,” the group has decided upon Differential Inductive Positioning System (DIPS) as the technology alignment methodology for the SAE J2954 standard, Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for Light-Duty Plug-in/Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology.

The taskforce, which includes automakers (OEMs), Tier 1 suppliers and wireless charging suppliers, were surveyed to determine minimum common methods for alignment (fine alignment, pairing and alignment check) to be standardized, and agreed upon DIPS as the alignment technology for the upcoming revision of SAE J2954.

Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) following SAE J2954 enables automatic wireless charging for EVs and promises highly efficient charging (up to 93%). The missing piece of the standardization puzzle has been finding an alignment methodology that works in all weather conditions and is interoperable between many different types of applications.

DIPS is described as a low-frequency, low-intensity magnetic field generated from the ground assembly with multiple coils that can evaluated by the vehicle assembly for positioning. A conformance test is done to ensure interoperability between vehicle and charging pad. Ground and Vehicle WPT assembly manufacturers can develop and test their systems according to this interoperability specification.

The updated SAE J2954 standard is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2024 with a detailed specification.

“EV charging should be as simple as parking in the right spot and walking away, [and the] SAE J2954 Standard enables this,” said Wireless Power Transfer Taskforce Chair Jesse Schneider. “The taskforce decided on the alignment method DIPS, [and] with this, the team has solved the missing link for wireless charging commercialization for EVs.”

“With this update to the standard, wireless automatic charging will become available to public infrastructure,” said WiTricity Fellow Ky Sealy, who is the Co-chair of the SAE J2954 Alignment and Controls sub-team.

Source: SAE International

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Li-Metal demonstrates electrolyte reconditioning process for carbonate-to-metal tech

Li-Metal, a developer of lithium metal anode and lithium metal production technologies, has demonstrated an electrolyte reconditioning process that it calls “a pivotal component supporting Li-Metal’s patented and modular carbonate-to-metal (C2M) technology for lithium metal production.”

The electrolyte reconditioning process plays a crucial role in the closed-loop operation of Li-Metal’s C2M technology, by facilitating the conversion of excess anolyte into catholyte. This closed-loop operation enhances operational efficiencies and minimizes waste.

Li-Metal says the successful completion of testing underscores the viability of its C2M technology, a key enabler and differentiator for the company’s ultra-thin lithium metal anode business. Li-Metal plans to demonstrate its C2M and electrolyte reconditioning technology at scale in Q1 2024, and expects to integrate its reconditioning process into its existing C2M pilot in Markham, Ontario.

“Li-Metal is excited to achieve another key technological milestone as we scale up our environmentally friendly C2M technology to support the production of high-performance, ultra-thin lithium metal anodes,” said Srini Godavarthy, CEO of Li-Metal. “Aligning with our mission to optimize resource utilization, our commitment to sustainability is highlighted through the demonstration of electrolyte reconditioning, enabling a closed-loop operation for our metal production process.”

Source: Li-Metal

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine