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General overview of the needed infrastructure for Battery light electric vehicles (charging stations)

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Even before the demand for the use of electric vehicles in a certain area is present, it is necessary to think about charging stations. The battery which is used in electric bikes can be charged at any convenient outlet, or the battery can be removed and be charged at home, office or workshop. For charging of electric bicycles, roadside lamps could be equipped with electrical outlets, which would simplify and shorten the time to build charging stations.

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Drivers of electric scooters and other heavier electric vehicles, have more problems with charging, as the current majority of electric vehicle users come from cities. In the future, enough charging stations for users who are not able to charge their electric vehicles at home have to be provided. Charging stations are an important part of the infrastructure for electric vehicles, therefore the parking space for electric vehicle charging has to be intended only for drivers of electric vehicles (similar to the disabled), which must be properly marked.

 

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Types of charging stations

Charging stations for electric vehicles can be roughly divided into two groups according to the connection to the vehicle:
  1. Smart charging stations, which are connected directly to the battery. The charging station itself recognizes the type of batteries and recharges in pulse- or steady-mode.
  2. Charging stations, which represent only a source of electrical energy and which are connected to the charger. This charger then charges the battery.

Charging station as a stand-alone pillar

A charging station as a stand-alone pillar can be placed on existing parking spaces, such as at shopping centres, railway and bus stations. They can be used to charge all kinds of electric vehicles.

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Charging station attached to poles

Charging station attached to poles can be used in urban areas, where street lights and various poles are available and can be used easily for mounted charging stations on them. These are then primarily intended for charging electric scooters and electric bicycles.

Charging station mounted on walls

Charging stations mounted on a wall can be used in urban centres, especially on the walls of restaurants, bars and parking garages and in major shopping centres. They are intended to charge all kinds of electric vehicles.

Charging Methods

Depending on the connection to the electric power network, the charging methods are divided into two groups. The first method is the so-called traditional connection or conductive charging; the second method is the so-called inductive charging.

Conductive charging

In conductive charging, energy is transferred through the conductive contacts. The connector provides a secure connection between the charger and the charging connector on the vehicle. To start charging, an electric vehicle driver connects the vehicle to a suitable outlet. The electric current flows through the vehicle battery and therefore charges the battery. This charging mode is used with the battery charger, which is outside the vehicle (off-board) or with the charger that is installed in the vehicle (on-board).

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Inductive Charging

Another way to charge is the inductive coupling, where the charger does not have a direct electrical connection to the vehicle. A waterproof connection transfers energy to the vehicle via a magnetic field. The charger manufacturers that are not installed in the vehicle assure safe and easy to use systems for electric vehicle charging. For the charging to begin, only the insertion of the connector into a slot is needed. Charging can be terminated at any time by disconnecting the connector. A two-way communication and built-in diagnostics provide a secure connection and help prevent the vehicle to drive away when connected to the charger. In this mode, the charger is connected with the connector via the on-board vehicle slot. The energy is transferred inductively, via the magnetic coupling of two separate windings, one of which is conductively connected with the charging station, the other winding is connected to the battery.

Technical requirements for BLEV charging stations

Charging stations for ultra - lightweight electric vehicles (ULEV) need a power supply of 24, 36 and 48 V. Because currently there is a wide variety of these vehicles with a variety of battery technologies available on the market, it is impossible to expect the emergence of a universal charger that could be used for all types of vehicles. In 2010, European car makers reached an agreement on the standardization of the technical characteristics of the connection of electric vehicles to the electric power network. The decision to standardize connectors on cars with electric drive, connecting electric cables and charging stations is very important. But it is for the given current number of electric vehicles and estimated future market developments mainly of long-term significance. Adoption of uniform standards of the automobile manufacturers about the parts of connections that would allow charging of electric vehicles from the electric networks is important - both to ensure the competitiveness of individual products in all European markets as well as to ensure the mobility of users.

Sociological factors in setting up charging stations

Charging stations for ULEVs are not crucial for their use, as users can easily charge at home through a portable charger and the wall outlet. Publicly available charging stations are interesting, because the ULEV users have the oportunity for their more frequent use, especially in the case of fast chargers. Namely, charging with the home charger limits the possible daily range of the vehicle. However, if public quick chargers were accessible, then the same vehicle could be used for more cycles per day. If its use would replace the use of other vehicles, this would lead to the reduction of emissions and the number of larger vehicles in use.
When using the car battery, public charging stations more important than in correlation to light vehicles. In addition to the increased range which can be crucial for some users, the network of public charging stations also significantly increases the sense of security that the driver will have available electricity for driving. Through a wide network of public charging stations also city-vehicle has the ability to overcome interurban distances and unplanned paths.
Charging of electric vehicles carries also a sociological significance in terms of promotion and public awareness, as the cost of charging is low. The charging stations can be located in the vicinity of catering facilities or leisure facilities with high density of visitors. The charging of electric vehicles does not represent direct emissions on the spot, and therefore these objects are not distracting objects to passers-by.

 

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