Features

Flying electric: Both startups and industry giants push ahead with electric airplanes

In the popular imagination, aviation represents the last frontier for electrification. Considering the weight and limited range of batteries, an electric airplane might seem practically impossible. However, while electric long-haul airliners probably lie pretty far in the future, the fact is that, in some applications, the technical obstacles to electrified aircraft are not as formidable… Read more »

A closer look at rare earth permanent magnets

Rare earth magnets have gotten a lot of coverage in the EV press over the years for being expensive – especially back in 2011 when a supply disruption in China sent the prices up anywhere from fivefold for neodymium to 20-fold for dysprosium over the course of a few months – yet they are still… Read more »

Mitsubishi Electric increases reliability of automotive power modules with direct lead bonding

Much as humans need a heart to distribute energy throughout our bodies, EVs need a heart to transfer energy from their batteries to their motors. This “heart” of an EV is called a power module, and it’s responsible for driving the vehicle’s propulsion unit as efficiently as possible. Considering the critical importance of power modules,… Read more »

Dynamic wireless charging: What’s feasible? Q&A with Qualcomm’s Graeme Davison

Charged has been writing about Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology for several years. As far back as 2012, automakers have said they plan to include the technology on future EVs. While those plans have been delayed for a few different reasons – interoperability standards, uncertainty in the EV market, etc. – it now appears… Read more »

VGI: California’s cooperative effort to capitalize on EV-grid potential

Last September, Carla J. Peterman, a commissioner with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), outlined new requirements for California’s investor-owned utilities that would measurably advance commitments to transportation electrification (TE). One technical requirement singled out by Peterman was addressed in a document called “Enabling Vehicle-Grid Integration Through a Communications Standard,” which focused on the question… Read more »

Alta Motors says its electric dirt bike has world-class energy density

Alta Motors claims that its dirt bikes have a battery pack with energy density that’s among the highest of any production vehicle. With help from Scheugenpflug’s custom production equipment and Wevo-Chemie materials, the motorcycle builder says its thermal design was the key to achieving that. Seven years ago, a group of motorcycle and off-road dirt… Read more »

MSC’s laminated steel and aluminum will reduce noise and vibration while cutting mass

When it comes to EVs, every pound matters. There is a direct relationship between a vehicle’s weight and the requirements of its expensive battery back, so automotive engineers will explore every possible measure to reduce vehicle mass. However, one of the ways that engineers have traditionally achieved desirable properties in the domain of Noise, Vibration,… Read more »

Workhorse CEO on the company’s new plug-in hybrid pickup truck and its expansive plans for the future

We all acknowledge the absurdity of ignoring an elephant, when one is present in the very room in which important matters are being discussed, but what about a hulking, jacked-up, V8-powered monster truck? Tesla permanently changed the conversation about EVs when it electrified a sporty two-seater, a luxury sedan and a crossover SUV, but few… Read more »

WattZilla’s launches new EVSE trade-in program as it’s Black Mamba and Wall Wattz receive safety certification

Black Mamba The last time Charged spoke with WattZilla’s Frank Gangi, he teased the company’s Black Mamba as “a lightweight EV charging cord that looks like a snake that ate a rat.” Don’t be put off by the namesake – as Gangi tells it, the Black Mamba is a carefully designed, lightweight charger that packs… Read more »

The technical reasons Tesla would limit supercharging speed, and other practical charging considerations

Recently, a bit of a kerfuffle kicked up when a Tesla Model S owner noticed that the maximum charge rate for his car on the Supercharger network had suddenly been cut from 120 kW down to 90 kW, apparently the result of too many fast charge cycles. Tesla’s explanation was, essentially, that many things can… Read more »