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Fleets and Infrastructure Features

Membrane technology and the importance of venting EV electronics

Protecting a car’s sensitive electronics throughout its lifetime is a must, whether it’s a conventional ICE vehicle or an EV. However, the larger electronics in plug-in vehicles have more power, more heat and higher pressure differentials that present new technological challenges to OEMs and suppliers. Any power semiconductor inevitably generates heat while conducting current, due… Read more »

Impregnating motors with thermal management materials to reduce hot spots

A doctoral candidate plucks a thermal management material out of LORD Corporation’s voluminous catalog, and one Ph.D. later, the EV world may have an exciting new boon for the efficiency of electric motors. Anyone working within the corporate world has probably been battered with the word “synergy” to the point of it being rendered meaningless…. Read more »

A closer look at how batteries fail

A lot of research has been done to improve lithium-ion battery safety, cycle life and power output over a range of high and low temperatures, yet understanding the fundamental processes and degradation mechanisms in Li-ion batteries remains a challenge. To understand the degradation processes of lithium-ion batteries, it is important to understand how they operate…. Read more »

Phinergy CEO on aluminum-air batteries and 1,000-mile range-extended EVs

Along with its industry giant partner Alcoa, Israeli startup Phinergy says it has aluminum-air batteries for EVs in the can. More than 550 feet over the National Mall in Washington, DC, the single most significant piece of American aluminum triangulates a point between the White House, the US Capitol, and the Lincoln Memorial. It is… Read more »

A closer look at the semiconductor switch

In this article I’ll be giving an overview of that most important of power electronics components: the semiconductor switch. I’ll first address what a switch is, and then delve into some of the more important compromises and shortcomings that exist in real-world switches that engineers must contend with when designing chargers, motor controllers, DC-DC converters… Read more »

Will Nissan’s No Charge to Charge program drive LEAF sales?

Image above courtesy of WSDOT/Flickr Nissan and NRG eVgo have pioneered a multi-network consortium to make topping up the bestselling EV a considerable re-LEAF. When Nissan last graced the Charged cover (March/April 2013 issue), the company was picking itself up and dusting itself off. Its LEAF had taken a shellacking in the press after the… Read more »

Wildcat’s new copper fluoride cathode material offers 2.5x more capacity than today’s battery tech

The current generation of lithium-ion battery materials is quickly approaching its theoretical limit. In commercial layered oxide cathodes, like the popular nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC), there is only one lithium ion for every metal. So, the most energy you could possibly store with those materials is one full lithium in and out, or about 300 mAh per… Read more »

BC Hydro pushes for a timely fast charger rollout

BC Hydro is the electricity supplier for about 95 percent of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It’s government-owned and vertically integrated, meaning that the company owns and operates everything from production and transmission to distribution to customers. The company’s 30 hydroelectric facilities meet 78 percent of its electricity requirements, with the balance coming from… Read more »

OLEV Technologies’ dynamic wireless inductive system charges vehicles while in motion

When one thinks of Nikola Tesla and electric vehicles, the obvious connection points to Elon Musk’s favorite part-time project. However, we also have to give the Serbian inventor proper credit for pioneering technology that eventually may become even more important to EVs than battery breakthroughs. Tesla’s obsession with wireless power transmission defined much of his… Read more »

Exhaustive infrastructure testing: Converging industries present challenges for automakers

In the past few decades, the automotive industry has seen a shift from traditional mechanical systems to a world dominated by electronics, chips and software. If you go to a car show and look in the engine compartment of an older vehicle, you’ll see only a handful of connections from the cockpit. Modern vehicles, however,… Read more »