Features

A closer look at the DC Link

The term DC link has traditionally referred to the junction between two power conversion stages where an energy storage element (almost always a capacitor) acts as a buffer for each.  A classic example is the capacitor placed between the rectifier and the voltage source inverter in a mains-supplied variable frequency drive (see Fig. 1). This… Read more »

Tesla’s success is “a combination of thousands of heroic feats that no one knows about” (book excerpt)

A new excerpt from Tesla: How Elon Musk and Company Made Electric Cars Cool, and Remade the Automotive and Energy Industries, Edition 4.1. An inside look at the early days David Havasi was a car guy from birth. He grew up near Auburn Hills, and his dad worked in the auto industry. “My childhood was… Read more »

NeoCharge’s Smart Splitter reduces barriers to Level 2 EV charging at home

California-based startup NeoCharge has developed an economical, quick and safe way to add a Level 2 EV charging station to your home. The company’s Smart Splitter allows you to safely plug your EV charger and an appliance such as a dryer into the same 220-volt outlet, eliminating the need for a dedicated circuit or a… Read more »

Volkswagen ID.4 and Nissan Ariya bring EV drive to compact crossovers…chasing Tesla Model Y

Can new electric entries in a hugely popular segment convince US buyers to buy EVs from Nissan and VW as family vehicles? Two new battery-electric models from major global car brands are about to bring electric cars into a category where they’ve been notably absent: family crossover utility vehicles. The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 and 2022… Read more »

The technical challenges of bidirectional chargers

For years, we’ve been hearing about an EV technology that promises to be a game-changers: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) bidirectional charging. My recent work with one V2G charger developer, Fermata Energy, has convinced me that V2G has found its proverbial killer app: load peak shaving for commercial/industrial energy customers. This article is going to concentrate on the… Read more »

Li-Cycle recovers usable battery-grade materials from shredded Li-ion batteries

Q&A with CEO Ajay Kochhar It’s usually one of the first objections cited by EV naysayers: batteries can’t or won’t be recycled, and they contain hazardous materials that will end up in landfills. In fact, no such sinister scenario is likely—most of the components of Li-ion batteries are valuable, and it’s quite feasible, technically and economically,… Read more »

Turnkey transit bus electrification: Enel X offers full service EV-fleet installations for city and school buses

Q&A with Giovanni Bertolino, Head of E-Mobility at Enel X Some of the most compelling stories in the EV world these days have to do with charging. For an individual EV driver, charging may seem like a simple matter—plug in your car in the evening, and it’s ready to drive in the morning—and that’s part of the appeal of… Read more »

Shoppers buy more EVs if they understand charging—and now there’s proof (exclusive first look)

New-car salespeople have simple motivations: They want to spend the least time selling you a new car for the highest possible commission. You buy a new car every five years or so; they sell up to 25 cars a month. They make money on the difference in knowledge. That makes electric cars a problem: they… Read more »

Scale up micro-solid-state batteries to large EV cells? It’s not so simple.

Q&A with Ilika Technologies Every other scientist in the battery world seems to be working on commercializing large-scale solid-state batteries for use in EVs. The potential for technical and safety benefits is substantial, so there will be a big pot of gold for those who first make real advancements on the automotive level.  Using solid… Read more »