Features

Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2: EV cousins offer different takes on “premium”

You might not know it to look at them, but these two cars—one Swedish, one Chinese—share underpinnings and a parent company. Volvo and its Chinese parent Geely are very serious about selling cars that plug in. Starting in 2016, the Swedish brand has included plug-in hybrid versions of pretty much every new vehicle it sells… Read more »

Is aviation the best application yet for hydrogen fuel cells?

Q&A with ZeroAvia CEO Passenger cars are well on their way to going electric, and the path to a big market share for heavy-duty EVs such as buses and delivery trucks is becoming clearer. However, aviation remains a new frontier for zero emissions. There are several new powertrain options, and none has yet proven itself… Read more »

Daimler and PGE develop the electric truck stop of the future

The Electric Island project, a collaboration between Daimler Trucks North America and Portland General Electric, will be a test bed for all kinds of heavy-duty EV charging solutions. Electric trucks are finally starting to roll. After years of vehicle development, research projects and pilot deployments, major fleet operators around the world are beginning to place… Read more »

Isolation technologies for EV power electronics

A previous article on bidirectional chargers touched on using transformers to provide isolation at high power levels—in which application they are the only game in town, really—but this time the focus will be on achieving isolation at low power levels, such as the feedback signal in a regulator, data communication buses between devices, gate drivers… Read more »

An ENERGY STAR charger specification program update

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR label is one of the most widely known consumer symbols in the US. ENERGY STAR-certified products have helped consumers save an estimated $246 billion in energy costs since 1992, when the program began. In 2018, the ENERGY STAR program added EV chargers to the list of products that can earn its… Read more »

2022 GMC Hummer EV: the biggest, baddest, butchest EV to hit the market?

The news that General Motors would relaunch the infamous Hummer name—as an all-electric truck no less—broke a few days before the high-dollar, high-visibility 2020 Super Bowl ad that introduced that vehicle to the world. After a succession of carefully staged events for media and the public, we now know that the 2022 GMC Hummer EV… Read more »

Setting a new standard for battery leak testing

Defective cells can shorten battery life, decrease range, and lead to safety issues. A leaky cell housing, one common failure mode for Li-ion batteries, can allow ambient humidity to come in contact with the electrolyte, triggering an exothermic (heat-releasing) chemical reaction.  Currently, the common practice in the battery manufacturing industry is to test cell packaging… Read more »

2020 EV Charging Infrastructure Best-in-Test: Rating the DC fast charging user experience

If EVs are to replace fossil-fuel vehicles, they need to be able to make long highway trips, which means that DC fast charging needs to be reliable, convenient, affordable and ubiquitous. However, as Charged and other media have often reported, we’re still in the early days of public EV charging, and the user experience often… Read more »

Proterra beefs up its battery expertise: Q&A with CTO Dustin Grace

Since its founding in 2004, Proterra has grown to become North America’s largest supplier of electric buses. The company has sold some 950 buses to transit agencies, airports, universities, national parks and private companies in 43 states and provinces. Under its Proterra Powered program, the company provides powertrains to other vehicle makers—school buses for Thomas… Read more »

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 »