Features

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 »

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-changer: 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 »