Features

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric: A viable EV competitor for the average car buyer

As a company, Hyundai often sets goals that slightly exceed those set by competing automakers. The engineers who designed the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In hatchbacks were told that the new vehicles had to beat the fuel-efficiency ratings of the Prius hybrid and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. So it is with the Hyundai Kona Electric. We… Read more »

SiC vs GaN semiconductors for EV power converters: Tech Opinion

Just as engineers are starting to get used to the advantages (and quirks) of silicon carbide (SiC ) devices, another semiconductor material joins the fray: gallium nitride, or GaN. Though there are some superficial similarities between these two materials, and even some overlap in their areas of best use, it is my opinion that only… Read more »

The Wallbox Copper proves EV chargers can be beautiful too

The Spanish charging station company Wallbox is growing quickly and winning awards. The Red Dot Product Design award is given every year to consumer products with exceptional design, from luxury watches to elegant furniture to stunning sports cars. You might not expect an EV charger to share that stage, but among the 2019 Red Dot… Read more »

Battery bonding: Ultrasonic wire bonding vs laser welded bonding

Ultrasonic wire bonding vs laser welded bonding Li-ion cells come in many different shapes and size. There’s also a large variety of options to choose from when designing the connections between each cell and a vehicle’s electronics. In automotive applications, it’s critical to design reliable connections that are cost-effective and suited to high-volume manufacturing. F&K… Read more »

A closer look at the losses in power semiconductors

A previous article examined loss mechanisms in traction motors, which tend to be the single biggest source of losses in a modern EV drivetrain. This time, the focus is on the various power semiconductors, as they are the next biggest source of losses. Also covered in brief are ways to mitigate these losses and design… Read more »

A look at Volkswagen’s MEB architecture

The all-electric underpinnings that the VW Group will use to build dozens of EVs A few weeks before the end of 2019, if all goes according to plan, the first Volkswagen I.D. Neo electric car will roll off the assembly line at the company’s plant in Zwickau, Germany. Different versions will offer ranges from 160… Read more »

How local leaders can make their communities more EV-friendly

While much of the EV policy conversation focuses on state legislatures and public utility commissions, local government has an important role to play too. Cities and counties are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and local policies can go a long way towards increasing EV adoption. In last November’s midterm elections, thousands… Read more »

Nissan’s $3,500 LEAF rebate gets local utilities involved in increasing EV awareness

If you pay an electric bill (and who doesn’t?), keep your eyes open for a message from your local utility announcing that you can take advantage of a $3,500 rebate on a Nissan LEAF. Nissan has been partnering with various utilities around the US to offer customers a special rebate. The rebate comes from Nissan,… Read more »

Could new regulations hold back EV charging development?

While regulators and the charging industry are hashing out the details of new regulations, some are concerned that well-intentioned policies could have negative effects. The availability of EV charging infrastructure is increasing every day, and action by federal, state and local governments has been a major driver of this growth. However, like anything in life,… Read more »

The EV industry sees problems with California’s proposal to mandate credit card readers for public chargers

In California, there is a controversial plan to require credit card readers on all public charging stations, including retrofitting already installed units. California’s Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act (Senate Bill 454, which passed in 2013) mandates open access to public charging stations – that is, a driver doesn’t have to be a member… Read more »