Technical Library

EV Quick Chargers and New Charging /
Electricity Supply Equipment Technologies

NICHICON CORPORATION

1. Foreword

The plan for developing the electric vehicle (EV) market, which is one of the government strategies for achieving a low-carbon society, is several years behind schedule. Achieving widespread use of EVs requires the solving three issues: (1) EV price; (2) Increasing single-charge range; and (3) Improving the currently insufficient charging infrastructure. Government-sponsored price subsidies and charging infrastructure improvement under the guidance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have been used to deal with these issues. This article discusses EV quick chargers and new charging/electricity supply equipment technologies.

2. The Status of the EV Market

METI has established a plan for ¥100.5 billion in subsidies for next-generation EV infrastructure-improvement projects.

(1)
Government eco-car subsidies and efforts to reduce EV prices have resulted in reducing the actual cost of a Nissan Leaf to ¥3 million.
(2)
As for mileage, the Nissan Leaf is capable traveling up to 200 km on a single charge.
(3)
¥100.5 billion in subsidies will be used to expand the charging infrastructure to approximately 110,000 charging points (according to newspaper reports, 74,000 regular charging stations and 35,700 quick charging stations) nationwide within two years.
(4)
A maximum of 2 / 3 of the subsidies will go toward charging units and installation costs for public facilities created in accordance with the “Charging Infrastructure Vision” of the regional and prefectural governments. (Subsidies not thus categorized will be distributed across four subsidy projects, such as the subsidy on half the price of the vehicle.)
(5)
On July 29, four automakers (Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi) announced that based on their agreement with the “Charging Infrastructure Vision” of the regional and prefectural governments they will bear a portion of the costs of establishing and maintaining the charging infrastructure and promote the installation of charging facilities.

3. Charging Infrastructure Vision

The “Charging Infrastructure Vision” of the regional and prefectural governments prioritizes public access and calls for optimizing placement of the chargersin locations such as along major thoroughfares that would be frequently used by EV drivers.
They are looking into creating the following three basic charging point categories:

(1)
Base station chargers: Apartment house parking lots, parking lots that rent spaces by the month, etc.
(2)
Roadside chargers: Service areas, roadside stations, gas stations, convenience stores, etc.
(3)
Destination point chargers: Theme parks, shopping centers, etc.

The “Charging Infrastructure Vision” calls for the local governments to promote installation of base station chargers in apartment house parking lots, parking lots charging by the month, etc.
The “Charging Infrastructure Vision” also calls for prioritizing the placement of roadside chargers at locations where they are considered necessary based on traffic census surveys, as well as looking at planned placement of chargers to promote tourism. This will encourage their use by people who visit tourist attractions, hot springs, roadside stations, etc.
The plans also envision the placement of a number of destination point chargers at locations such as theme parks and shopping centers. Distribution business and similar enterprises will also be actively encouraged to install chargers.

4. Billing System for Charging Fees

Many of the installed quick chargers will be available for use without payment because the early years of rising EV popularity constitute a period of testing and experimentation. For example, Kyoto and other prefectural governments will be offering free charging. While in some cases charging fees will be categorized as “facility usage fees,” the situation will resemble practical testing.
Nichicon is seeking to offer convenience to EV users, so we offer free use of the Quick Chargers installed at our factories during operating hours.
Meanwhile, since November of last year Charging Network Development, LLC and the Japan Charge Network (JCN) have been conducting practical testing of a membership-based billing system. Anticipated future developments include the use of quick chargers with FeliCa card-based authentication and billing functions. Under this system, the owner of the facility determines the usage fees, which are collected from users and repaid to the owner. User authentication methods under consideration include the highly popular QR (Quick Response) Code reading system for smartphones and mobile phones.

5. Quick-Charger Technology Trends

A number of models with outputs of 10~50 kW are already being sold by various companies.
Nichicon’s lineup of seven models includes three with authentication and billing systems installed (See photo 1). There are manufacturers supplying quick chargers with coin-collecting equipment attached for collection of payment At present we expect that coin-collecting equipment will be used in conjunction with authentication-capable quick chargers.

Photo 1: Quick chargers 2050kW output model / 10kW output model

Photo 1: Quick chargers 20-50kW output model / 10kW output model

6. Power Rates

There are two types of quick charger-AC200V three-phase input and AC200V single-phase input.
As for power company contract demand rates, usage rates will fluctuate depending on the per-day power supply frequency even in the case of low-voltage models capable of receiving 50kW or less. Table 1 below shows examples of trial calculations of usage rates for 30kW quick chargers under the current power rate system. As this table demonstrates, rates for the three-phase types are comparatively lower if the frequency of charges per-day exceeds a certain number. Therefore, when the future popularity of EVs is into consideration the expectation is that the mainstream models will be of the three-phase type.
50kW output models will also require high-voltage power supply contracts.

Contract demand 35kVA
Power used per charge 14.4kWh
TEPCO
  Single phase Three-phase
  No. of times used Basic rate commodity charge Monthly sum No. of times used Basic rate commodity charge Monthly sum
Single-phase merit 1 9,555 12,571 22,126 1 37,485 7,128 44,613
Single-phase merit 2 9,555 25,142 34,697 2 37,485 14,256 51,741
Single-phase merit 3 9,555 37,714 47,269 3 37,485 21,384 58,869
Single-phase merit 4 9,555 50,285 59,840 4 37,485 28,512 65,997
Single-phase merit 5 9,555 62,856 72,411 5 37,485 35,640 73,125
Three-phase merit 6 9,555 75,427 84,982 6 37,485 42,768 80,253
Three-phase merit 7 9,555 87,998 97,553 7 37,485 49,896 87,381
Three-phase merit 8 9,555 100,570 110,125 8 37,485 57,024 94,509
Three-phase merit 9 9,555 113,141 122,696 9 37,485 64,152 101,637
Three-phase merit 10 9,555 125,712 135,267 10 37,485 71,280 108,765
KEPCO
  Single phase Three-phase
  No. of times used Basic rate commodity charge Monthly sum No. of times used Basic rate commodity charge Monthly sum
Single-phase merit 1 13,230 10,964 24,194 1 36,015 5,361 41,376
Single-phase merit 2 13,230 21,928 35,158 2 36,015 10,722 46,737
Single-phase merit 3 13,230 32,892 46,122 3 36,015 16,083 52,098
Single-phase merit 4 13,230 43,857 57,087 4 36,015 21,444 57,459
Three-phase merit 5 13,230 54,821 68,051 5 36,015 26,806 62,821
Three-phase merit 6 13,230 65,785 79,015 6 36,015 32,167 68,182
Three-phase merit 7 13,230 76,749 89,979 7 36,015 37,528 73,543
Three-phase merit 8 13,230 87,713 100,943 8 36,015 42,889 78,904
Three-phase merit 9 13,230 98,677 111,907 9 36,015 48,250 84,265
Three-phase merit 10 13,230 109,642 122,872 10 36,015 53,611 89,626

[Table 1] Usage rate examples for 30kW-output quick chargers

7. Bi-Directional Power Charge / Supply Systems

Last year, Nichicon and Nissan jointly developed and launched the EVPower Station. This is a residential power supply system that uses an EV’s lithium-ion battery. It is the world’s first Vehicle to Home (V2H) system for using an EV to supply power to a home. The EVPower Station stores power at night when power rates are lower, and shifts that stored power to daytime use. This can reduce the consumption of power from the grid during the daytime resulting in lower monthly power bills.

[EVPower Station Features] [Photo 2]

(1)
Using onboard EV batteries for residential power contributes to a power usage model based on the “smart house” concept
(2)
EV double-speed-charging capable (compared to AC200V connection)
(3)
Can be connected directly to in-house equipment from the residential distribution board
(4)
Capable of supplying the electrical products necessary to daily living up to (within less than) 6kVA
(5)
CHAdeMO Association charging standards are under preparation
(6)
System structure does not allow reverse power flow

[EVPower Station socket Model] [Photo 3] [Figure 1]

This socket model was developed as a “double-speed charger with emergency power supply function” product concept.
Main features:

(1)
EV double-speed-charging capability (compared to AC200V connection)
(2)
Safety and security by ensuring emergency power
(3)
Facility costs for distribution boards are low (no junction box required)

Watertight AC 100V × two-phase (15A on each phase) grounded plug product
AC100V household equipment can be connected to the AC plug.

[Photo 2] EVPower Station

[Photo 2] EVPower Station

[Photo 3] EVPower Station socket model

[Photo 3] EVPower Station socket model

[Figure 1] EVPower Station socket model system connection diagram

[Figure 1] EVPower Station socket model system connection diagram

8. Quick-Charger Standardization Trends

Leading-edge EV development is underway in Japan with the pioneering CHAdeMO rapid charging system playing a leading role in the expansion of the global charging infrastructure.
These quick chargers, which are supplied by Japanese, US and European companies, are already in place at 3,073 locations (1,858 in Japan, 1,215 overseas). (Footnote 1).
Nevertheless, in 2011, eight automakers began offering the Combo system. [Photo 4] The Combo system combines the AC and DC inputs, which are separate in the CHAdeMO system, into a single connecter. The Combo system connecter currently on offer has different, incompatible specifications for Europe and the United States.
There have been reports that Combo system-ready EVs will be launched in the United States in the Fall of 2013, so it will be necessary to keep watch on future automaker trends to see how this affects the spread of EVs.
According to the latest information, two European automakers have announced that they will adopt the CHAdeMO system when launching EVs in Japan.

[Photo 4] Combo US system

[Photo 4] Combo US system

9. In Conclusion

The spread of EVs is expected to contribute greatly to society achieving a low carbon footprint. Nonetheless, the eco-car industry environment surrounding EVs is difficult, as gasoline engine fuel economy technologies improve, high-mileage hybrids rapidly gain popularity, and highly-anticipated next-generation fuel cell vehicles emerge.
Nonetheless, the zero-emissions feature will definitely ensure a large market share for EVs. The popularity of V2H products, which add value to EVs, is expected to grow in tandem with EVs. It is also necessary to tie in the EVPower Station with home energy management systems (HEMS), which are linked to the “smart house” concept.
We are aiming for the early realization of the “smart grid society” means that the industries supplying renewable energy and power storage systems must work with power companies to resolve their shared issues in order to encourage the spread of electrical charging and supply systems that connect V2H products to smart houses.

(Footnote 1) According to the CHAdeMO Association homepage, as of September 10, 2013

 

Author: NICHICON CORPORATION
From the Dempa Shimbun, Oct. 3, 2013

 
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