Powering Up Now: The Global Electric Vehicle Market

(DGIwire) – Things are moving quickly in the world of electric vehicles (EVs). According to a recent industry report from Frost & Sullivan, global sales of EVs are poised to climb to 1.6 million in 2018 and further upward to two million in 2019. EV sales across all major regional markets are on the upswing; as Forbes recently noted, China led the market in 2017 with just short of 50 percent of market share, followed by Europe with 26 percent.

Consider the following: Porsche aims at making 50 percent of its cars electric by 2023, while Jaguar Land Rover has announced it will shift entirely toward electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020, according to Forbes. General Motors, Toyota and Volvo have all declared a target of one million in EV sales by 2025. By 2030, Aston Martin expects that EVs will account for a quarter of its sales, with the rest of its line comprising hybrids. By 2025, BMW has stated it will offer 25 EVs, of which 12 will be fully electric. And the Renault Nissan & Mitsubishi alliance intends to offer 12 new EVs by 2022.

“In such an atmosphere of enthusiasm regarding EVs, it is important to ensure that owners will be sufficiently satisfied by the performance of these vehicles,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo Ltd, the developer of Carbon-Ion™ (C-Ion®) cells, a fast-charging and safe alternative to lithium-ion batteries. “This will require advances in battery technology that permit recharging at a rate comparable to what owners of today’s gasoline-powered vehicles are accustomed to.”

With the use of C-Ion cells, energy can be safely transferred to EVs using extreme fast charging rates greater than 350kW. This can help ensure that the driver “wait time” at a charge station can be reduced to five minutes or less. This ultra-high transfer rate is possible because C-Ion can charge and discharge very quickly, and also because C-Ion does not catch fire, so it is perfectly safe to have a large energy store on site next to existing storage tanks of gasoline and diesel. Where filling station sites already have EV charge points, these can be upgraded to 350kW by installing this system.

To resolve this issue, banks of C-Ion cells could be used to buffer the grid. Very-high-rate direct current (DC) chargers could then be connected to the C-Ion banks operating at 350kW, 450kW or even as high as 1000kW. These DC chargers could be installed at filling stations, city center sites or shopping malls without the need to install new grid infrastructure. To minimize capital investment and the price of electricity, large containers could be installed on sites that initially contain 1MWh of stored energy in their C-Ion cells. At heavily used charging stations, multiple containers may be installed.

Extreme fast chargers of 350kW could be installed on site connected to the container storage, not directly to the site grid connection, and vehicles could be charged from the stored energy at the 350kW rate. And because C-Ion cells have very rapid charge and discharge characteristics, the C-Ion banks can be filled up at night or when electricity is off-peak—ensuring that the cost of the energy required to keep these stations fully charged is minimized.

“A healthy EV future will require a robust charging technology and thanks to its various benefits, C-Ion could fit that bill,” Voller adds.

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