Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Intelligent Data-driven Optimisation of Charging Infrastructure

Charging Europe

Posted at: 18 Dec 2015 | IDO-Laad

Researchers from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences visited the European Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC) in Brussels. An overview of the most important research topics.

Between the 1 st and the 4 th of December in 2015 the 4 th European Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC) took place in the Diamant Centre in Brussels. During this congress mainly European experts gather to discuss the current situation concerning electric transport. Researchers from the IDO-laad team from the Amsterdam University of applied Sciences presented two papers at this congress ( Charge infrastructure usage in the four major cities in the Netherlands and Public Charging Infrastructure Use In The Netherlands: A Rollout-Strategy Assesment) and discussed with other researchers on other topics. An overview of the most discussed topics.

‘Super’ fast charging

Several charge point manufacturers presented their R&D on this congress showing the fast charging becomes even quicker. From the current standard of 50 kW manufacturers are now moving to charge speeds of 300 to even 450 kW. A Tesla Model S could be charged within 15 minutes at these speeds. In the Netherlands preparations have already started for a transition to 150 kW. At these charge speeds fast charging starts to resemble filling up your gasoline car. Another notable fact is that the number of fast chargers is increasing quickly, currently already 2700 fast chargers are available in Europe. This is less than 2% of the number of current gasoline stations but driving your car to the south of France (Dutch!) for a holiday is not a problem.

Does this development herald the end of slow charging, a topic we are investigating at the IDO-laad team? We don’t expect at this as the costs of fast charging at the moment are considerably higher than slow or regular charging due to higher investment and maintenance costs. We expect that fast charging shall only be used in case it is really necessary to get yourself home. At home, be it home charging or street-side charging, charging is cheaper and waiting for the battery to charge is not necessary as the car is parked anyhow. Home charging also leads to the car being filled every morning and thus reducing the need for charging on the way. This does however not mean that fast chargers are not necessary to guarantee a sufficient range for EV drivers. We continue to watch these developments closely!

Maintaining the lead

The status of frontrunners of Norway and the Netherlands was acknowledged during the conference. Norway with a focus on FEV’s and the Netherlands in Plug-in hybrids and an extensive charge infrastructure. The frontrunner role was highlighter in a specials ‘Polis Dutch session’. The market for EV’s has grown significantly in the last years mainly due to fiscal stimulation and a well-developed charge infrastructure.

During the congress other researchers showed a lot of interest in the Dutch approach. The Netherlands is an unique living lab in which the behaviour of the EV driver can be studied and with these results facilitate better. That the situation is unique, except for Norway, was illustrated with an analysis of the use of the charge infrastructure of Flanders: in two years’ time the same amount of charge sessions was conducted as during October in Amsterdam alone. The Netherlands has made a decent start but other countries have to follow.

The Netherlands has to maintain this advantage has to keep on investing to reach the goal of 1 million EV’s in 2025. A shift of focus from hybrids to FEV’s is necessary and it is ok to copy the Norwegian example.

Smart grids

An important European research project is developing the technologies necessary to implement a smart grid. With these technologies it is possible to effectively use renewable energy sources to charge your car. Smart usage of batteries can reduce the peaks in electricity networks and therefore the need to invest in the grid and it can also result that solar panel owners can become independent of the grid.

During the EEVC there was a lot of attention for special research programs such as the PlanGridEV project, which defines the technical specifications for a Smart Grid. The Netherlands would be an ideal lab to test these technologies in real life. Recently the city of Utrecht (Dutch!) decided to test smart charging technologies at a large scale. The IDO-laad team is very curious about the results and the effects on charging behaviour. Do these technologies really to peak and costs reductions for the grid. We will monitor the data closely!