In the race to protect our planet from the global warming crisis, we are at risk of losing unless timely action is taken to reduce CO2 emissions and promote sustainable growth. There is a lot of well-deserved hype around the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and the corollary reduction of dependence on fossil fuels. In fact, the EU has announced a ban on the sale of all fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 with other countries likely to follow suit. As a result, a record 250 million EVs are predicted to be sold by 2030.
While the move to EVs will no doubt have a positive impact on the environment, it poses a new set of challenges. Widespread adoption of EVs will certainly result in a decrease in noxious emissions, but, at the same time, it will trigger a massive increase in the demand for electricity. Electric vehicles, after all, need to be charged. While there is enough electrical energy generation to meet the increased demand, there is not enough electrical energy distribution. In order to truly embrace the transition effectively, there is a need for a vast ultra-fast charging infrastructure that will eliminate “range anxiety” and enable EVs to take on larger roles both in the private and commercial sectors. While policymakers and auto manufacturers are quick to encourage the switch, the availability of ultra-fast charging is not keeping pace.
The power grids in most places around the world are simply not robust enough to support the high demand for electricity and power that all these new EV charging stations need to service the EVs. Drivers will increasingly demand access to cost-effective and fast on-the-go and destination-charging, which utilities and charge point operators will struggle to provide without a significant investment of both money and time in upgrading the existing infrastructure.
There must be a better solution (spoiler alert: there is, and ZOOZ has it!).
The Current State of EV Charging
Drivers of EVs today have three options when it comes to charging their cars:
- Level 1 Regular AC Charging (appx. 1.3-2.4 kW) – this involves plugging the car directly into a regular outlet at the driver’s home or place of work. This slow method only provides about 4-5 miles of travel per hour of charge.
- Level 2 Charging Station (appx. 7-19 kW) – designated EV charging stations are offered for use in public locations and private homes. These chargers work about 10 times faster than regular sockets, providing the ability to have a full charge in about 4-6 hours.
- Level 3 Fast DC EV Charging (50+ kW) – these use direct current (DC) to power the battery, allowing them to provide more power faster. While the original fast charging offers 50+ kW, the newer ultra-fast charging will start at 150 kW. This level of power can offer a full charge in minutes as compared to the hours it takes with a Level 1 or 2 charger.
As EVs grow in popularity, there will be a higher demand for Level 3, fast and ultra-fast chargers. In the age of instant gratification, and the fact that drivers are used to topping up their ICE car within minutes, drivers will not be willing to wait hours for their car to charge (nor is it efficient) and will want to be sure that they can access a fast charge whenever and wherever they need it
The Impact of EV Chargers on the Power Grid
The challenges of EVs cannot be ignored as we get closer to the time when ICE cars will be eliminated. As demand for fast charging grows alongside widespread EV adoption, power grids around the world are struggling to keep up with the needed power for these charging stations:
- Increased peak demand – fast and ultra-fast EV charging causes high peaks of power. The more people attempting to charge EVs at once, the more pressure there will be on the grid to distribute power to all of the charging locations at once. This means that individual charging stations in people’s homes are not sustainable as it will be impossible to supply enough power to so many disparate locations, especially as most people will want to charge their cars in the evening hours or overnight. The solution lies in public charging stations, which will be primarily used during the day when people do not have time to sit and wait hours for the car to charge. These stations must provide ultra-fast charging, but as more public ultra-fast charging stations are built, the pressure on the electric system will increase further as many more cars will be charging at once.
- Reliability problems – relying on low-voltage infrastructure to operate EV charging stations will result in voltage instability. This leads to lower transmission rates and overall system disruptions. Not only will people not be able to charge their cars reliably, but the increased pressure on the grid can result in power outages and disruptions that will impact other daily activities.
How to Mitigate the Effects on the Power Grid and enable ultra-fast charging anywhere.
Fortunately, it’s possible to have it all – there is a way to shift to EVs, protect the planet and save power grids from undue pressure. The answer lies in advanced charging solutions and power-boosting technologies from energy storage devices, which will enable the deployment of ultra-fast charging stations while maintaining optimal grid performance. Energy storage technologies used as power boosters enable widespread deployment of ultra-fast charging stations in locations with limited grid power and also. Help to prevent the overloading of the power grid during peak times.
The ZOOZ Way
We need drivers to make the transition to EVs in order to help in the efforts to save the environment. But, this move will either not happen at all if there is no new infrastructure or will not have the desired effect if it results in an overloaded power grid or expensive infrastructure-upgrade projects.
ZOOZ made it their mission and have developed a solution with the ZOOZTER-100(™), the most sustainable Kinetic Power EV Booster on the market based on patented flywheel technology. This unique technology enables the building of ultra-fast, sustainable, and cost-effective EV charging networks anywhere – including locations with limited grid power, with no need for costly infrastructure upgrades, and with the lowest total cost of ownership.