Charging pile – A major EV charging method

Charging pile - A major EV charging method

In recent years, the world has been committed to low-carbon development, and the development of new energy vehicles has accelerated worldwide, and its production and sales have also increased year by year. At the same time, as an indispensable supporting facility for new energy vehicles, the charging pile industry is also ushering in vigorous development.

In this article, we will focus on issues related to charging piles, focusing on charging piles and the development of the charging pile industry, so that we can have a clearer understanding of the development of the charging pile industry.

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    What is a charging pile?

    Charging pile is a device used to charge electric vehicles (EV). Its function is similar to that of a fuel dispenser in a gas station. It can charge various types of electric vehicles according to different voltage levels. It is a alternative of traditional gas station and gas pump.

    Charging piles can be installed on the ground or walls of public buildings and residential area parking lots or charging stations.

    What is a charging pile
    What is a charging pile

    What are the components of charging pile?

    Electric vehicle charging piles are mainly composed of pile body, electrical module, metering module and other parts. Generally, it has functions such as energy metering, billing, communication, and control.

    The display screen in the charging pile can display important data such as charging amount, charging time, and cost. Consumers can use a specific charging card to swipe the card at the charging pile.

    What are the types of charging pile?

    1. Different installation locations: public charging piles and charging piles built with the vehicle.

    2. Different charging technologies: AC slow charging charging piles and DC fast charging charging piles.

    3. Different installation methods: floor-mounted charging pile and wall-mounted charging pile.
    Floor-standing charging pile – suitable for installation in parking spaces that are not close to the wall.
    Wall-mounted charging pile – suitable for installation in parking spaces close to the wall.

    4. Number of charging ports: one pile for one charge and one pile for multiple charges.

    What are advantages and disadvantages of charging piles?

    What are advantages and disadvantages of charging piles
    What are advantages and disadvantages of charging piles
    • Advantages:
    1. A large number of distributions. Charging piles, as a plug-and-play charging method, have a large number and are increasing every year.
    2. Low input cost. To build a charging pile, the initial investment cost is low, the investment time is relatively small, and the occupied area is also small.
    • Disadvantages:
    1. Long charging time. Charging piles have always been regarded as the most standard energy supplement method for new energy vehicles. In slow charging mode, the charging process takes 6-8 hours.
    2. Battery life is reduced. The development of new energy vehicles has brought about the problem of battery life. Some new energy car owners can only choose fast charging at charging stations. If you use fast charging for a long time and frequently, it will lead to accelerated exhaustion of the battery life. 

    An overheated battery will reduce the number of battery charge cycles. If the overheating continues, the battery may even cause the risk of spontaneous combustion or explosion. Therefore, daily charging of new energy vehicles requires more slow charging in order to effectively protect the life of the battery.

    What are different charging technologies for EV ?

    At present, there are mainly two ways of energy supply for electric vehicles: one is the charging mode, and the other is the battery swapping mode.

    Among them, the charging mode can be divided into DC fast charging and AC slow charging; the battery swap mode can be divided into centralized charging and charging – swapping.

    EV charging methods - What is the most efficient way to charge an EV?

    EV charging methods
    EV charging methods

    From a technical point of view, there are currently four charging methods for electric vehicles: DC fast charging, AC slow charging, battery replacement, and wireless charging. In the future , new technologies such as high-power charging and non-inductive charging will also be realized.

    1. AC slow charging: the advantages are mature technology, simple structure, easy installation and low cost; the disadvantages are the use of conventional voltage, low charging power, and slow charging, and are mostly installed in residential parking lots.

    2. DC fast charging: the advantage lies in the use of high voltage, large charging power, and fast charging, which is more suitable for scenarios with high requirements for charging time, such as taxis and buses, and is generally installed in centralized charging stations; the disadvantage is that the equipment is relatively The AC charging pile is complicated, and the manufacturing cost and installation cost are relatively high.

    3. Battery swapping station: the advantage is that the battery swap is fast and the safety is higher ; the disadvantage is that due to the variety of battery models, the battery swap methods are different, etc.

    4. Wireless charging: Due to immature technical specifications and business models, it is still in the stage of exploration and application.

    Charging pile, charging station and battery swapping station

    The battery swapping station provides a unified type of battery pack, which is relatively targeted;

    The charging station is a unified charging pile cluster with charging piles that can be parked;

    The charging pile is an intelligent device that can provide power to the on-board charger or battery.

    How about the charging pile industry chain

    In the new energy automobile industry chain, the upstream is mainly raw materials and parts, among which raw materials include lithium ore, cobalt ore, rare earth, etc., and parts include motors, batteries, electronic controls, body structural parts, etc.; the midstream is mainly for vehicle manufacturing, These include passenger cars, special vehicles, and commercial vehicles; the downstream is for charging services and aftermarket services, and charging piles are in a key position in the new energy vehicle industry chain.

    • Upstream of the charging pile industry chain: manufacturers of charging components, including charging modules, power devices, contactors, transformers, connectors, batteries, etc.
    • The middle reaches of the charging pile industry chain: the manufacturer of charging pile equipment. At present, there are many companies in the field of domestic charging pile equipment production, and the market competition is relatively sufficient.
    • The downstream of the charging pile industry chain is mainly: charging pile operation and service. As far as China is concerned, there are currently three main types of charging pile operators-operator-led model, car company-led model, and third-party charging service platform-led model.

    Development status and future of charging pile industry - Taking global major markets as examples

    1. China: Multiple factors stimulate the construction of charging piles

    Multi-level technological innovation drives the explosion of demand for new energy vehicles. According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, from 2015 to 2021, under the dual stimulus of policy support and product power, China’s new energy vehicle sales ranked first in the world for seven consecutive years, and the penetration rate of new energy vehicles increased rapidly from 1.76% in 2015 to 13.25% in 2021. With the complete cancellation of subsidies for new energy vehicles in 2023, the industry will officially enter the stage of product dominance.

    2. Europe: Speeding up the construction of multi-scenario charging piles.

    In order to achieve the goal of the “Fit for 55” road traffic carbon reduction campaign, many countries have introduced policies to promote the construction of charging piles. Austria, Iceland, Sweden and other countries provide subsidies for the construction of charging piles.

    3. United States: Public charging pile construction ushers in a high-speed construction cycle

    According to AFDC data, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in the United States will increase rapidly from 2021. The number of new energy vehicle registrations in that year will exceed 2.24 million, and as of September 2022, the number of new energy vehicle registrations will exceed 2.96 million.
    The development goals of local charging piles are clear, and the restart of federal incentives has helped the construction of public charging piles in the United States enter a period of rapid growth.

    Will charging pile be replaced by battery swapping station?

    Will charging pile be replaced by battery swapping station
    Will charging pile be replaced by battery swapping station

    Battery swap is actually battery replacement technology. Generally speaking, it is to replace the power battery for electric vehicles to achieve the purpose of continuing to drive. The power swap station is the site where the power battery is replaced. Compared with the charging pile, the power station has two obvious advantages:

    1. Fast battery replacement. Changing the battery is the same as refueling a fuel car, and the speed is the same or even faster than refueling. When the electric car is out of power, it only needs to drive to the power station. The replacement station will replace the dead battery pack and quickly replace it with a fully charged battery pack. If there is no need to queue up, the battery swap process can usually be completed within 5 minutes.

    2. New battery technology. The biggest advantage of battery replacement is to allow more old and new battery technologies to be put into circulation. At the same time, centralized and professional charge and discharge control is conducive to prolonging the service life of the battery. Car owners do not need to worry about the life of the battery, and the safety is greatly improved. , which can minimize the potential safety hazards caused by personal charging.

    Of course, there are also obvious deficiencies in the replacement power station, such as the non-uniform battery standards and the high construction cost of the replacement power station.

    Therefore, whether it is a charging pile or a battery swapping station, at present, the advantages and disadvantages are still obvious, but they are all a means to solve the battery life of electric vehicles. Judging from this trend, the construction of charging piles is still the current mainstream direction, and the construction of battery swap stations cannot be ignored in the future.

    At present, in the market, battery swap models are mainly concentrated in online car-hailing, taxis, buses, etc. A model with a relatively long running time and a relatively long operating mileage. Charging piles and battery swap stations, which one is the future trend, ultimately depends on the choice of the market and consumers.

    Conclusion

    With the support of global “low-carbon” development, new energy has become the mainstream direction of global development, and with the increasing deployment of countries in the world in the field of new energy vehicles, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in the world have achieved relatively high-speed development.

    At the same time, the demand for charging piles has also experienced explosive growth. Against such a background, there will be huge room for development of new energy vehicles and charging piles, and new development opportunities will be ushered in in the future.

    FAQ-about charging pile

    Charging pile is a device used to charge electric vehicles (EV), is similar to that of a fuel dispenser in a gas station. Charging piles can be installed on the ground or walls of public buildings and residential area parking lots or charging stations.

    At present, there are mainly two ways of energy supply for electric vehicles: one is the charging mode, and the other is the battery swapping mode.The charging mode can be divided into DC fast charging and AC slow charging, and there are some advantages and disadvantages of charging pile.

    Advantages:

    1. A large number of distributions.
    2. Low input cost.

    Disadvantages:
    1. Long charging time.
    2. Battery life is reduced.

    Charging pile is an intelligent device that can provide power to the on-board charger or battery;

    The charging station is a unified charging pile cluster with charging piles that can be parked;

    The battery swapping station provides a unified type of battery pack, which is relatively targeted.

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