Fast efficient charging of commercial electric vehicles
The popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow with the promise of lower emissions, lower operating costs and improved long-term prospects.
Battery-powered electric vehicles are increasingly used in various sectors of public transport and industry.
These applications can benefit from the use of StÃ¤ubli’s unique Quick Charge Connector (QCC) technology. QCC helps minimize downtime and maximize efficiency by facilitating rapid automatic charging of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are also able to offer significant reductions in operating costs. The cost of electricity is much lower than gas for equivalent journeys and vehicles, and because it is an emerging technology, the efficiency of electric vehicles is likely to continue to improve.5
Diesel and gasoline technology are expected to be phased out in the coming years, which will reduce its long-term viability as an investment. As global fossil fuel use continues to decline alongside dwindling supplies of gas and diesel, it is only a matter of time before these non-renewable resources are depleted.6
This distinct combination of improved environmental credentials, lower operating costs, and improved long-term prospects are key factors in the adoption of electric vehicles for commercial and consumer use.
Research undertaken by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) has found that annual sales of electric vehicles are increasing at an almost exponential rate around the world.7
Revolutionizing the industry
As costs continue to drop and technology continues to improve, two notable hurdles remain in terms of commercial adoption of electric vehicles: the distance a vehicle can travel on a single charge and the availability of charging points. .8
These factors appear to be holding back the adoption of personal electric vehicles for consumption, but they are not a barrier in areas where vehicles stop frequently and should only be driven in small areas or along predefined routes. .
These applications include:
- Mines, agriculture and transport10.11.12
- Maritime vessels, including tugs and ferries
- Regional aircraft such as VTOL
- Warehouses using Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to transport goods
- Public transport networks where vehicles stop regularly and follow predetermined routes
- Airports employing tow vehicles, shuttles and crew transports
The benefits of fleet electrification are beginning to outpace costs across all these sectors. Operating costs and air pollution are drastically reduced, and vehicles can be charged at their planned stops with minimal impact on efficiency.
Efficient Rapid Charging of Electric Vehicles
The charging method used can have a significant impact on the efficiency of industries embracing the potential of electric vehicles.
For example, manually plugging in AGVs can result in substantial time implications in even a modest-sized warehouse, while monitoring charging progress and disconnecting vehicles at the appropriate time adds a further layer of complexity.
StÃ¤ubli was prompted to develop its unique automatic Quick Charge Connector (QCC) to help alleviate concerns about electric vehicle charging reliability, efficiency, and safety.
The QCC interfaces between the vehicle and infrastructure or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
It has been designed and developed from the ground up to enable the automatic connection of commercial electric vehicles, facilitating rapid charging with no need for human intervention.
The QCC helps ensure increased uptime, enhanced performance and improved safety.
Image Credit: StÃ¤ubli Electrical Connectors
The QCC is comprised of a flexible plug connector mounted to a linear actuator (the plug side) while the socket connector is installed within a funnel to ensure proper compensation for angular and positional misalignment (the socket side).
Automatic charging drastically reduces â potentially even eliminates – the downtime typically associated with charging.
For industrial use cases where vehicles make predetermined stops, automatic charging systems can be placed to allow charging to take place âin the backgroundâ rather than requiring manual interventions by personnel.
The StÃ¤ubli QCC system has been designed with safety, efficiency and reliability at its core.
Safety is ensured by an array of features, including a limiting micro-switch which only permits the commencement of charging once mating between connectors has been completed.
StÃ¤ubli connectors are entirely touch-safe (IP2X) and waterproof (IP55), making them an ideal choice for use in public-facing environments, such as bus stops, and in challenging weather conditions. Connector sequencing minimizes the potential for arcing by ensuring that ground contact is the first to mate and last to break.
The use of StÃ¤ubliâs proprietary MULTILAM technology ensures optimum efficiency. Each connector is comprised of many individual spring-loaded contact points, ensuring a large connection surface area and allowing immense current densities. The result of this approach is a single connector that can reliably accommodate more than 1 Megawatt.
Reliability is guaranteed by StÃ¤ubliâs rigorous testing protocols. Its connectors have been rated to 100,000 mating cycles â more than 27 years of service, assuming 10+ cycles per day.
Integrated sensor-free misalignment correction and an integrated self-cleaning mechanism ensure that StÃ¤ubli QCCs offer low-maintenance, dependable operation over a prolonged service life.
With customers including some of the most widely recognized self-driving container transport projects (the Port of Singapore and the Port of Hamburg), StÃ¤ubli QCC remains the market leader in port operations.
The QCC has been in operation since 2009 with zero incidents, and over 200 units have been sold as of 2021.
Organizations contemplating the transition to an electric fleet or considering making efficiency improvements to existing electric vehicle operations can leverage the potential of StÃ¤ubliâs Quick Charge Connectors to ensure a robust, low-maintenance solution to their charging needs.
- European Environment Agency. Electric vehicles and the energy sector: impacts on future emissions in Europe. (Publications Office, 2016).
- Nuclear energy in France | French Nuclear Energy – World Nuclear Association.
- Norway leads the way for electric cars: ‘it’s part of a green tax shift’ | Environment | The Guardian.
- How green are electric cars? | Environment | The Guardian.
- Running costs of electric vehicles: how much does it cost to buy and use an electric car | OVO Energy. https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/how-much-does-it-cost-to-charge-and-run-an-electric-car.html, https: //www.ovoenergy. com / guides / energy-guides / how-much-does-it-cost-to-charge-and-run-an-electric-car.html.
- How long before I run out of fossil fuels? Our World in Data https://ourworldindata.org/how-long-before-we-run-out-of-fossil-fuels.
- Lutsey, N. & Nicholas, M. Update on Electric Vehicle Costs in the United States to 2030. (2019).
- The real brakes to the adoption of the electric vehicle.
- StÃ¤ubli joins forces for the automated charging of electric vehicles in port logistics.
- John Deere: âWe believe in electric tractors. 100% ‘- FutureFarming. https://www.futurefarming.com/Machinery/Articles/2020/3/John-Deere-We-believe-in-electric-tractors-100-552869E/.
- Electric vehicles and robotics in mining 2020-2030. (2020).
- Silverstein, K. The trucking industry is embracing change and moving to electric vehicles. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2020/06/04/the-trucking-industry-is-embracing-change-and-moving-to-electric-vehicles/.
- The MULTILAM principle of StÃ¤ubli Electrical Connectors AG.
This information has been obtained, reviewed and adapted from documents provided by StÃ¤ubli Electrical Connectors.
For more information on this source, please visit StÃ¤ubli Electrical Connectors.