Electric vehicles face a number of challenges, including battery performance, infrastructure issues, and acceptance of the technology by consumers. These issues will be open for debate at the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo and Battery Show, held from September 10 through 12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI.
The show is taking place as activity in electric vehicles continues to ramp up and more models become available. But skeptics point to technology and infrastructure issues and the lack of a compelling reason to switch to the technology from internal combustion engines.
In a Tuesday afternoon keynote session, Bob Taenaka, Senior Technical Leader in Electrified Vehicle Battery Cells and Systems at Ford Motor Company, will deliver a presentation titled “Gateways to the Future: Delivering on Electrified Vehicle Demands.” Taenaka will discuss how to gain and “pull” widespread customer acceptance and preference for electrified vehicles over conventional internal combustion engines. He will also discuss how emerging technologies such as wireless vehicle charging, on-demand hybrid vehicle zero tailpipe emissions, and fully autonomous vehicles will help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
With ongoing concerns over battery chemistries as well as the materials need to produce these batteries, Mark Verbrugge, director of Chemical and Materials Systems Laboratory at General Motors, will in Wednesday’s keynote session titled "Standing on the Forefront of Battery Development" discuss what is needed in development of low-cost, fast-charge batteries, and how they are essential to the advancement of automotive electrification. Verbrugge will also explain the key considerations in electrode behavior, and emphasize the need for sustainable battery solutions based on earth-abundant materials with low cost per unit mass.
In a more light-hearted look at electric vehicles, actor, author, and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr. will in the Thursday keynote discuss his experience with electric vehicles, dating back from when he was driving around California in a Taylor-Dunn electric cart. Begley will share his personal and often humorous journey to shift his transportation choices toward renewable and sustainable options.
Technology on display
A number of exhibits will highlight the latest products and technology available for designing into current and future generation hybrid and electric vehicles.
For instance, Japan-based Renesas Electronics will show its fourth-generation Li-ion battery management integrated circuit (IC). The company says its new ISL78714 IC provides accurate cell voltage and temperature monitoring, cell balancing, and extensive system diagnostics to protect 14-cell Li-ion battery packs, all while maximizing drive time and range for hybrid and electric vehicles. The device meets reliability and performance requirements of battery pack systems for all EV variants, enabling automotive manufacturers to achieve the ISO 26262 automotive safety integrity level (ASIL D). The IC monitors and reads back over/under voltage, temperature, open wire conditions, and fault status for 112 cells in less than 10 ms.
Protean Electric will showcase the Pretean360+, a modular concept integrating advanced powertrain, steering and suspension technologies within a single product. The module is reportedly the first aimed at commercial applications that offers a limitless 360-degree steering capability. The module also incorporates pneumatic ride height control to allow kneeling for stepless curb to vehicle access.
Supercapacitors are viewed by many as a viable energy storage medium for future vehicles. To that end, Eaton will show its XLR Supercapacitor Modules, self-contained energy storage devices comprised of individual XL60 supercapacitor cells. One of the newest members of that product family is the XLR-16, which packs six 2.7 V XL60 cells into a 16.2 V, 500 F module. Another module, the XLR-48 is a 48 V, 166 F module comprising 18 individual 2.70 V XL60 supercapacitor cells. Even more powerful is the XLR-51, a 51 V, 188 F module comprising 18 individual 2.85 V, XL60 supercapacitor cells.
Phihong will show a number of charging systems. The company’s recently introduced Movable DC chargers have an output power range of 20 kW/40 kW/60 kW for rapid charging, and a locking GB/T interface for safety. The chargers’ user interface is enabled with either a 7 in. or 10.4 in. touch screen, integrated Ethernet connection, and an intelligent RFID card reader. Narrow-range voltage (200 V – 500 V) and low voltage (30 V – 100 V) options are also available.
Phihong’s will also show its latest EV charging system, a 360-kW liquid-cooled DC EV Charging Station for high volume fast charging in bus or fleet operations.
Asides from battery and power management products, interconnection products designed for the high voltage requirements of vehicle interconnection are also on display. For instance, TE Connectivity will show its 200-V HV-20 terminator, which allows safe termination of high-voltage connectors in a flexible bench-top solution. The TE modular die platform allows the use of a range of unique die sets in holders that can be installed into either the fine adjust compatible HV-20T or HF-20T bench-top presses.