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Myths Regarding Electric Vehicles – How Do These Apply to My EV Fleet?

(Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Thursday, October 31, 2019)

I hope that you have enjoyed our series of blogs on “myths regarding electric vehicles”. While these myths primarily revolved around auto electric vehicles, many of them also apply to industrial electric vehicles (EV) as well. The myths that are important to consider for industrial EV fleets are:

Interestingly, all three of these myths are closely interlinked. EV charging times, especially for fleet EVs, is highly dependent on the amount of power that is able to be supplied to the battery system. This is the primary difference between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (or Fast Charging) chargers is the power and voltage capabilities of the charger. Class 1 EV chargers run off of 120V (standard household) outlets, are generally limited to 15 amps of current, and generally provide 4-5 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers are the kind that are found in public spaces (offices, malls, parking garages), run off of 240V connections, and provide 15-25 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 3 chargers (also called DC fast chargers) can provide 50-170 miles of range per hour of charging. To put this into context, a Level 2 auto EV charger typically supplies 6.6kW of energy, while a Level 3 auto EV charger can take 20kW-30kW of energy. Of course, chargers for fleet EVs take much more than this (significantly larger battery backs) – a Level 2 fleet EV charger can take 60kW-125kW of power, while Level 3 fleet EV chargers can take 500kW or more power.

This is where Myth #6 comes in. Think about a “vehicle barn” with twenty 125kW chargers. If all of them are running simultaneously, they will draw 2.5 MW. That is a LOT of power, and can be problematic for the grid to provide. If that seems bad, imagine if those chargers were Level 3 EV chargers – the power draw could be 10MW! It is these limitations on grid power availability that has EV OEMs and operators thinking about incorporating energy storage and renewable energy sources into their EV charging solutions. Rhombus recently wrote a solution brief and a blog on the subject – you can find them here. Let us know if we can help you with your charging solution needs by contacting us at sales@rhombusenergy.com.

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