Mobility: Rapid EV charging

An immediate focus of decarbonisation efforts has been the ratcheted replacement of fossil fuel powered vehicles with cleaner technologies such as Electric Vehicles.

Whilst the UK has banned the sales of new fossil fuel only cars from 2030, other parts of the world have gone further; in the US, states such as California have mandated that 22% of vehicles must be zero emissions as early as 2025. Several cities such as Paris, London and several German cities have already unilaterally enacted measures over and above national standards and targets.

In market terms, these actions have driven a new imperative to invest in new technologies, and a need to have a coherent network of charging locations of adequate capacity in place by 2030 to meet the projected increase in global Electric Vehicle ownership to support the delivery of those challenging targets.  The global electric vehicle fleet has begun to significantly expand over the past decade, underpinned by supportive
policies and technology advances. Sales of electric cars topped 2.1 million globally in 2019, surpassing 2018 – already a record year – to boost the stock to 7.2 million electric cars. Electric cars, which accounted for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of global car stock in 2019, registered a 40% year-on-year increase. As technological progress in the electrification of two/three-wheelers, buses, and trucks advances and the market for them grows, the range of electric vehicles is also expanding significantly.

The total number of Electric Vehicles is projected to rise exponentially over the next decade, with the IEA’s ‘Business as usual’ scenario (known as its ‘Stated Policies Scenario’) projecting nearly 150m vehicles worldwide by 2030. As the number of EVs increases however, charging them is likely to put the existing charging infrastructure under increasing strain. Grid reinforcement will be necessary in the longer term, but the sheer scale of this work will mean that it is impossible to reinforce the grid as fast as EV deployment strategies demand – meaning other solutions are needed.

We already have a solution to these challenges in the form of the H-PowerTM EV fuel cell electric vehicle charging unit, which can be used off-grid in areas with minimal grid coverage or places where reinforcement costs would be excessive.  This fully packaged product, first demonstrated as part of our Dunsfold to Dundee Dash in early 2020, includes fuel cells, fuel storage, as well as ancillaries to optimise efficiency and provide a high level EV charging rate. In doing so it provides a clean, rapidly deployable high charge rate solution wherever needed.  The containerised EV charging unit means that it is also fully portable so can be deployed on a temporary basis if required.

This proof-of-concept success encouraged ABB to enter into joint development and commercial agreements with us in order to accelerate their growth which extends our commercial footprint into the global EV market.