By Norman Smith
August 10-13, 2009
Long Beach. California
The conference had three focuses Vehicle Technology Track, Infrastructure Readiness and Smart Grid Track, and Market Development Track.
The Vehicle Technology Track had topics of; EV and PHEV Batteries - Status and Prospects, Battery Systems integration and operation, Electric Drive systems, Vehicle Testing, Plug in vehicle Modeling, On-Road Electric Transportation, Battery Electric Vehicles.
The Infrastructure and Smart Grid Track topics were; Infrastructure Impacts of Plug-in Electric Vehicles, Standards and Requirements, Electricity as a Low Carbon Fuel, PEVS as Distributed Resources – V2G, Smart Grid Integration, Smart Charging Technologies, and Ideas for Public Infrastructure.
The Market Development track topics were; Seamless Technology Rollout, Public Support for Plugging In, Learning From Experience- Infrastructure for Plug-In Vehicles, Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other Policies, Plug-In Grassroots and Legislative Advocacy, Scaling up From an Idea to Production, Medium and Heavy Duty PHEV Electrification.
There were 15 vehicles on display at the convention in the Exhibit Hall.
The big topic of conversation at the conference had to do with infrastructure. The plans are to use the new SAE J1772 connector standard. The connector Standard is currently slated for adoption in both the USA and Japan. UL has approved the new plug back in July and the hope is that the standard will be released this fall. As a side note, I am not sure I can depend on UL testing. I have burned up many 15 amp connectors on UL approved cables by charging my vehicle at 15 amps for 12 hours continuously. There were a few companies that had 30 amp prototype connectors in their booths to look at. The companies that are supporting the standard are GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Tesla
The standard lists a 30 amp connector as well as an 80 amp connector. Word is that the 30 amp connectors are ready to go into production. Apparently there are no manufactures tooling up for production of the 80 amp version. With new high power packs at 100 Kilowatt hours or more the 30 amp connector will not be sufficient. If the infrastructure is built with the smaller connectors the system may become as obsolete as AVCONs and Magnachargers.
Norman E. Smith II