By Ivan Workman
July 26-29, 2010
San Jose, CA, Convention Center
Ecotality Blink Level 2 EVSE Press Conference
The conference had three focuses: Electric Drive Technologies for PHEV & Electric Vehicles Track, Infrastructure to Support Electric Drive Track, and Programs and Policies for Electric Drive 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, and New Business Models.
Most organizations had some form of representation at Plug-In 2010 including Saba Motors, Think North America, Boulder Electric Vehicles, Ecotatility, Coulomb Technologies, Eaton Corporation, Parker, Remy, Plug-In America, EPRI, etc. A number of them were EV Infrastructure providers. Think North America and Boulder Electric Vehicles also had representation at the conference despite not having a vehicle on display.
Most of the conference’s focus was on the roll out of new infrastructure and new electric vehicles for the general public. The industry as a whole is anywhere from 6 months to 18 months behind schedule.
There were 10 vehicles on display at the convention in the Exhibit Hall:
The big topic of conversation at the conference had to do with infrastructure for electric cars. 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 electric 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 16 amp, 30 amp, 40 amp, and 80 amp connectors. Word is that all the connectors are ready to go into production. With new high power packs at 100 Kilowatt hours or more, it is of the personal opinion of the writher that the 30 amp connector will still not be sufficient. If the infrastructure is built with the smaller connectors the system may become as obsolete as AVCONs and Magnachargers. There was also talk about the standard for Fast Charging which won’t become a standard for at least two more years. They are considering using the Japanese CHAdeMo Association standard for DC Fast Charging. The manufacturers using this standard include: Aker Wade Technologies, AV Inc., Eaton Corporation, and Ecotalitity.
List of Exhibitors:
AeroVironment, Inc., ALTe, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Best Buy, Better Place, Boulder Electric Vehicles, BTCPower, Inc., Chevrolet, China Aviation Lithium-ion Battery Co., Ltd., Coulomb Technologies, Inc., Compact Power, Inc., Delta-Q Technologies, Drive Oregon, Eaton Corporation, ECOtality, EDI (Efficient Drivetrains, Inc.), EIG America, Inc., Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International, Electric Power Research Institute, Evatran, GridPoint, Inc., Ingeteam Energy, S.A., ITT-Interconnect Solutions, Lear Corporation, Leviton Manufacturing, Liberty PlugIns Inc., Methode Electronics, Nissan North America, NRW Invest, Odyne, Parker Hannifin, Philatron Wire and Cable, Pi Mobility, Plug In America, Québec: Powered by Green, Ready to Roll, Remy, Inc., Schneider Electric, Spal USA, THINK North America, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity, U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program, VCA North America
Electrifying Times Magazine Writers & Photographers:
Norman E. Smith II