Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles


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This UL white paper provides an overview of the general issues regarding the
introduction of EVs, and reviews the various types of EVs and the technology
components required to power them. The white paper then discusses potential issues
related to the widespread deployment of EVs, including the development of an EV
power structure, safety concerns addressed by regulations and consensus standards, and the training needs of designers, field installation specialists, and enforcement officials. The white paper concludes with a preview of prospective issues facing
manufacturers of EVs and EV charging equipment.

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Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles

  1. 1. Powering the NewGeneration of ElectricVehicles: Issues and Challenges
  2. 2. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and ChallengesPowering the New Generation of ElectricVehicles: Issues and ChallengesBy 2015, there may be as many as 1 million electric-powered vehicles on roads andhighways in the United States. That’s the target set by President Barack Obama in his2011 State of the Union address. Although skeptics question whether President Obama’s1 million vehicle target is actually achievable by that date, automobile manufacturersare moving to bring electric vehicles (EVs) to the market as quickly as possible. In fact,it is estimated that over 20 different EV models will be available for sale in U.S. cardealerships by 2015.1The rapid and dramatic increase in the number of EVs on the road will bring aboutmany changes, not the least of which is the deployment of an infrastructure to powerthis new generation of high-technology vehicles. Already, pilot programs are underwaythroughout the United States to install electric vehicle charging stations (EVCSs), timedto support the new EVs that are rolling out of dealer showrooms. Further, owners of EVswill require the installation of EVCSs where they garage their vehicles. Some calculationsplace the number of EVCS required to support a fleet of 1 million EVs at more than 2.5million units.The introduction of electric-powered vehicles presents significant growth opportunitiesfor automobile manufacturers as well as the manufacturers of power systems usedto build and fuel America’s new EV fleet. At the same time, the installation andmaintenance of potentially millions of EVCSs presents logistical and training issuesfor the technology companies that manufacture and service such equipment. Finally,consumers are likely to seek reassurances regarding the safety of electric-poweredvehicles and the systems used to charge them.This UL white paper provides an overview of the general issues regarding theintroduction of EVs, and reviews the various types of EVs and the technologycomponents required to power them. The white paper then discusses potential issuesrelated to the widespread deployment of EVs, including the development of an EVpower structure, safety concerns addressed by regulations and consensus standards,and the training needs of designers, field installation specialists, and enforcementofficials. The white paper concludes with a preview of prospective issues facingmanufacturers of EVs and EV charging equipment.page 2
  3. 3. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and ChallengesElectric Vehicles— two separate propulsion systems, a do not include a conventional internalA Technology Overview conventional internal combustion engine combustion engine. Energy is transferred and an electrical propulsion system, a to a vehicle either by plugging it into anThe future outlook for growth in the combination designed to optimize fuel electric supply or exchanging the vehicle’suse of EVs has never been brighter. The economy. By May 2011, 2.0 million spent battery for a charged one. Vehiclesemerging alignment of environmental, HEVs had reportedly been sold in operated exclusively on battery power areeconomic and political concerns the United States.3 possible due to advancements in batterystemming from the continued Although manufacturers continue to technologies, with the current generationdependence on imported petroleum and make improvements in the efficiency of of lithium-ion battery systems offeringother fossil fuels has resulted in increased their HEV models, major investments higher power and energy densities, andinterest by consumers in electric-powered in electronic propulsion systems have providing greater driving ranges andvehicles and increased investment byautomobile manufacturers in battery and shifted to the development of plug-in increased acceleration.hybrid technologies necessary to power hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Like HEVs, PHEVs typically have two separate A Review of EVthem.2 In addition, new corporate averagefuel economy (CAFE) standards requiring and independent propulsion systems. Power Componentsvehicle fleets to achieve nearly 55 miles What makes PHEVs different from HEVs Beyond the technical sophistication ofper gallon by 2025 are likely to drive is the presence of a rechargeable battery electric-powered vehicle propulsion, EVsgrowth and additional investment. This system that can be restored to a full require a complex system of electricalinterest has been further stimulated by charge by connecting the vehicle to a and electronic components to supportbillions of dollars of federal funds directed charging system. General Motors was the recharging of the vehicle’s on-boardtoward research and development, the first to introduce a PHEV to the U.S. batteries. On the other side, an electricalmarket development programs, and even market in late 2010 with the debut of system is required to provide the requisitethe deployment of a federal EV fleet. the Chevy Volt, but a number of other power to recharge EVs. These on-board manufacturers plan PHEV introductions and off-board systems and componentsElectric-powered vehicles have evolved in the next few years, including Ford, must be designed to integrate seamlesslysignificantly over the fifteen years since Toyota, Volvo, Audi, Suzuki and Fisker. with one another to ensure a safe,they were first introduced in the United convenient and trouble-free experienceStates. Hybrid gas-electric vehicles (also Development efforts are also proceeding for consumers.known as a hybrid electric vehicles or on all-electric vehicles, such as theHEVs) made their debut in the late 1990s Nissan LEAF. These battery electric On-board and off-board charging systemswith the introduction of the Toyota Prius vehicles (BEVs) are powered exclusively typically include some or all of theand Honda Insight. HEVs typically include by rechargeable battery systems and following individual components: On-Board Off-Board Connectors Connectors Cables Cables Chargers Personal protection equipment Power supplies Power outlets Batteries Smart meters Motors Charging stationspage 3
  4. 4. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and Challenges Off-board components On-board components On-Board Motor Off-Board Charge Level 1-3 Controller On-Board Chargers Personnel Off-Board On-Board On-Board Protection Connectors Connectors Cable Connectors Cable Equipment On-Board Power Supply Power Outlets Smart Meter On-Board On-Board On-Board Charge Stations Motors Inverters Batteries Level 1 & 2Figure 1: EV on-board and off-board componentsAt the same time, manufacturers are recharge vehicle batteries. Initial efforts use multipliers of between 0.5 and 2.5developing enhanced charging systems in this area are already underway, charging units per EV to calculate theand components to take advantage notably the EV Project, a public/private 4 anticipated demand for EVCSs. For theof new technological innovations. For program with approximately $230 million fleet of 1 million EVs projected to be onexample, a new generation of batteries in combined federal government and U.S. roadways by 2015, these multipliersis being developed that will provide private funding, that is slated to deploy would project a short-term requirementconsumers with the ability to make nearly 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities of anywhere between 500,000 andreserve battery power available to in six states (Arizona, California, Oregon, 2.5 million EVCS.utilities in response to peaks in demand Tennessee, Texas and Washington) and Given the significant market potential in(so-called vehicle-to-grid technology). the District of Columbia through the end meeting the expected demand for EVCSs,Moving these and other innovations from of 2011. EV Project partners Nissan and it is not surprising that companies fromthe research lab to the field will require a Chevrolet are also expected to cover the diverse industries around the world arevariety of new connectors, cables, motors, cost of installing residential chargers for actively exploring ways to leverage newinverters and other components essential buyers of the Nissan LEAF (an all-electric and existing technologies in support ofto safe and dependable performance. vehicle), and the Chevrolet Volt (a PHEV). the development of EVCS infrastructure But estimates of the number of EVCS and equipment. As an illustration, aSupplier Dynamics in Deploying installations required to support a 2010 UL webinar on electric vehiclean EV Power Infrastructure growing fleet of EVs greatly exceeds infrastructure issues attracted moreThe commercial success of PHEVs and the scope of the EV Project. According than 600 participants from across theBEVs will depend on the deployment to Pike Research, nearly 1 million charge United States and from countries aroundof a nationwide network of public and points will need to be installed in the the world, including China, India, Brazilprivate charging stations that will allow United States by 2015 to support PHEVs and the European Union. Companiesconsumers to safely and conveniently and other chargeable vehicles. Others 5 represented at the webinar includedpage 4
  5. 5. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and Challengesautomobile manufacturers, but also are potential fire and electrical safety includes an extensive glossary of termsconsumer electronics manufacturers, issues. Indeed, according to a Summary related to EVs and EVCSs.aerospace and defense contractors, Report of the U.S. National Electric The primary intent of NEC Article 625 isindustrial infrastructure equipment Vehicle Safety Standards Summit held to prevent users from being exposed tosuppliers, electrical utilities and others. in Detroit, Michigan in October 2010,6 energized live parts, and to provide themBut the convergence of diverse the issue of safety related to vehicle with a safe EV charging environment.technologies from global companies charging infrastructure was one of the To achieve that objective, Section 625.5also presents a number of challenges for three greatest concerns among summit requires that all electrical materials,everyone involved. Manufacturers must participants. Specific safety concerns devices, fittings and equipmentdevelop and deliver individual products include issues related to the technical associated with EV charging equipmentand components that not only conform design and performance of EV be listed or labeled by a Nationallywith specified technical requirements, charging equipment, the types and Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)but which also work seamlessly with quality of components used in such accredited by the U.S. Occupational Safetyproducts designed and produced by equipment, installation procedures and Health Administration (OSHA). (Themanufacturers in other industries. Supply and maintenance requirements. listing requirement is consistent withchain management practices of individual Safety concerns regarding EV charging other sections of the NEC dealing withcompanies must be harmonized to the equipment in the United States are electrical and electronic equipment usedextent possible so that required products primarily addressed through state and in the federally regulated workplace.)and components are delivered where and local regulations, which most often Article 625 also includes the followingwhen they’re needed. Producers based reference the National Electric Code (NEC, requirements applicable to EVoutside of the United States will need to also known as NFPA 70)7, and consensus charging equipment:anticipate the potential logistical issues standards promulgated by the Society of •  ll EV attachment plugs, Athat come from working with partner Automotive Engineers (SAE), the National connectors and inlets must becompanies in other parts of the world. Fire Protection Association (NFPA), UL, listed or labeled for the purposeIn addition to these challenges, and other organizations. These consensus (Section 625.16)manufacturers must also understand codes and standards undergo continuous review and revisions to address previously •  EV supply equipment must includethe specific codes, regulations and unidentified concerns as well as newly an interlock that de-energizes anstandards that will govern the design, introduced technologies.8 Enforcement is EV connector and cable when ainstallation and use of their products and typically carried out at the local level by connector is uncoupled from an EVcomponents in their intended location. an “authority having jurisdiction,” which (Section 625.18)Finally, initial and continuous training andeducation programs for installers, service can include state and local fire marshals, •  EV supply equipment musttechnicians, local electrical inspectors and fire and electrical inspectors, and building de-energize when strain could leadother code authorities, first responders, and public health officials. to the rupture or separation of aand end users are necessary to minimize The most important safety code covering cable from an electrical connectorsafety risks for all involved. EV charging equipment is the NEC, (Section 625.19) which is the basis for most state and •  EVCSs must have a listed personnelCodes and Regulations local electrical and safety requirements. protection system to protectAddressing EV Charging Specifically, Article 625 of the NEC directly against electric shockEquipment Safety Issues addresses requirements for the design (Section 625.22) 9Foremost among the challenges in and installation of EVCSs and other EVdeploying an EV power infrastructure charging equipment. Article 625 alsopage 5
  6. 6. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and ChallengesThe above discussion represents only a EV and EV charging equipment safetybrief summary of the key provisions of issues addressed in current consensusNEC Article 625. Those involved in the standards typically address one of threedesign, permitting and installation of types of risks, as follows:EV charging equipment are encouraged 1. High voltage and current, that is,to obtain copies of the code and to the risk of electric shock and/or firethoroughly review Article 625 prior 2. Environmental concerns, coveringto commencing any work on EV temperature, humidity, water, oilcharging equipment. and dustIt is important to note that some state 3. The equipment’s durability andand local authorities may impose resistance to vibration and abuseadditional safety requirements on thedesign and installation of EV charging Here is a brief summary of the currentequipment that are unique to their consensus standards for EVs and EVjurisdictions. However, in most cases, charging equipment:local authorities strive to incorporate •  UL 62, Safety of Electric Vehiclethe NEC by reference in local electrical Cable—This Standard covers cablesand safety codes to accurately mirror the used to supply power, signal andtechnical provisions of NEC Article 625. control to EVs during the charging process. EV cable consists of twoConsensus Safety Standards for or more insulated conductors, withEVs and EV Charging Equipment or without grounding conductors,UL, SAE, NFPA and other organizations with an overall jackethave been working for more than 15years to develop and adopt consensus •  UL 2202, Safety of Electric Vehiclestandards appropriate to the safety issues (EV) Charging System Equipment—related to EVs, EVCSs, and other types This Standard covers EV chargingof EV charging equipment and charging system equipment located on- orcomponents. In most cases, the technical off-board a vehicle. Off-boardrequirements found in consensus equipment is connected to thestandards are closely aligned with those vehicle by means of a flexible cordfound in the NEC, and existing standards and an electric vehicle connectorundergo continuous review and revision. •  UL 2231 (Parts 1 and 2), Safety ofIn addition, new consensus standards are Personnel Protection Systems forbeing developed to account for emerging EV Supply Circuits—This StandardEV and EVCS technologies. For example, covers devices and systemsUL is currently developing new on- and intended to reduce the risk ofoff-board EV standards for wireless electric shock to the user from(inductive) charging and to accommodate accessible parts, in grounded orvehicle-to-grid technology. isolated circuits for charging EVspage 6
  7. 7. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and Challenges •  UL 2251, Safety of Plugs, including the pin configuration, when the marketplace is flooded with Receptacles, and Couplers for dimensions and overall design unknown brand names from around EVs—This Standard covers plugs, of a connector. SAE J 1772 the world, consumers are increasingly receptacles, vehicle inlets and references UL 2251 regarding wary about the quality and safety of connectors rated up to 800 coupler safety requirements electrical and electronic devices. Savvy amperes and up to 600 volts ac consumers recognize that equipment or dc, intended for conductive The Role of Testing and components bearing the UL label connection systems and Certification or that of another NRTL meet or exceed As previously noted, compliance with applicable safety standards, and EV •  UL Subject 2594, Safety of Electric the provisions of the NEC requires that charging equipment and components Vehicle (EV) Supply Equipment— EVCSs and other EV charging equipment that have been certified will be viewed This subject Standard covers be listed or labeled. Such listings are by consumers as part of a manufacturer’s equipment intended to provide typically achieved through testing overall commitment to safety. power to an EV with an onboard by an accredited testing laboratory, charging unit. Specific products in which representative samples of The Importance of EV and EV covered by Subject 2594 include EV equipment are evaluated for compliance Charging Equipment Training power outlets, EV cord sets and EV with the technical specifications and In addition to safety issues related to the charging stations performance criteria detailed in relevant EV charging infrastructure, attendees at •  UL Subject 2735, Safety of Electric consensus standards. Equipment that the 2010 U.S. National Electric Vehicle Utility (Smart) Meters—This is found compliant with the consensus Safety Standards Summit cited training as subject Standard covers electric standards is then published in the testing a key ingredient in the successful and safe utility meters designed to measure, laboratory’s listing of approved or introduction of EVs into widespread use in monitor, record, transmit or receive certified products and is labeled as proof the United States.10 Summit participants electrical energy generation or of that certification. focused exclusively on training for use consumption information. local enforcement officials and first The testing and certification of EVCSs and Such meters may be used as a responders. But training and education EV charging equipment and components standalone device or as part of efforts will necessarily reach beyond this are key elements in the overall safety of an EVCS group to include designers of charging the EV power infrastructure. Testing by •  UL Subject 2750, Wireless Charging systems, electricians and field installation an experienced, independent third-party Equipment for Electric Vehicles— specialists, maintenance technicians, local laboratory supports claims that a product This subject Standard covers code officials and others. has been rigorously and objectively products used in the systems evaluated for safety, both with respect As an example of the training already for wireless charging of electric to design and use, even under conditions available or in planning stages, UL has vehicles, including the primary and not anticipated by a manufacturer. announced an initial curriculum of three secondary coil units, and the power Rather than slowing time to market, separate e-Learning courses/webinars, source. These systems are rated at the certification of products by UL or as follows: a maximum 250 V ac another NRTL can actually speed product •  Electric Vehicle Charging Station •  SAE J 1772, Electric Vehicle and acceptance by purchasing authorities and Infrastructure Design—For Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle local enforcement officials. construction engineers, architects, Conductive Charge Coupler— Product testing and certification are municipalities and property This SAE Standard addresses the also essential in the effort to build owners, this course provides configuration of the charge coupler, consumer acceptance. At a time a comprehensive overview ofpage 7
  8. 8. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and Challenges EVCS technology, and design efforts to encourage employment and job by state and local enforcement officials. considerations for large-scale growth in so-called green technologies, Politics aside, the consequences for installations providing work opportunities for regulators who miss a potentially •  Electric Vehicle Charging System thousands of workers. catastrophic safety risk related to the EV Installation—For experienced power infrastructure are too great. Look What’s Ahead for for more, not less, attempts at federal and qualified electricians, Manufacturers? oversight in this area. this self-paced course covers the entire EVCS installation The market for electric-powered vehicles and the energy systems that power them Product Safety Will Drive process. Participants who pass a will grow dramatically in the coming Market Acceptance comprehensive online assessment following the course are awarded years. While it is impossible to predict As noted throughout this white paper, UL’s EVCS Installer certificate the future with any degree of certainty, safety issues related to the vehicle here are some thoughts on the likely charging infrastructure is the pre-eminent •  NEC Article 625—Electric Vehicle consequences ahead for manufacturers. concern among all stakeholders, including Charging Stations for Code the general public. Manufacturers who Officials: For code officials The Industry Will Grow Quickly place product safety ahead of all other responsible for permitting and Political turmoil and rising energy prices concerns, by designing safe products inspecting EVCSs, this webinar will eventually spur consumer demand and submitting them for testing and provides an introduction to EVCS for EVs, and manufacturers will struggle certification, will build trust among technology, equipment and initially to keep up. This dynamic will consumers and earn a reputation installation requirements, as attract an abundance of new market for quality. defined in NEC Article 625 entrants, ranging from small technologyUL is in the process of developing start-ups with innovative ideas to large Knowledge and Trainingadditional training programs, consisting corporations looking to exploit their Are Essentialof both e-Learning, classroom instruction resources to capture share in this new Knowledge and training are key to theand hands-on training. market. New players are likely to come successful deployment and acceptanceThese and other courses and training and go at a startling rate, and production of any new technology, and EVs andoptions are essential to support the overcapacity is a potential risk. EV charging systems are no different.full-scale rollout of EVs over the coming Manufacturers and other stakeholdersdecade and to foster the development of More, Not Less, must commit to training and educationskills necessary to install and maintain the Regulatory Oversight programs to ensure that their productsrequired EV power infrastructure. Equally Federal regulations already control are designed, certified, installed,important, training and continuing most safety issues related to EVs, but maintained and used as efficiently and aseducation programs focused on EVs the rollout of a national EV power safely as possible.and EV charging systems can support infrastructure will largely be governedpage 8
  9. 9. Powering the New Generation of Electric Vehicles: Issues and ChallengesConclusionIn just a few short years, the prospect of EVs as a viable alternative to gasoline-poweredvehicles has become a reality. The deployment of a nationwide power infrastructureto support the growing fleet of EVs will provide manufacturers with abundant newopportunities, but those opportunities will come with additional challenges, the mostimportant of which is the safe operation and use of EVs and EV charging systems.This challenge can best be met by the continued active advancement of appropriateregulations and consensus standards, a rigorous testing and certification program, anda commitment by manufacturers and other stakeholders to provide comprehensivetraining and education options for all involved.For additional information, please contact Chris Pauly, Business Development Manager,at Chris.Pauly@ul.com.1 Baum & Associates, as quoted in “Electric Vehicles: Perspectives on a Growing Investment Theme.” an industry report prepared by Citi Investment Research & Analysis. 23 Feb 2011. Web. 23 Nov 2011 http://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/electric-vehicles-report2 For additional information on the advantages of electric powered transportation, see “Electrification Roadmap: Revolutionizing Transportation and Achieving Energy Security”. Electrification Coalition. Nov 2009. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://www. electrificationcoalition.org/reports/EC-Roadmap-screen.pdf3 “U.S. Hybrid Sales Hit 2 Million Mark.” WardsAuto.com. 7 Jun 2011. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://wardsauto.com/ar/hybrid_sales_ million_110607/index.html4 “The EV Project.” www.theevproject.com 19 Nov 20115 “64% of Electric Vehicle Charge Points in the United States to be Residential Units.” Pike Research. 22 Sept 2010. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://www.pikeresearch.com/newsroom/64-percent-of-electric-vehicle-charge-points-in-the-united-states-to-be-residential-units6 “Summary Report.” U.S. National Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit. Oct 2010. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://www.nfpa.org/assets/ files/PDF/Research/RFUSNEVSSSummit.pdf7 “NFPA 70: National Electric Code.” National Fire Protection Association. 2011. Web. 19 Nov 2011. Copies can be purchased at www.nfpg.org8 For a preview of possible changes to the NEC and NFPA standards, for example, see “Electric Vehicle Charging and NFPA Electrical Safety Codes and Standards.” The Fire Protection Research Foundation. Oct 2011. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://www.evsafetytraining.org/ Resources/~/media/Files/RFEVCharging.pdf9 Susan L. Stene. “Certification of Products for Electric Vehicles and Systems (From the Wall to the Battery).” Underwriters Laboratories, Proceedings of the 59th International Wire & Cable Symposium. 2010. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://iwcs.omnibooksonline.com10 “Summary Report.” U.S. National Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit. Oct 2010. Web. 19 Nov 2011. http://www.nfpa.org/assets/ files/PDF/Research/RFUSNEVSSSummit.pdfUL and the UL logo are trademarks of UL LLC © 2012. No part of this document may be copied or distributed without the prior writtenconsent of UL LLC 2012.page 9