Eaton charging an iMiev

Eaton's electric car DC Quick Charger coming to Hawaii and Wash. DC

Electrical supply equipment makers like Eaton see big business potential in manufacturing electric car charging stations for both level 2 and quick charging scenarios.
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Electrical supply and distribution equipment maker Eaton demonstrated the CHADEMO compatible DC Quick Charger (DCQC) station for electric cars at the EVS26 electric vehicle symposium earlier this week. The station offers full UL certification, flexible configuration, CHADEMO compatibility, and planned upgradeability to the SAE DC Fast Charge system when it is approved.

Eaton forsees annual sales of 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles in 2020, which in turn means big business for a company like Eaton that has a 100+ year history in electrical supply system components. Eaton's main business is all the grey boxes in the basement for power distribution.

The vending machine sized unit can be installed outdoors, or on a truck for mobile electric vehicle recharge and rescue (the equivalent to calling AAA for a gallon of gasoline). It requires a 208 volt three phase AC power connection. Eaton's partner in the truck mounted system, Real Power, can configure a flat-bed truck with a three phase generator with up to 150 kilowatts capacity, allowing the truck to run as many as three fast chargers or a dozen level two chargers, and uses a gallon of diesel fuel to charge a single vehicle.

The charging station housing contains five trays, each with a 10 kilowatt power unit. This allows the charging station to be configured for 10 kilowatt, 20 kilowatt, 30 kilowatt, 40 kilowatt, and 50 kilowatt power levels. Additionally, the charging station can continue operation if one of the trays fails, but at a reduced power level. While at a 50 kilowatt charge rate the time to recharge to 80% is 32 minutes (for a Nissan Leaf), at the 20 kilowatt charge rate the recharge time increases to 63 minutes.

Eaton's DC Quick Charger (DCQC) supports payment and access control with both the ChargePoint Network and credit card swiping. This allows the DCQC to be used for fleet operations at a fleet depot, with no access control, or as a public fast charging station using one of the access control methods.

DC Fast Charging is seen as a technology which will accelerate electric vehicle adoption by easing range anxiety concerns.

Earlier this month Eaton announced a collaboration with the Greater Washington Regional Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure planning and consultation for the Washington, D.C. region. The Clean Cities coalition is a Dept of Energy project to facilitate connecting businesses and governments enabling businesses to assist governments in meeting environmental goals. The goal in this case is to create a safe, reliable and efficient EV charging network for the region. “The Clean Cities initiative demonstrates how stakeholders in the public, private and government sectors can collaborate for the advancement our nation’s economic, environmental and energy security,” explained Jim Dankowski, marketing and business development manager, Eaton’s Government Sales and Solutions. “Eaton is eager to leverage our experience in public and commercial electrical distribution system installations for this important clean transportation initiative.”

In March the company announced its partner in Hawaii, Volta Industries, had begun rolling out a network of fast charging stations. Hawaii, because of its geographical isolation, see's electric vehicles and clean power as a way to eliminate petroleum use (made more expensive by the need to import every drop), not just to meet environmental goals. The first of the fast charging stations was installed at the Ko Olina Resort on Oahu.

In January, at CES, Eaton and Coulomb Technologies announced that Eaton's level 2 and DC Quick Charger stations were now compatible with Coulomb's ChargePoint network. This gives ChargePoint franchisee's access to offering a wider range of charging solutions. “This is a significant announcement for Coulomb as we welcome Eaton to the ChargePoint Network family,” said Pat Romano, president and chief executive officer at Coulomb. “This collaboration highlights the success of our OnRamp program that has allowed us to work with Eaton to rapidly enable the family of Pow-R-Stations to work with ChargePoint Network. We are also particularly pleased to have the first DC stations available on the Network.”


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