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21 March 2022

Not enough power for charging stations?


Thinking of investing in an electric fleet? How many charging stations can your current infrastructure support? Do you need to recharge your cars quickly? These questions are not trivial…

EV and impact on electrical infrastructure

Electric vehicles are developing remarkably well and are likely to consume 12 TWh of electrical energy in 2030. This consumption would apply to 4.4 million electric cars. It is therefore important to anticipate the problem of recharging.

The arrival of electric vehicles will obviously have an impact on infrastructure development. Although this electric mobility seems to bring only positive results, it must be developed with the support of the growth of renewable energies.

In addition, these charging infrastructures are composed of several electric charging stations offering different electrical powers in order to adapt to the use of vehicles.

EV and power requirement

Several charging powers exist. The currents available to date are 16, 32 and 63 amps in single and three-phase. Vehicles are connected to the electricity grid in different ways, known as “charging modes”. There are 4 modes.

Mode 1:

Recharges via a normal 220 V socket, max 10 A. There is no limitation or protection. Mode 1 is therefore not used for charging EVs.

Mode 2:

Recharges via a standard household socket into which the car’s charging cable is plugged. There is a current limit and protection. The charging current is limited to 10 A and limits the charging capacity to a maximum of 2.3 kW.

Mode 3:

This mode performs “controlled” charging. The socket is supplied with power when the car and the terminal determine the presence of appropriate charging current. The connection is suitable. This mode 3 provides a lot of power: from 3.6 kW single-phase current (230 V/16 A) to 22 kW three-phase current (400 V/32 A). An EV with a heavier inverter, such as the Tesla Model S (11 kW or 16 kW as an option), can therefore be charged more quickly in mode 3.

Mode 4:

Fast charging aims to charge the first 80% of the EV, the last 20% is slower. This mode 4 with a fast charger allows you to charge your car quickly. The fast charger or fast charging station is directly connected to the car’s battery. These charging stations have a charging capacity of 50 kW or more (150, 350 kWh).

The point that attracts the attention of customers is the charging time. This depends on two variables:

  • The car’s battery
  • The power that the charging point delivers

But how much power for how long to charge?

Speed and load type Power Approximate charging time
Slow (single-phase AC) 3-7 kW 7-16 hours
Normal (three-phase AC) 11-22 kW 2-4 hours
Fast (DC) 50-100 kW 30-40 minutes
Ultra fast (DC) >100 kW < 20 minutes
Sources: Recharge EU: How many charge points will Europe and its Member States need in the 2020s, T&E, January 2020.

We notice differences in the charging points. Each power level has a specific connection. The 3.7 kW and 7.4 kW charging points are connected in single phase (connected to the grid with one phase), while the 11 kW and 22 kW charging points are connected in three phase (three phases). The three-phase terminals obviously deliver more power.

Response to energy price

One element to take into consideration is the price of electricity. Indeed, the price of electricity has been rising steadily since the Covid-19 crisis. In view of the fluctuating energy prices, it is more profitable to charge a buffer zone and then charge the car.

We are there to support you

CE+T Energrid supports you with a complete solution, adapted to your infrastructure and allowing you to charge your electric and hybrid cars at the best price.

How do we do this?

With a combination of powerful power converters to connect batteries and renewable energies, supervised by a powerful and user-friendly monitoring enabling several features, such as:

  1. Our storage solutions will help you maximise your self-consumption. The excess energy produced by your renewables will be stored in a battery and used later.
  2. Peak loads can increase your energy costs significantly. With peak shaving, this peak can be limited by reducing consumption or by using locally stored energy. Our solution measures the actual consumption and injects energy from the batteries before the peak occurs. In this way, you will significantly reduce your energy costs.

From a limited connection, we can provide more power via the battery in the buffer zone WITHOUT having to resize the existing infrastructure.

Is your installation powerful enough? Do you have an energy management system to optimise costs? At CE+T, we have a system that can be easily integrated into your electrical installation.

Do not hesitate to contact us and tell us about the challenges you are facing. Together, we will find a solution for your infrastructure.

Want to know more ?

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