In the automotive market, the user experience is paramount. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on the design of a car, how it feels, and how well it drives, little consideration is often given to the more minor aspects of car ownership, such as refueling. With a typical internal combustion engine, the refueling process is basically set in stone: you go to a gas station, you refuel your car, then you go. And little, if anything, has changed over the years.
For electric vehicles (EVs), however, the user experience is different. Particularly when it comes to charging. Charge times are longer and charging points are not only more sparsely distributed at this moment, but they are appearing in spaces that would be unconventional and closer to people’s daily lives.
With EVs and EV infrastructure becoming increasingly more common, manufacturers are now beginning to focus on enhancing the user experience for EV owners when charging their cars. For example, standards are being developed to ensure adequate access for people in wheelchairs, human–machine interfaces have been designed to provide clear information on charging status, and cable management is being implemented to help users handle bulky charging cables more easily while fitting the charging cable
Two key features that are leading developments in these directions are ISO 15118 Plug & Charge and dynamic load distribution. These are aimed at making charging more convenient, more secure, and faster.
ISO 15118 Plug & Charge: The standard for user authentication, management, and payment
The ISO 15118 international standard defines vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication interfaces, including for the bi-directional charging/discharging of EVs. Available for wired (AC and DC) and wireless charging, the Plug & Charge definition in particular makes it more convenient and secure for drivers to charge their EVs.
On the convenience side, Plug & Charge will in the future be available at any charging station that fully supports ISO 15118, and this means that it will be even easier for drivers to recharge and pay, as their EV will be able to automatically identify itself for recharging and billing. This will make user authentication easier by not requiring drivers to bring an additional RFID member card or credit card, or to provide an account name and password via a web page or app.
To ensure secure payment and protect the electrical grid from cyberattack, the standard also defines an encryption protocol for EVs and charging stations to establish a secure link to guarantee confidentiality, data integrity, and authenticity.
For EV owners, ISO 15118 Plug & Charge means a faster and more secure charging experience at any charging point, from regular charging points to general parking lots and shopping centers.
Dynamic load distribution: EV chargers that save charging time and protect the grid
Dynamic load distribution is a key feature that helps energy infrastructure cope with significant increases in electricity demand from EVs. Although this would not typically be a concern for EV drivers who have easy access and fast charging throughout the day, this smart charging technology means that there will be high service availability during peak periods when the charging demand increases. The key benefit of this technology is that it protects against overload due to uncontrolled charging. For EV owners, this means a stable power grid and thus an easier and more reliable charging experience.
In cases where more than one EV is charging at the one charging point, dynamic load distribution kicks in to save users time by optimizing the charging load for all EVs, which ensures everyone’s vehicle is charged as quickly as possible. The bottom line here is that dynamic load distribution makes charging faster and safer for EV owners, meaning that users don’t need to waste their time waiting for their turn to charge their vehicle.
Chargers that enhance the user experience: Solutions from Delta
Delta’s portfolio of EV charging solutions include DC chargers, AC chargers, and charging site management systems, with smart-charging infrastructure solutions that combine EV charging, energy storage, and distributed energy resources to optimize charging service and energy efficiency.
For commercial and public applications, the company’s range of DC chargers start from smaller wall-mounted DC chargers at 25 kW through to full commercial systems at 200 kW, designed specifically for application anywhere from highways and parking areas to service stations and commercial buildings. Most chargers, including both AC and DC, support ISO 15118 Plug & Charge user identification and all of them support dynamic load distribution.
Dynamic load distribution benefits EV driver and charging network operator to have an efficient charging experience. This is how the dynamic charging profile works on Delta City Charger: imagine that you plug your EV in to charge and you are the only user at the charging point. At this point, your EV enjoys 100% capacity of the charger. When your friend drives the second vehicle here and plugs in to charge, the power output is equally shared at 50% each between your vehicle and his. During the two charging sessions in parallel, the charger will accommodate sufficient energy to each EV according to their demands. The dynamic distribution ensures both charging sessions are fulfilled in an optimized way. This ensures the shortest charge time possible for all users.
To find out more about Delta’s chargers and other products and how they can enhance the user experience for EV owners, visit their website here or contact Delta