New Report Predicts 11 kW OBCs a Standard for EV Industry

By Shannon Flynn

Managing Editor

March 15, 2021


New Report Predicts 11 kW OBCs a Standard for EV Industry
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

When people talk about progress in the electric vehicle (EV) market, they often bring up on-board charging. A recent report suggests that 11 kilowatts (kW) on board chargers (OBC) will become a standard for battery electric vehicles (BEV).

The report from highlights how the 11 kW OBCs will change the EV sector. It includes several fascinating predictions. One was that 11 kW OBCs will be the industry standard for EVs within six years. Here are some other notable findings:

Automakers Getting Ready for the Increase

The coverage mentions that numerous automakers, including Hyundai-Kia and Volkswagen, are making separate EV business units to prepare for the anticipated increased demand for EVs.

Vehicle range and charging are a couple of the pressing challenges for companies to overcome. Representatives know that succeeding in those matters should lead to more interest in EVs.

Faster Results and New Charging Methods

The report also mentioned how the earliest OBCs only had 3.7 kW of charging power. Thus, some electric car batteries needed eight hours to replenish their energy sources.

Improvements in technology led to newer on-board charging systems offering from 6.6 to 22 kW. Those allowed fast charging capabilities for cars with AC charging setups.

Outside of the report, a recent advancement in insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) led to a plug-and-play power pack that provides 95-97% system efficiency in applications, including OBCs for electric vehicles.  That’s an example of how embedded tech will contribute to EV advancements.

Another possibility relates to integrated solar panels in EV cars. Researchers say people in sunny climates could drive such vehicles for weeks before recharging them and enjoy faster recharging times.

Majority of EVs Featuring 6-11 kW OBCs Soon

The report’s data anticipates that more than 98% of OBCs will be 6-11 kW types rather than 3-5 kW options. The authors clarified that charging infrastructure changes are the main drivers behind that transition. More specifically, most of the charging infrastructure should accommodate OBCs up to 43 kW by 2027.

The report’s authors also expect the emergence of dual on-board chargers. Then, there would be two 11 kW chargers installed on vehicles. Additionally, some car models will even have 22 kW OBCs.

More DC Charging Options Arriving

Another trend brought up in the report was an increase in DC chargers for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Unlike AC chargers, DC chargers have embedded converters and can feed the energy directly to the car’s battery.

The report confirms there are only a few DC PHEVs now. However, the number will soon increase due to at least eight vehicle manufacturers planning new models.

Moreover, mass-market battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will eventually offer DC and AC options as standard, the document predicts.

Besides 11 kW OBCs potentially becoming the standard by 2027, what else could shape the future of on-board charging?

More Interest in Home Charging Stations

One of the downsides of EVs is the lack of consistent charging infrastructure. That problem could pose obstacles to electric vehicle owners taking long-distance road trips.

However, in some places, there’s an increase in home buyers asking for properties that have sustainable features, including car-charging stations. In at least one case, a Florida developer changed plans for a property under construction to include charging points for units that would soon go on the market. That decision happened due to customer demand.

Some people may decide to build stations as home improvement efforts. In those cases, it pays to understand the components involved.

THHN is a wire in coated plastic that’s often used in homes. It withstands temperatures up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum power capacity of 600 volts. California offers guidelines for residential EV chargers specifying that the required minimum size of THHN wire varies based on the EV charger’s circuit breaker size.

Additional states may follow suit with such guidelines if more people want home chargers. Property owners can stay updated on the particulars so they can plan their own projects accordingly.

Besides the charging standard changes noted above, there will likely be prolonged growth in the on board charging market for electric vehicles.

An Allied Market Research report forecasts a 22.4% compound annual growth rate for the market from 2020 to 2027. If that happens, it will make the sector worth $10.82 billion by the end of that period.

Exciting Changes for On Board Charging

The developments here show that people have a lot to look forward to concerning on board charging advancements. If these trends manifest, on board charging could become more reliable, faster, and increasingly widespread.

Shannon Flynn is a technology blogger who writes about AI and IT trends. She's also the Managing Editor of Follow her on Medium or MuckRack to read more tech news.

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