Electric cars or electric vehicles (EVs) are on the verge of becoming the main competitor of internal combustion engines (ICE) . The main challenges of surging in the use of EVs are the
- High cost of lithium
- Low driving range
As the price of lithium packs has faced a considerable drop in recent years, the only remaining challenge is extending the range of EVs. One of the feasible solutions is to increase the number of charging stations.
The driving range of EVs depends on many factors including road, weather, vehicle parameters. In spite of this fact, the driving range of EVs is between 60 km to 400 km in which the vast majority of them have ranges between 100 km and 160 km , covering needs for an average urban environment. Moreover, slow chargers usually take hours to charge EVs while fast charging can achieve 50% charge in 10–15 minutes .
As a first of its kind in the U.S. and California state, WattEV has come up with 1MW solar-powered electric truck chargers. 5 MW of solar power and second-life batteries in addition to 24 charging dispensers are gathered as Megawatt Electric Truck Shop in Bakersfield, California by the company . “Megawatt Electric Truck Shop” has capacities to support light-, medium-, and heavy-duty electric trucks, thanks to its 250KW, 350KW, 1MW electric truck chargers.
But why is this new charging station an important milestone? 1MW electric truck chargers provide 512km of range to a Class 8, 36000kg truck in 30 minutes . In the meantime a conventional charger would charge the Volvo VNR Electric model is a Class 8 truck with 264-kWh lithium-ion batteries, to 80% within 70 minutes and gives only 240 km range. Therefore, WattEV’s proprietary 1MW electric truck chargers are not only reducing the time that it takes to charge Volvo VNR but also extending the range of driving. This driving range is much more than the mean range of EVs.
The aim of the company is accelerating zero emissions transition to electric goods movement, sea freight for instance. In this regard, WattEV has developed an advanced software platform to offer electric trucks as a service, designed specifically for the use of electric trucks within its network of charging stations on designated routes.
In 2019, the global EVs on the road hit the record and reached 10 million and approximately 1 million of which were electric buses, vans, and heavy trucks. This number can reach another milestone, 230 million EVs at the end of the decade, by international efforts to meet climate change goals . Therefore, increasing the number of charging stations in order to tackle one of the main hurdles in the pace of electrifying transportation will become more crucial than before.
Author: Shahab Moghadam
 IEA (2021), Global EV Outlook 2021, IEA, Paris
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 PV-Magazine, “Megawatt-scale, solar-powered EV truck charging”, John Fitzgerald Weaver, September 15, 2021.