Diving into the Dog Days of Summer with EVs

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD

­Last month, I mentioned a two-issue string of interrelated topics, starting with July’s “Batteries and Other Storage Devices” and leading straight into the application most relevant to these miniature power sources, electric vehicles.

After all, the priciest component of EVs is the battery pack, and our ability to increase their energy density, reduce their weight, and enable their quick charging is critical to pushing EVs into the mainstream.

And speaking of quick charging, Martin Schulz and Philippe Di Fulvio, over at Littelfuse, discuss “How to Increase High-Power EV Battery Charging using Surface Mount Power Devices (SMPDs).”

Indeed, as the pair mention, “To achieve broader consumer acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs), today's designers must solve the fast-charging challenge,” and to minimize vehicle idle, EV designers need to increase charger power output, power density, and efficiency.

They discuss how SMPD power device packaging can increase the output power without increasing the size and weight of the system.

KYOCERA AVX’s James Emerick covers how “Passive Components Enable V2X and 48V Automotive Systems Vital to Addressing Evolving Safety and Fuel Efficiency Demands.”

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and driverless technologies are making automotive safety a tricky proposition, and designers are responding in a number of ways, including leaning on vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technologies.

But they haven’t entirely solved the issue because “V2X communications systems rely on a combination of standardization and broad adoption that has yet to be achieved.”

And with state, federal, and global fuel efficiency standards becoming paramount, the growing popularity of 48V subsystems has helped manufacturers tremendously.

I also wanted to preview my Final Thought, which throws a monkeywrench in a familiar topic.

We all remember the infamous 2007 report, “Dust to Dust,” which contended that the Hummer was more environmentally friendly – and used less energy, cradle to grave – than the Prius. Those assumptions have since been challenged (and potentially refuted, depending on your point of view), but it got the public talking.

And now, a new report claims the GMC Hummer EV emits more pollutants than a gas-powered Chevy Malibu.

We’ve heard before that the electricity demanded by EVs doesn’t always come from the cleanest sources, and according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), in the United States, “about 60% of electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels.”

These “upstream emissions” need to be considered, and in addition, mining refined rare earth materials like nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum have a huge impact on the environment.


Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD