Rhombus Energy Solutions Announces the Release of Study on the Challenge of Charging Medium/Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles

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Report by G2M Research examines the charger capabilities required to support Class 5-8 electric vehicle fleets, and how various charger technologies fare against these requirements

Today, Rhombus Energy Solutions announces the release of a study by G2M Research on the challenges of charging medium and heavy duty (M/HD) electric vehicles (EVs) used in fleet operations. “The Challenges of Charging Medium/Heavy Duty Electric Vehicle Fleets,” which was sponsored by Rhombus Energy Solutions, found that utilizing a bi-directional, high-power, fast DC charging infrastructure is the best long-term answer for charging M/HD EV fleets. The study also found that using onboard or offboard level 1 or level 2 AC chargers as the primary charging infrastructure for M/HD EVs can seriously impair fleet availability. Finally, the report investigates best practices to effectively address issues such as unavailability of high-power utility feeds and the integration of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy resources into the M/HD EV charging infrastructure.

“While charging electric automobiles in homes, at work and at commercial establishments has become fairly common, there is considerable confusion regarding what is needed to charge medium and heavy duty vehicles,” said Karen Heumann, lead analyst for electrification infrastructure at G2M Research. “This is especially true when technologies such as vehicle to grid (V2G) are included in the requirements. The result is that many fleet operators are overwhelmed by the choices and issues facing them as they electrify their fleet, and are uncertain how to proceed effectively when selecting technologies for their charging infrastructure.”

The study found that while the battery capacity of electric autos are starting to approach that of smaller medium-duty EVs and DC fast charging for electric autos is becoming more commonplace, the use cases for electric autos and M/HD EVs differ significantly. The average US auto is only driven 37 miles/day, consuming 9.4 kWh of energy/day (roughly 12% of the average electric auto’s battery capacity). By contrast, M/HD vehicles drive between 50-150 miles/day (Class 3-6 vehicles), and consume 40% to 80% of their total battery capacity. For a school bus (typical capacity of 150kWh and range of 100 miles), this would equate to using 60kWh-120kWh each day. Meeting M/HD fleet availability expectations cannot be accomplished by charging these vehicles with the types of chargers utilized for electric autos.

“Medium and heavy duty electric vehicles need a fundamentally different type of charger infrastructure than is provided by most commercial charging systems,” said Rick Sander, CEO of Rhombus Energy Solutions. “As these vehicles are increasingly electrified, the challenges of charging them can negatively impact fleet availability and the return on investment that fleet operators realize from electrification. This study is important in that it identifies the most critical of these challenges, and provides medium and heavy duty fleet operators with needed guidance to make the right choices.”

Due to the sizeable financial impact that vehicle availability has on fleet operations, M/HD fleet EV chargers must have extremely high reliability and be highly serviceable. They must also be able to operate at rated power on a near-continuous basis due to the significantly higher battery capacity of M/HD EVs. Additionally, many fleet operators are now being required to incorporate vehicle to grid (V2G) technology into their M/HD EV fleets. V2G enables these fleet vehicles to power critical infrastructure during emergencies and reduce the impact on the grid during peak hours, while at the same time significantly reducing energy costs for M/HD EV fleet operators. For M/HD EV fleets, V2G can only be reasonably accomplished with bi-directional, high-power, DC chargers.

“Most EV charging companies started by focusing on auto charging, and then moved into the medium and heavy duty vehicle space,” said Joseph Gottlieb, CTO of Rhombus Energy Solutions. “These companies have had to learn how to build high-power, bi-directional charging systems ‘on the job.’ Rhombus started out building high-power bi-directional inverters, so the move to V2G capable high-power chargers was natural for us. This is what makes Rhombus the obvious choice for medium/heavy duty EV fleet charging.”

Rhombus Energy Solutions bi-directional high-power AC-DC chargers represent the state-of-the-art in M/HD EV fleet charging infrastructure, with industry-leading features, availability, and maintainability. Our chargers are designed specifically for M/HD EV fleet operators and their use cases, and are V2G capable with certification to UL 1741-SA for bi-directional operation. We have deployed hundreds of high-power, bi-directional, highly-reliable fast EV charging systems for M/HD fleet customers in very demanding operational environments. To see how Rhombus Energy Solutions meet the needs of M/HD EV fleet customers, read the full G2M Research study, which can be found on the Rhombus website homepage (http://www.rhombusenergy.com) under the “Rhombus in the News” section.

About Rhombus Energy Solutions
Rhombus develops and manufactures next-generation bi-directional electric vehicle charging infrastructure, high-efficiency power conversion systems and energy management system (EMS) software for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric vehicle fleet charging, energy storage and microgrid applications. The high reliability of our solutions is the result of decades of experience developing high-power systems for a variety of applications and deployment scenarios, including UL 1741-SA certified system-to-grid solutions. For more information, please visit http://www.RhombusEnergy.com.

Press/Media/Analyst Contact:
Carolyn Paynton / Carolyn@RhombusEnergy.com

About G2M Research
G2M Research provides targeted industry reports that provide market sizing, ecosystem mapping and market analysis to deliver comprehensive views of marketplaces and technologies. In addition to providing standardized analysis, G2M Research also performs customized research for companies in a variety of markets. G2M Research is part of G2M Communications, which is a re-grate-it, inc. brand. For more information, visit http://www.g2minc.com/research.

Press/Media/Analyst Contact:
Kimber Smith Fidler / kimber@smithfidler.com

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