My name is Hrvoje Pandzic and I am a Professor at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. I am leading a research project on Electric Vehicles. One of the parts of the project is to interview owners of EVs in different European countries in order to figure out what do EV drivers see as main obstacles towards better integration of EVs. I would like to make interviews in Berlin at the beginning of October. Are you guys here interested in organizing a get together on October 3 in Berlin so we can discuss the problems and solutions? Your opinion matters and will be included in further development of the European regulations on EV infrastructure.
The project starts on October 1 (the website will be online in a couple of days hopefully). It is on EV Battery Swapping Stations. Here is the project abstract:
Vehicles have been almost exclusively run by the petroleum fuel oil distillates ever since the introduction of modern internal combustion engine in 1885. As a result, the personal vehicles are responsible for at least 10% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Besides these environmental issues, the volatility of crude oil prices and the advances in alternative fuel technologies have started generating new ideas on more ecological, cheaper, and more efficient personal vehicles. Recent commercial success of Nissan Leaf, Tesla, and others, have put Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the spotlight. However, there are serious obstacles that need to be removed in order to make EVs attractive.
For a successful rollout of EVs, it is required to establish an adequate charging infrastructure. The ubiquitous access to such infrastructure would help to mitigate concerns associated with limited EV range and long charging times. Battery Swapping Stations (BSSs) are poised as effective means of eliminating the EVs long waiting times associated with charging the batteries. These stations are mediators between the power system and their customers. In order to successfully deploy this type of stations, business and operating models are required, that will allow it to generate profits while offering a fast and reliable alternative to charging batteries.
The first part of the project is focused on analysis of current scientific and commercial state-of-the-art, as well as legislative. Based on this, a viable business model will be developed as a basis of the BSS business case. The research will then diverge in two directions. The first direction is the optimization of the BSS operation, which includes its day-ahead scheduling and real-time operation. These optimization models are complex as they consider uncertainty of electricity prices, demand for battery swapping and the actual state-of-charge of the incoming batteries that have been swapped with fully charged ones. The second direction is the control and communication of the BSS. Namely, each battery’s state-of-charge needs to be properly assessed, and its charging pattern needs to correspond to the one set by the optimization model. There are also communication issues when communicating with a large number of batteries. Communication protocols, depending on the size of the BSS, will also be defined within the project.
The second part of the project will assess the impacts that BSS and a group of BSSs have on power systems. Here, points of view of Distribution and Transmission System Operators will be considered. Current practice for planning of both distribution and transmission networks will be examined as the influence of BSS to these planning techniques needs to be quantified as well.
The final stage of the project will be the deployment of a testbed that consists of a central computer, a large number of EV battery stacks, and all the accompanying control and communications infrastructure. This will provide the opportunity to test the developed algorithms in a realistic environment and to verify the results.
The specific task related to the survey I’d like to conduct is:
Since utilization of BSS, and EVs in general, have a psychological side, task 2.4 will be focused on customers’ interaction, requirements and satisfaction. For this purpose, a poll will be conducted among potential and existing EV owners in different European countries. Its results will be analyzed and used to define the BSS business plan. This way, we will make sure that the BSS business plan used in the project is realistic and viable.
Would you be interested in getting together on October 9 in Berlin in that case?
Any other people interested in this survey?
I’ll be there if I can make time, even though in the light of DC charging with 50 kW and more, I don’t really see the point of battery swapping. Betterplace spectacularly failed. Tesla stopped their battery swapping efforts even though they have the technology available and had it deployed at one or two sites, making it available for customers. Customers were invited to test it, but were not interested at all. What exactly makes you so optimistic that there is a use case for battery swapping, let alone a business case?
Well, this is all at the research stage. The problem with fast charging is battery degradation, at least with the current battery technology. In my vision (this might be more on the scientific side), current gas stations would be replaced by stations that can change your battery or charge your battery really quickly. I understand that you guys are all EV enthusiasts, and that’s why I’m interested to talk to you first hand. On the other hand, my project is focused more on the effect that EV infrastructure will have on the power system. The distribution networks in the near future will have dynamic pricing, not only day and night tariff, which is mostly the case. This brings additional opportunities for swapping stations to make profit. I want to look for the answers to the following questions: in which cases does it make sense to change the battery instead of fast charging it (and degrading its capacity)? Is there, and under which circumstances, a economically viable way for battery swapping stations to exist? The EV infrastructure in Croatia is very important. Image all of you guys coming to Adriatic sea in late July. What kind of infrastructure do you expect and need? And what happens during the rest of the year with this infrastructure, because it will not be utilized properly? Furthermore, how could the proper EV infrastructure influence the tourism in Croatia, as there are many tourists from Central Europe coming here by cars?
To conclude, I am looking at the global picture and trying to take everything in consideration. Battery swapping stations may not make sense now, maybe not even in the future, but understanding the problem will bring us closer to economically and technically viable solutions. For this reason, I need to talk to you guys and I want to hear your opinions and needs
I don’t know, whether you already have contacted Tesla drivers in Croatia. The user Jackero in this forum is a Tesla owner from Zagreb, so maybe you would like to contact him via PM, if you are also looking for EV enthusiasts from Croatia.
While tourists will come to the Adriatic in summer, Croatian drivers will be around all year and I assume, that they will outnumber tourists in most part of Croatia easily.
And please keep us posted on the get together in Berlin. I’d be interested to participate, if my schedule permits.
Be carefull you dont start with wrong premise. So far i see and what i have read, fast charging is not affecting (or so few its not noticable) the degradation. Tesla is saying same.
In addition our experience with a lot of 100000km drivers is showing same.
So when there is the possibility that even with current battery technology there is no degradation with fast charging, you should at least verify your assumtion.