ABB's boss of electrification says competition between large-scale manufacturers is delaying mass EV adoption
James Attwood, digital editor
16 September 2019

The adoption of common charging and payment standards is a vital step towards the widespread take-up of EVs, according to one of the biggest makers of charging points. 

Swiss-based technology firm ABB supplies equipment to a number of charging networks worldwide, including Ionity, which recently opened its first 350kW rapid-charging station in the UK. 

Tarak Mehta, the boss of ABB’s electrification division, said working towards common charging standards is “a role we take very seriously”. 

Mehta said that although he understands the reasons for car firms wanting to gain an edge with their own systems and infrastructure projects, this complicates the situation.

“With the nature of politics, the way the automotive OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] feel about themselves lends itself to not having too many common standards,” said Mehta. “The infrastructure is proportional to the [number of] standards, so one standard versus two has a substantial impact on the cost of infrastructure you need in any one geography. 

“On the commercial vehicle side, we see a far more collaborative evolution. On the automotive side, let’s put it this way: it’s a bit more challenging. The good news is that, so far, in any one geography, we’re down to one or two standards, and that’s probably good enough.” 

Although there has been a move towards a common charging plug design, EV owners still face the need to sign up with several companies in order to use a variety of charging points. 

“The biggest issue [on the payment side] is data,” said Mehta. “Convergence could happen very quickly if there was an agreed data-sharing model, because a lot of data that comes with EV charging has value. Getting that data shared is a bigger issue than getting credit cards working [across different accounts] and having it standardised might take some regulatory effort.”

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Comments
6

16 September 2019

Sorry I'm a bit of a cracked record but lets have these 350kW chargers - group of six would be a nice start - at UK motorway service stations throughout the UK, instead of the crumbling 50kW (when they work) Ecotricity nightmares. How Ecotricity manage to get a monopoly at UK motorway service stations is beyond me. UK Government DO something. Motorway EV charging is infrastructure – its not something that can be left to companies who feel like a bit of dabbling. We have the slowest most unreliable EV chargers Motorway in Europe – these fast chargers are available and being installed en masse elsewhere – why not the UK?

16 September 2019
Blackseries wrote:

Sorry I'm a bit of a cracked record but lets have these 350kW chargers - group of six would be a nice start - at UK motorway service stations throughout the UK, instead of the crumbling 50kW (when they work) Ecotricity nightmares. How Ecotricity manage to get a monopoly at UK motorway service stations is beyond me. UK Government DO something. Motorway EV charging is infrastructure – its not something that can be left to companies who feel like a bit of dabbling. We have the slowest most unreliable EV chargers Motorway in Europe – these fast chargers are available and being installed en masse elsewhere – why not the UK?

 

Which volume brand cars can use 350kW chargers and if hardly any, surely better to spread the cost and spread of chargers, by offering say 150kW across the network?. Answers?.

16 September 2019

I’ve half a dozen apps on my phone to charge my car - and I could have quite a few more.

And the best one..... Instavolt. I just wave my contactless card near it.

No subscription, signing up, app etc. It’s how it should be. 

And the worst......  Ecotricity.

On a trip from Preston to Holyhead I came across 5 different Ecotricty chargers. (There’s not much choice of rapid chargers on that route.)

All faulty in one way way or another. 

Even the one that worked decided to switch off before the car was full.

The final one - for the journey home - didn’t work at all. The chap on the phone was helpful but it couldn’t be fixed remotely. 

Fortunately a nearby Morrisons had a working one so I can get home tomorrow.

Cp.

 

 

 

 

 

17 September 2019

Why should you expect this government to do anything. It will leave it to private enterprise to make it work and private enterprise will only make it work only if there is enough profit in it. How can one manufacturer manage to build a glut of chargers around the country which far exceed the actual demand from their cars, whilst the other major manufacturers are happy to sell us expensive cars that they will not support by building charging infrastructure. Your recent group test of luxury EV's prooved this. I don't expect this to change much as car manufacturers can't even meet the demand for vehicles yet. 12 month plusw waitinglists are a joke.

17 September 2019

Why should you expect this government to do anything. It will leave it to private enterprise to make it work and private enterprise will only make it work only if there is enough profit in it. How can one manufacturer manage to build a glut of chargers around the country which far exceed the actual demand from their cars, whilst the other major manufacturers are happy to sell us expensive cars that they will not support by building charging infrastructure. Your recent group test of luxury EV's prooved this. I don't expect this to change much as car manufacturers can't even meet the demand for vehicles yet. 12 month plusw waitinglists are a joke.

17 September 2019

Why should you expect this government to do anything. It will leave it to private enterprise to make it work and private enterprise will only make it work only if there is enough profit in it. How can one manufacturer manage to build a glut of chargers around the country which far exceed the actual demand from their cars, whilst the other major manufacturers are happy to sell us expensive cars that they will not support by building charging infrastructure. Your recent group test of luxury EV's prooved this. I don't expect this to change much as car manufacturers can't even meet the demand for vehicles yet. 12 month plusw waitinglists are a joke.

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