Let’s Clear the Air—Electric Drive Transportation Association

Thursday, March 30th, 2017 Technical Articles
Let’s Clear the Air—Electric Drive Transportation Association
Let’s Clear the Air—Electric Drive Transportation Association

During 2017, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) will highlight resources from alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle industry organizations in the Let’s Clear the Air column.

These resources provide fuel-specific information that may be useful to automotive technicians, automotive students, and others who are interested in the technical aspects of these vehicles.

This month, we highlight the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), a trade association promoting battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure. EDTA conducts public policy advocacy, provides education and awareness, and enables industry networking and collaboration. Organization members include vehicle and equipment manufacturers, energy companies, technology developers, component suppliers, government agencies and others.

One of EDTA’s projects is “Go Electric Drive” ( www.goelectricdrive.org). The site provides useful resources for those interested in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), including an overview of different EVs, details about charging equipment, and a charging station locator.

Because EVs and their related infrastructure can be puzzling to the novice, the site provides key terminology. Here’s an example from the site:

Terminology

Level 1

Charging a vehicle at “Level 1” means plugging in to a standard 120 volt outlet. All drivers can charge their EV at Level 1 and this requires no extra equipment or installation. On average, a full charging time is about 8 hours—but varies by model. Consult the automaker’s website for more information.

Level 2

Charging a vehicle at “Level 2” means plugging into a 240 volt outlet. Home owners may decide to install a charging station—also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)—in their home. This requires professional installation and an outlet type commonly utilized by home appliances like refrigerators and dryers. There are also many Level 2 chargers across the United States in public areas. On average, full charging time varies from 2 to 6 hours, but times vary by model. Consult the automaker’s website for more information.

DC Fast Charge

Charging your vehicle using a CHAdeMO, SAE Combo plug or a Tesla Supercharger allows drivers to plug into “DC Fast Charge” networks where they are available. These types of chargers provide about 80 percent of a vehicle’s potential battery power in about 15 minutes. Again, times vary by model. Consult your manufacturer for more details.

Wireless Charging

Some of the latest models of plug-in vehicles have wireless charging capabilities that use “inductive charging”—allowing drivers to charge without plugging in. While this is a newer service under development, many manufacturers are beginning to focus on this convenience. Additionally, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is currently demonstrating that high levels of efficiency can be achieved with wireless EV chargers.

Key Considerations

What are my driving patterns? Decide how far you travel each day and what your all-electric driving needs will be. This will help you decide if a plug-in hybrid or battery EV is right for you.

Where will I charge? At home? At work? On the go?

What resources are available to help me find and use charging stations?

Are there financial resources to help me install charging?

The site also provides details about EV tax incentives in the U.S. and Canada.

The NAFTC has materials and training about electric vehicles, including the Petroleum Reduction Technologies: Electric Drive and Electric Drive Fleet Applications workshops, the Electric Drive Automotive Technician Training , Electric Drive Vehicle Career and Technical Education Training , and the Electric Drive Vehicle Infrastructure Training classroom courses, and the online Electric Vehicle First Responder Safety Training .

Contact Micheal Smyth at Micheal.Smyth@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-7882 for information about these classes or other NAFTC training.