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E-mobility: Electric chargers

E-mobility is booming; alongside electric scooters and bikes, we are also seeing more and more electric cars. There are several types of hybrid electric vehicles on the market: hybrid electrical vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

 

Aleksander Cilenšek
Product manager

 

Plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles are charged via Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). ETI has a growing number of customers, i.e. EV charging station manufacturers, who are also integrating our products. This product group includes EFI - residual current circuit breakers (pre-primarily type B and EV), residual current circuit breakers with integral overcurrent protection  (KZS), miniature circuit breakers (ETIMAT), modular contactors (R and RD), surge protection devices (ETITEC), modular energy meters (ETIMETER), etc. There are also several types of chargers, depending on the charging method, speed and purpose. The characteristics and requirements to be taken into account for the construction of charging stations are very well described in the IEC 61851-1 standard: Electric vehicle conductive charging system - Part 1: General requirements.

The standard specifies the following charging methods:

Mode 1

is connecting the vehicle directly to a standard electrical socket. This is the most basic charging method, where there is no communication and no additional protection between the vehicle and the power socket. This method is even banned in many countries because of the potential hazards. Mode 1 is mainly used for charging light electric vehicles, not cars.

 

 

 

Mode 2

is an upgrade of Mode 1, where an interface is added between the vehicle and the power socket, which communicates with the vehicle and has built-in protection against electric shock. Usually, this interface is already available when you buy an electric car. This mode is more commonly used as a temporary charging method and in places where a more advanced charging method is not available.

 

 

 

Mode 3

is the most widely used AC (alternating current) charging mode and includes important safety and smart features such as a communication link between the electric vehicle and the charging equipment; this allows the charging power to be controlled during charging. The Type 2 plug cable is standard for Europe and is used for both single-phase and three-phase AC charging. Example B in the figure is for public AC charging points where the vehicle owner has his own charging cable with a type 2 plug on both sides, the charger itself has a type 2 socket with a lock. Example C, where the cable with plug is fixed to the charger itself, is used for individual home chargers, the so-called Wallbox.