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Chroma Wins Korean Order for EV Charging-compatibility Test System

Dec 10, 2013 | By Quincy Liang

Chroma ATE Inc., a leading Taiwanese developer and manufacturer of precision electronic gages and provider of electric vehicle (EV) test solutions, EV powertrain systems, and electric scooters and solutions, recently reported that its EV compatibility test system had been adopted by a Korean automaker. The system is also expected to be used in Taiwan to solve the problem of compatibility between different brands of EVs and charging posts.

According to Chroma, some EVs cannot be charged at public charging posts, mainly because some of the posts are supplied by makers outside of the supply chains of EV makers. This incompatibility may make it difficult or impossible to recharge batteries on the road, and could even cause danger during the charging process.

Currently, the world EV charging standard, SAE J1772, clearly stipulates the technical requirements for EVs and charging systems; but the standard does not include the protocol for communication between vehicles and charging stations, nor does it contain certification rules and laboratory requirements. The differences in design concept between EV and charging-equipment makers, and between between parts and components, can lead to problems of communication between vehicles and charging stations and cause the charging process to fail.

For electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) makers, Chroma says, the key challenge is to make their charging equipment fully compatible with all brands of EVs. EV makers face the same challenge. The necessary charging compatibility tests inevitably boost the cost of development, maintenance, and testing of both vehicles and equipment.

Chroma claims that it has developed an AC EV-charging compatibility test system that can solve this problem for EV and charging-equipment makers. By incorporating the different specifications, the test system simulates the charging mode of AC charging posts and signals for a reaction from EVs being charged so as to assure compatibility between charging posts and EVs. This allows EV makers to be sure that their vehicles are compatible with charging posts having different specifications.

In addition to the Korean order, Chroma says that its charging compatibility test system has been chosen by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs for use as the evaluation system for future EV pilot projects in Taiwan.

Chroma has been aggressively cultivating EV-related fields for many years, and is a tier-1 supplier of systems and parts supplier to Tesla Motors., one of the world's most successful EV manufacturers.

With its long-term devotion and accumulated know-how in EVSE, Chroma has become the most innovative developer and maker of new products for the future market. This year, for example, the company launched a number of new systems and equipment, including automated test systems for EV powertrains and electronic-control systems and parts; EV on-board chargers; DC/DC transformers; and motor drivers, among others.

Chroma had also developed a multifunctional automatic test system (ATS) for testing electronic parts, with a power rating from hundreds to thousands of watts, for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The test can be used with EVSE, on-board chargers, DC-DC converters, motor drivers (inverters), and other related devices.

Bright Future
EVSE suppliers, which are as important as EV makers for the overall development of the EV industry, have a bright future in a world where vehicle electrification is an inevitable trend.

According to a recent study by Pike Research, more than four million charging stations for EVs, both commercial and private, will be operating across Europe by 2020.

The introduction of the Renault ZOE at the end of 2012 and the Volkswagen Golf in 2013 – two EVs that could have mass-market appeal – should dramatically increase consumer interest in EVs in Europe, and spur investment from companies looking to provide charging infrastructure, the market research and firm said.

Pike Research estimates that with the continuous introduction of new EV models, the market for EVSE will grow rapidly in Europe over the remainder of this decade, with annual sales increasing from less than 47,000 units in 2012 to nearly 900,000 in 2020.

One factor that could limit the spread of EVSE, according to Pike Research, is the wide differences between countries in terms of regulations, government support for EVs and charging infrastructure, and technology. The absence of a single, region-wide standard for alternating current (AC) EV charging connectors is hampering the deployment of the EV charging infrastructure. (Dec. 2013)

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