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EV Charging Stations look to CPI Switches

Volta EV Charging Station uses CPI Switches

CPI Helps Charging Stations Fulfill the Promise of Electric Vehicles

It seems like every day that goes by, electric car charging stations are popping up in more and more places. So called EV stations (Electro-Voltaic), are on a mission to make electric car usage more convenient and widespread by putting stations everywhere that people go.

The transformation to electric vehicles is slow, but make no mistake: it is happening. BNEF predicts 4 million EVs will be delivered annually by 2030, representing a quarter of all vehicles sold in the U.S.

Technical and Economic Challenges Abound in the Conversion to Electronic Charging.

All those cars will need power to run. While it is easy to plug in your car when it’s home in your garage, what if you run low on power while you’re on the road? Will there be a charging station close enough to you? Will it be “fast charge” or will you have to wait hours for your car to charge up? Typical fast charge today will still require up to an hour to bring your car to 80% capacity.  That’s a big adjustment for folks used to spending 5 minutes to fill up at a gas station.

And there’s the issue of the availability of charging stations. Even if there is one installed at your local supermarket, it’s going to be subject to all manner of public abuse and neglect, not to mention being outdoors and subject to hot sun, rain, wind, dirt, and more. To do this national rollout right, we want lots of EV stations everywhere we go, and they need to be working right when we get there.

One EV charging station challenge solved by CPI Waterproof Limit Switches

Charging station manufacturers face a variety of challenges insuring the operation of their stations in the field.  Recently, one manufacturer of EV stations with placements across the continental US faced a daunting problem, people! Human nature being what it is, It turns out then when people are done charging the car, they generally want to get going quickly and putting the charging cable back correctly in its holster isn’t their first priority!

To allow for more perfect and reliable charging cable holster detection, the CPI D1022 plunger switch was selected for the job. “The D1022 is really perfect for this application,” notes John Crozier of CPI’s switch engineering team, “It is a stainless steel, completely weathertight plunger with a  double exclusion seal mechanism that keeps crud out of the mechanism, no matter how badly it’s abused.”

A key part of the design of this switch is its ability to over-travel. This allows for the switch to suffer a certain amount of abuse from users of the station without impacting the functionality of the switch. Inside the plunger mechanism sits one of CPI’s sealed momentary switches, completely waterproof (rated IP68) and available off-the shelf with dozens of specifiable electrical and mechanical parameters to suit every need.

One other key characteristic of the D1022 is its overall electro-mechanical endurance rating.  When running at 5V, < 1A the switch is rated for over 100,000 cycles. That means that the EV station in the middle of nowhere in Kansas that you pull up to desperately in the middle of the night, will be working properly when you get there. Or at least CPI’s switch will be.  Field failures of EV equipment are problematic in many respects. They create a bad brand perception, they erode consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles, they are expensive and logistically difficult to service, and can result in genuine human misery.  With the reliability of the D1022, and all CPI limit switches, manufactures can put some of these issues in the rear-view mirror.

For more Information on the D1022, and our complete line of small form factor waterproof switches, call the team at CPI today.

Make The "Switch" to CPI

If your momentary switch application demands high performance, we think you should demand CPI. Please call us today to speak with our engineering team about your needs.

(973) 887-9400