According to the department of transportation, there are now more than three million EVs on the road and over 130,000 public chargers across the country.
While this may seem like a lot, most estimates say the total combined number of class 1 and 2 chargers required to facilitate widespread EV use in the continental United States, will be close to 2 million chargers nationally by the end of the decade. The number needed internationally is many times that amount.
A number of manufacturer’s are addressing this burgeoning market, and some of them (the smart ones) are looking to CPI to help.
Chargers exist at the intersection of Humans, and Technology
This is worth mentioning because whenever humans are involved, there is a certain amount of variability and challenges that purely machine based applications don’t have to consider.
While charging stations are becoming ubiquitous, there are already problems of availability at popular stations and busy times of day. It’s annoying enough to have to stop to recharge on a long trip, but to have to wait to recharge just pours salt in the wound. Some people treat the charger as just another parking spot leaving their vehicle there for many hours after charging is finished. (An abuse that Tesla founder Elon Musk has vowed to do something about)
All these factors may help explain some of the growing pains of EV conversion. Its clear these stations will be subject to public abuse, almost non-stop usage, not to mention being outdoors and subject to hot sun, rain, wind, dirt, cussing and more! To do this right, we need 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. One common challenge is detecting the placement of the charging nozzle in the holster. With folks chucking the cable at the machine when they’re done, or just banging it into place, whatever mechanism detects this better be not only weatherproof, but pretty hard to kill.
To allow for more perfect and reliable charging cable holster detection, our friends at ABB e-Mobility chose our J4001 stainless steel ball switch. “The J4001 is really perfect for this application,” notes John Crozier of CPI’s switch engineering team, “It is a stainless steel, completely waterproof and weathertight ball switch with a double exclusion seal mechanism that keeps crud out of the mechanism, no matter how badly it’s abused.”
Our client specifically selected our J4001 because of its reliability in outdoor environments. “No one wants to be running into the field to service these chargers because of something as simple but critical as holster detection,” explains Crozier. “The J4 ball is all stainless and tested up to 1 million cycles depending on voltage/current required” The switch handles up to 5A and operates from 5V to 28V and everywhere in between.
This reliability means that the single EV charging station in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota 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 J4 Ball Switch, and all CPI limit switches, manufactures can put some of these issues behind them.
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.