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Interoperability

image credit: Nissan UK

John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:Microgrid Labs, Inc.Senior Consultant: 2014 to PresentDeveloped product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

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The one-word title of this paper describes an extremely important function that is required to make relatively recent computer-based components play nice together, or interoperate, and it doesn’t happen by magic.

This post is about one important example of interoperability testing among the many devices and systems that are responsible for battery electric vehicle (BEV) charging. These systems are also collectively known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Although interoperability testing has been ongoing by manufacturers and industry organization since the first (modern) charger was plugged into the first (modern) BEV, this will be an important milestone in the testing because:

  • The California Energy Commission (CEC) is sponsoring (and paying for) these tests.
  • The CEC proposes to segment these tests into different types of BEVs (light, heavy, buses, etc.)
  • The CEC proposes to look at advanced vehicle to grid interoperability functions.

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Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Apr 18, 2021

The history of technology standardization is not encouraging for the future of EVs:

- in home video tape recorders, the Sony vs. VHS battle lasted nearly the entire lifetime of the technology.

- in personal computers the MacOS vs. IBM/Windows battle (which began when computers first adopted 16-bit CPUs) has lasted nearly 4 decades.

So I don't expect the EV charging standards from the international committees to catch up with Tesla until the technology stops improving.  And for now, there still seems to be room from improvement.

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Apr 19, 2021

Thanks for the comment, Nathan.

What I would like to see is a common specification for heavy vehicles (including buses). I believe Tesla will be the first to make a major move in heavy trucks with their Semi. Production will start to ramp later this year with a few units from Gigafactory 1 (Reno) before they start ramping production next yean in the Texas Terafactory. Tesla is a member of the committee that is trying to create a standard, whether everyone will play nice or not remains to be seen. I would guess that the major users will have more power to "encourage" cooperation here.

-John

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