You won’t believe the speeds supercharging has reached

by Brianna Crandall — April 5, 2017 — Aggressive marketing efforts have ensured high visibility for fast-charging applications. However, using supercharging as a selling point has meant that the hype has outpaced research efforts, according to a new research report by global growth partnership company Frost & Sullivan. The report concludes that once the technology matches the most demanding customer expectations, the intensity of marketing messages will fade.

energy storage

Current supercharging innovations have focused on analytics and making chargers more personalized to improve the efficiency and life of batteries. Photo courtesy of Frost & Sullivan

Current innovations have focused on analytics and making chargers more personalized to improve the efficiency and life of batteries. The report reveals these and other trends in a wide range of supercharging applications that facilities managers can look out for when making purchases.

Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Hafiz Amin noted:

Technology growth will be driven by the convergence of charging protocols that support synchronous and asynchronous communications, enabling businesses and users to choose simple but more powerful charging tools. Intelligent, personalized chargers that combine analytics, machine learning and advanced automation will be the next generation of chargers. Developers will also scale vertically by developing batteries with faster charging processes and higher capacity.

The report finds that the regional hot spots for fast charging related to consumer electronics (CE) are North America and Asia Pacific because of the presence of many multinational corporations involved in research and development (R&D). For fast charging related to electric vehicles (EVs), Asia-Pacific and Europe are the innovation leaders due to high government support.

Although supercharging is making rapid strides, it is still a relatively nascent technology, battling typical challenges such as high costs and unstable mechanism, points out the report. For instance, public direct current (DC) and EV supply equipment (EVSE) may cost up to $80,000 per station, which is almost 500 percent more than a level-two charger. The biggest item of expenditure is charge station hardware, which accounts for nearly 43.75 percent of the total cost.

These challenges notwithstanding, companies have been making significant headway in supercharging technology, rolling out many cutting-edge products. Some of the prominent companies and their innovations include:

  • Proterra: Developed an overhead fast-charging configuration for electric buses said to be eight times faster than the CHAdeMO protocol and three times faster than Tesla Supercharger
  • Posicharge: Developed an intelligent fast charger for material handling equipment
  • LyteSystem: Developed a battery that can fully charge a 2550mAh battery within 10 minutes
  • Enavate: Developed an ultrafast-charging battery that can charge up to 90 percent in just 15 minutes
  • Qnovo: Developed algorithms known as Adaptive Pulse Modulation that optimize charging current for each cell to minimize the charging time

Amin noted:

Future product innovations will be aimed at delivering seamless and connected user experiences in a smarter, greener environment. Innovators are looking to embed new product capabilities and user experiences to stoke demand and user-base expansion. This will also drive energy ownership, which is an offshoot of the smart cities concept, wherein instead of plug and play, users will plug, learn and play.

Supercharging Within Minutes: Opportunities in Key Application Sectors, from Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision (Information and Communication) Growth Partnership Service program, is available for purchase from the firm’s Web site. Frost & Sullivan also offers complimentary access to more information on this analysis and the ability to register for a Growth Strategy Dialogue, a free interactive briefing with Frost & Sullivan’s thought leaders.