EV range and charging stations
Range anxiety, a term commonly heard from EV drivers over the past few years, is one of the major factors influencing consumers’ willingness to purchase EVs. The key to range anxiety is twofold, insufficient range of the EV itself to reach a destination and the lack of charging infrastructures along the way. As battery technology and electricity systems advanced, EV range has gradually rose to a level which is acceptable for most of the consumers. The penetration rate of charging stations is still far from satisfying them. Given the increasing amount of EVs, the universalization of charging stations has become a priority for businesses and a road must be taken for increasing EV adoption. Solar-powered battery charging stations fulfil the needs of all aspects, interpreting the process and advances of energy transition.
Application scenarios and outlooks
Application scenarios of solar-powered battery charging stations are built in public places, such as EV charging stations, open parking lots, bus stations, and freeway service areas. Presently, solar-powered charging stations have seen various profit models, including the common solar-plus-storage self-consumption and selling surplus electricity to the grid through FIT or FIP mechanism, applying time-of-use-rate by discharging in peak load period, charging in valley load period, and in compliance with EV charging habits, time-shifting through energy management systems, serving as back-up power, and using direct charging to reduce energy loss during AC/DC conversion.
However, solar-powered battery charging station is not yet mature for the time being, with limited benefits and application models they can offer to businesses and end users. Even China, currently the world’s largest EV market, is still in pilot construction phase. Nevertheless, senior ESS analyst Yuan Fang-wei of InfoLink Consulting sees a broad future for solar-powered charging stations and other innovations of the sort and estimates China to accumulate more than 1 GWh of market size by 2023, as demand for charging stations increases, distributed energy resource universalizes, green power trading modes fully develops, and more behind-the-meter commercial activities emerge.