The market for electric vehicles continues to grow. As the G7 commits to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, all sectors will need to help achieve this lofty goal. In transport, many people look to EVs as a means of reaching national targets.
One key problem, however, is the cost of EVs versus standard internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Another is the lack of charging stations and the difficulty in using home electrical supply to charge vehicles. And in the long term, other issues arise, such as the need for maintenance and repair.
For example, with traditional ICEs in Europe, the 2003 block exemption regulations (BER) issued by the European Commission (EC) ensure that replacing automotive parts has no detrimental effect on a vehicle’s warranty, provided that the replacement parts are authentic and fitted by a trained mechanic. However, the increase in sales of electric and hybrid vehicles has shown that many independent, non-dealer garages and service centers are unprepared for the requirements of servicing them. If this situation is not resolved, it looks likely to get worse as we move toward the U.K government’s target of prohibiting the sale of ICE vehicles by 2030.
It’s therefore necessary to have a means for independent garages to be able to reliably and safely fit replacement parts in electric or hybrid vehicles. One important aspect of safety is making sure that systems are working correctly. Variable power supplies have been widely available for this purpose for the railway industry, and there are many parallels between this industry and the EV sector. As such, many companies are diversifying their portfolios to include testing facilities for EVs.
One such company is REO, who has developed the REOTRON SMP range of variable DC power supplies. Variable power supplies allow engineers to test how well batteries can perform in a variety of situations. The REOTRON SMP range of variable DC power supplies lends itself to powering vehicles without batteries, especially when troubleshooting. It provides stable, safe and adjustable power supply for use in process engineering systems. The REOTRON has current limiting capabilities and is short-circuit proof to ensure both the test equipment and vehicle can be tested safely.
As well as charging batteries, it is often necessary to safely monitor battery performance during discharging. REO’s range of BW155 resistors have been used to provide a variable load bank, which again can be programmed to discharge battery powers up to 130 kW. The BW155 range, operating continuously, can handle short-term overloads of greater than 20 times the rated power. The internal windings are double insulated to ensure that even in the event of an overload, there is a fail-safe mechanism in place that keeps everything protected.
As consumers embrace new EV technology to decrease the carbon footprint of travel, independent garages and dealerships need to be able to cater to the needs of hybrid and electric vehicles. It’s vital that, as we ramp up the transition to green energy, repair services are widely available for drivers. Not only will this improve safety for consumers, but it will also help to extend the lifespan of electric and hybrid vehicles.
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