Paving A New Road For EVCs

Online Editor

Mike Logan on driving the electric vehicle charging (EVC) station market down a new path towards touch display technology

The electric vehicle (EV) market is projected to reach US$802.75 billion by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 21.6% during the forecast period, 2021-2028.

Deloitte forecasts that over 25.3 million pure electric vehicles will be sold by 2030. With the rise in EV use, there will be greater strains on countries’ charging networks, and private businesses are perfectly placed to capitalise on the growing demand for public EV chargers (EVC).

The Challenge

A leading brand within the EVC market approached Anders as it wanted to develop its charging system to a new generation high power charger (HPC) in accordance with market drivers and the need to scale as the market volume increases.

HPCs refer to Level 3 DC fast charging at a rate of 50kW or more. Based on a variety of industry announcements, using variants of current battery chemistries and battery pack designs, the time to recharge is expected to be reduced to below approximately 15 minutes to charge to 80%.

The key demands included the requirements for: best-in-class displays; to be able to withstand conditions in an outdoor environment, including extremes in temperature, rain, dust and grit; and to be robust and vandal proof. On the looks side, the brand wanted the HPC to be aesthetically pleasing to meet its brand values and for the user engagement to be a positive experience. It also stipulated that the embedded system must be able to support processing demands of fast charging and driving the GUI and any long-term updates.

The Solution

Anders works side by side with its customers to integrate the best solution that will help them reach their goal to lessen the gap between the time it takes to charge, versus fuel/refuel. The company is constantly reviewing its embedded systems to achieve that desired state and was able to provide a customised motherboard based around a low-cost ARM system on module that takes care of the high-level communications coupled with a microcontroller that manages the charging circuitry.

For the superior viewing experience that was required by the customer, Anders suggested a high bright TFT display with capacitive touch.

The main environmental concern was reliability of the touchscreen in the rain. By conducting extensive testing, Anders was able to finetune the IC firmware to ensure raindrops were seen as false touches, and human touches (with and without gloves), were correctly reported as real user inputs.

The coverlens was customised and optically bonded, a process that dramatically reduces the internal reflections produced between the coverlens, sensor and display layers by filling the air gaps in between those layers with optically clear adhesives. This not only makes a huge difference to screen readability in brightly lit and outdoor environments, but also greatly improves the mechanical strength of the display.

Optical bonding key benefits include improved readability in sunlight and reduced reflections. It also prevents condensation build-up between layers and has a lower power consumption.

Anders also provided the display with strengthened glass. This can be achieved using different methods to ensure it can perform perfectly within varying environments, from extreme heat to extreme cold and to protect it from those who may aim to damage it.

Of course, the above solution ticks the box in accordance with performance, however, as a leading OEM, the customer needs and wants to ensure that the product that the person engaged with meets their brand values and Anders’ extensive coverlens portfolio delivered just that.

Options available to customers in the EVC station sector include: cut outs and custom shapes; oversized glass; bevelled edges; and 3D shaped cover glass.

Mike Logan is senior product manager at Anders