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Eaton Corp. and Shell Electric Mobility separately announced charging initiatives intended to accelerate the market for zero-emission electric trucks.
In related news, Paccar Parts, a unit of Paccar Inc., showcased its Paccar-branded electric vehicle charging infrastructure at CES 2022 in Las Vegas on Jan. 5-7.
The corporate moves follow a memorandum of understanding from December to create a federal Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to deploy $7.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The money will build out a national electric vehicle charging network with a focus on filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach locations.
“It’s critically important to see the global players like Eaton, Shell and Paccar are developing these charging solutions. We expect the commercial electric vehicle market to accelerate quickly in the next two to three years into the thousands for medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” Kevin Walkowicz, Calstart senior director for trucks, told Transport Topics.
Eaton announced a $4.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying direct current (DC) fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI).
Direct current fast charging is essential to accelerate deployment of zero-emission trucks, according to Dublin-based Eaton.
“Mass EV adoption requires a much simpler approach to charging infrastructure that doesn’t have a big impact on local power systems,” said Chris Butler, president of critical power and digital infrastructure at Eaton.
Under the three-year program, Eaton reported it will develop and demonstrate what it termed a “novel, compact and turnkey solution” for DC fast-charging infrastructure that it anticipates would reduce costs by 65% through improvements in power conversion and grid interconnection technology, charger integration and modularity, and installation time.
With integrated energy management and charge-control software, the EVCI solution also will help avoid peak energy costs by accurately forecasting and managing electrical demand, the company added.
To support its EVCI solution, Eaton noted it will develop a unique solid-state transformer design and modular chargers packaged on a compact skid — expediting installation, reducing required equipment, and minimizing deployment cost and footprint. The Eaton solid-state transformer technology will enable direct connection to the utility medium-voltage distribution system to eliminate the need for additional power conversion devices and associated commissioning.
We’re honored to receive a grant from the @ENERGY to develop emissions-reducing technologies for the agricultural sector. Learn more about our technology: https://t.co/c5YKlpVLtO #Sustainability #Innovation pic.twitter.com/gt1nsUO7wo— Eaton (@eatoncorp) December 16, 2021
Eaton is leading the project with partners that include the National Renewable Energy Lab, North Carolina State University, the University of Pittsburgh, ITC Holdings and Calstart.
Calstart is doing data collection and analysis as part of the Eaton team, Walkowicz said, “including how quickly that type of system can be installed in a truck yard compared with a traditional piece-it-together and dig trenches and site-engineer-it approach.”
In related news, Shell announced the rebranding of group portfolio companies NewMotion and Greenlots to Shell Recharge Solutions to tie together Shell’s North American and European EV charging businesses under a unified global brand. The rebrand is scheduled to be completed early this year.
Shell Recharge Solutions will provide branded hardware and software services for home and business, in addition to supporting the Shell Recharge public charging network, and providing existing white label solutions.
Shell Recharge Solutions efforts in medium- and heavy-duty fleet electrification include projects with Penske and Volvo Trucks through Volvo Lights, according to the company.
Walkowicz also mentioned that e-commerce local delivery fleets with Class 2-3 vans (if electrified) likely will need retail public infrastructure, such as what Shell announced. “We see this as one of the segments that is really going to ramp up quickly with electrified vehicles.”
The Class 4-6 local delivery box trucks may belong to smaller fleets that don’t have the opportunity to build their own behind-the-fence charging infrastructure, so “they will be looking to Shell and other folks for retail charging, too,” he said.
Shell acquired NewMotion in 2017 and Greenlots in early 2019.
Together, the companies sell and install charge points at homes, workplaces, destinations and depots, operating nearly 80,000 charge points. They also provide software solutions and access to more than 300,000 public charging points in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Paccar Parts, in cooperation with partners EnTech Solutions and Schneider Electric, noted it works to streamline the purchase process, including advising them on its full line of EV chargers, conducting site assessments, providing quotes and completing installations.
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