We wrote an article in I-Connect007 back in April of 2021 covering the oncoming wave of electric vehicles and corresponding infrastructure. There were questions about mass market conversion to EVs; more precisely, what possible hinderances existed to a drastic increase in market demand for this form of transport. At the time, the availability of charging stations and mileage range (more range meant bigger battery, increasing the cost) directly affect the demand. Families require 300 miles to a tank (on average) to consider switching to electric—it looks like Tesla and other makers have well surpassed this boundary. Problem solved, right? Perhaps for some consumers, but the availability of charging stations and grid consumption are still potential roadblocks towards mass adoption.
Without a readily available and quick power source, some believe EVs will continue to be a niche market. These stations are steadily being installed in locations across the country, and with the support of $7.5 billion in from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a momentous effort is underway to increase stations tenfold by 2030. An organized push to install charge points across the country is not to increase demand; rather to satiate it. PwC released a report from 2022 estimating an increase of US EVs from a reported 3 million in 2022 to 27 million in 2030 and 92 million by 2040 (https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/industrial-products/library/electric-vehicle-charging-market-growth.html). Will a tenfold increase in charge points be enough to keep up with the projected EV adoption wave? We can’t say for sure, but if PwC is to be believed, it looks like the charging dilemma needs to be solved, and quickly.
Batteries have become more efficient, and the government along with the private sector are pledging to solve the charging station gap with vigorous construction over the next ten years. The last and most critical element behind the success or failure of full EV ascension to the top of the transportation food chain is the electric grid. This hotly debated topic often falls in line with political leanings: liberal, eco-conscious think tanks, scientists and consumers believe they have provided ample evidence that the grid is up to the task with some additional tweaking; center-right thinkers, some business leaders and others are pumping the brakes on an all-out EV wave, precisely as it relates to the US electrical infrastructure.
Quite frankly, it is hard to decipher which argument holds more merit, as they both do present compelling data. The proponents of EVs are right in saying that it will take decades for the roads to be completely inundated with electric vehicles, thus allotting time for any grid inadequate to “catch up”. However, as we saw last summer in California, an EV hotbed (even in a limited scope) is in danger of crashing the current grid. With our current debt at $31 trillion and counting (not including unfunded liabilities), do we have the fiscal bandwidth to make an investment so we don’t experience nationwide blackouts? There are numerous articles that cover this ad nauseum from both sides—the verdict is still out and there are obvious upgrades needed. It’s just a matter of what, when and who’s paying.
One thing is certain: the EV industry will need fast and reliable domestic sources to achieve charging station and grid upgrades. With the need for need for fast chargers and high voltage power supplies, we at Aurora Circuits are positioned to be an integral part in this supply chain due to our work with heavy copper and power electronics. If you have a thermal issue or need heavy copper PCBs/advanced substrates, please reach out to us today.