A first look at the history of vehicle charging technology (1.0)


Electric vehicle charging technology has been in demand since the mid-19th century when electric vehicles (EVs) first appeared

Since the birth of the electric car, the earliest electric cars had disposable batteries, so they were disposable and not rechargeable. The invention of rechargeable batteries meant that newer electric cars could use the same batteries without having to be replaced. In fact, not all of these early electric cars were mass-produced, so the first commercial charging stations were not developed.

In the early days of the United States, 38% of cars were powered by electricity, and these cars were either charged by the batteries in the car, or the batteries were taken out of the car, charged in another place ("Battery room"), and then installed back into the vehicle. The "6KW watt station" introduced in 1910 was the earliest prototype charging equipment for charging vehicles, and at that time the AC/DC converter was still a mercury rectifier, through which AC was turned into DC.

6kW DC offboard charging-1910 callledWattstation

Recharging center

Battery room

In 1914, GM introduced the first DC charging station called "Electrant". Like the telephone booths of the time, it was placed in all corners of the city to charge the city's tens of thousands of vehicles. From the information at the time, it had a separate billing system, and the current could be up to 150 amps to charge the  48V lead-acid batteries of the time and, as  is the case today, the charging connector was also separate (this place is also interesting, the charging interface could not be unified more than 100 years ago, and today still can not be unified) using a single-cell coaxial connection, the hole in the middle of the interface is energized, the shell grounded, which is the early form of the interface.
Electrant150A 48Vdc 1914

In the late 20th century, the United States launched the 1772 socket and inductive coupler, in the 21st century before the launch of today's 5-hole AC  structure, and then in the back of the combination of CCS1 ACDC  charging interface, MCS interface, the change in the form of the interface reflects the changes in charging technology, but also began to tend to a greater range and market compatibility, because the maximum unity of the interface to facilitate more rapid iteration and development of charging technology;.

Due to the development of the automobile industry in the 1920s, the quality and quantity of roads improved, and the limited driving range of electric cars was not more suitable for long-distance driving, which meant that the use was limited, and this time period, with the continuous discovery of larger oil fields, the price of gasoline fell to favor the rapid development of gasoline-powered cars, so until the end of the 20th century electric cars were in the status of "big toys for the rich", and this time period, fuel cars have been developed rapidly, and this development is different with the economic development of different countries, which is also the reason why the development of electric cars in different countries in the future is also different.

Men and women working on a radio assembly line in Washington 1925

By the end of the 20th century, the public became increasingly aware of the problem of air pollution, and the idea of mass production of electric cars began to re-emerge, especially in the United States, where a large number of scientists went after World War II, which also contributed to the rapid development of technology in the United States, including the technology of electric cars, and car companies began to experiment on a large scale with different models of electric cars.

In fact, looking back, many technologies now and 50 years ago did not change much, at first, the early car hope amount to be able to charge at home, so hybrid cars or extended-range technology for a period of time is considered a fuel and electric car compromise; as the scale of later commercial companies continue to increase, the production of manufacturers involved in more and more, the demand for charging facilities was quickly released, the charging infrastructure This is also an important reason why Tesla decided to enter the EV field in parallel with the charging facilities; in fact, as early as a few decades ago in the United States, Boston tried the concept of 2-minute battery exchange, just like today, users can rent the battery, but because of the cost compared to charging and the rapid development of charging technology, the way of battery exchange then withdrew from the market. until Tesla again tried to give up, no more sound; but the mode of battery exchange in China 2 up 2 back also once again ushered in its rapid development.