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Why Are Connectors For Electric Vehicles Important?

As electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to grow significantly (due to policy support, improvements in battery technology, lower battery costs, more charging infrastructure, and new model launches by automakers), managing future supply chains and production systems to maintain growth trajectories is critical to any EV strategy. With the global semiconductor shortage affecting the design and production lifecycle of the automotive industry, designers need the support of suppliers and distributors more than ever, especially when it comes to EV connectors.

Why are connectors for electric vehicles important?

Electric Vehicle Connectors (EVCs) are specialized plugs used to charge electric vehicles (EVs). They ensure efficient power transfer from charging stations to EV batteries. Key types include the Type 1 (SAE J1772) and Type 2 (Mennekes) connectors for alternating current (AC) charging, and the CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System (CCS) for direct current (DC) fast charging. These connectors feature safety mechanisms to prevent short circuits and allow communication between the vehicle and charging station for optimal charging management. EVCs are critical in supporting the growing adoption of EVs by providing standardized, reliable charging solutions.

While the electric vehicle market is growing, it faces very real competition. While petroleum-based automotive solutions have many drawbacks, their convenience is undeniable. Fuel can be pumped into any vehicle with virtually no difficulty, as opposed to charging an electric vehicle. Each electric vehicle may have its own uniquely designed industrial connector, making connectors a serious issue for electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Connector Challenges

The compatibility of electrical equipment is not a challenge because the use of standardized connectors and nationally standardized supply voltages makes everything easy. While a reliable power grid solves the frequency and voltage issues facing EVs, connector specifications are still difficult.

Electric vehicle manufacturers further complicate the connector issue by utilizing multiple EV charging modes, including

Mode 1 for slow charging from a typical household outlet

Mode 2, which allows faster charging from a specially designed home outlet

Mode 3 for commercial street-side charging points

Mode 4 for fast DC charging

In addition, EV connectors must incorporate several key design features: they should be

Ergonomic and easy to use

Save space

Include built-in safety features

Be able to provide AC and DC power

CCS connectors: solution or not?

The CCS (Combined Charging System) connector combines all of these design features, so designers may think that all of the problems associated with EV connectors have been solved. However, this is not necessarily the case.

CCS connectors meet the customer requirements for EV connectors, but from an electrical engineering perspective, there is still a lot of work to be done. For example, the high voltages and currents that occur when charging EVs create the environment for arcing between contacts. While the use of a pilot signal can greatly mitigate this situation, as any loss of continuity immediately stops charging, it still does not completely prevent resistor overheating or contact damage.

However, a little effort in contact design can mitigate this situation.

Lizone: Your Source for EV Connector Solutions

At Lizone, we understand the challenges associated with EV connector solutions. Our team of connector experts can help you find the right connector to keep you highly competitive in the EV market, and Lizone connectors are just one of the many connector solutions in our large inventory that can meet the needs of even the most demanding EV applications.