Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging

NREL is working with other national labs to develop a megawatt-scale charging system for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, enabling drivers to charge in less than 30 minutes at reasonable cost.

Illustration of multi-unit charging station with medium- and heavy-duty trucks parked at station units, one of which has a power transfer mechanism below the vehicle body.  Power distribution lines (13.8 kV AC lines) connect a utility tower to an AC/DC conversion unit (1 MW+ Multiport Network), which connects via high-voltage DC lines (e.g., 1,000 V DC) to each charging station unit, and also to a substation in the distance (not pictured).  The AC/DC conversion unit also connects to onsite photovoltaic panels (four panels angled on a platform), onsite generation (cube-shaped box), and onsite energy storage (rectangular shaped box). A thermal cooling unit (a fan enclosed in a cube-shaped box) connects to each of the station units.

As part of the 1+ MW project, researchers are exploring crosscutting factors influencing the effective design and optimization of such a system, including:

  • Load profiles for regional-haul trucks
  • Optimal battery-charge-control algorithms
  • Site-integrated charging for improved operations and equipment costs
  • Thermal challenges associated with cables and connectors
  • High-power conversion equipment
  • Grid impacts of a multi-port, publicly accessible charging station.

Using a combination of real-world truck operations data and truck volume estimations, NREL is developing charge-control strategies for individual vehicles and charging ports to enable multiple vehicles to charge at the same time without overloading the system.


Andrew Meintz

Project Lead, Electric Vehicle Grid Integration