The global automotive sector is going through significant changes because of shifting consumer behavior and strict carbon emission regulations. Government authorities and automotive leaders are increasingly focusing on alternative energy sources to reduce dependency on fossil fuels for transportation purposes because of the rapid depletion of natural resources and concerns about climate change.
Automotive manufacturers have responded to this challenge by creating alternative fuel vehicles, and consumers have accepted electric vehicles (EVs) as an option. As a result, EVs have gone from being a specialized solution to a viable choice for transportation in the 21st century.
However, the distance that an EV can travel on a single charge is a significant barrier to faster EV adoption among customers. This is because many nations, including India, Brazil, and certain European nations, lack adequate charging infrastructure.
Energy-efficient, affordable, and compact drivetrain parts, including inverters, on-board chargers, microcontrollers, and rectifiers, are the main equipment required to build efficient EVs. Any electric vehicle powertrain must include an on-board charger (OBC), which controls the energy flow from the power grid to the car’s battery.
Compact and lightweight OBCs are in high demand because they can deliver excellent charging efficiency, a strong heat dissipation effect, and high-power density.
Functions of On-Board Chargers in Electric Vehicles
An on-board charger’s primary role is to control the flow of current from the grid to the traction battery. OBCs allow electric vehicles to be charged from any source. As a result, electric vehicles are not always dependent on charging stations.
On-board chargers also can regulate the voltage and current utilized to charge the battery. There are two primary types of charging: constant voltage and constant current.
Constant current charging offers excellent efficiency and quick charging, but there is a chance that it might shorten the battery’s lifespan. This problem can be fixed by first giving the battery a steady current charge.
Attempts to Develop More Efficient On-Board Chargers for Electric Vehicles
To overcome the current infrastructural and technological challenges related to electric vehicle charging, industry leaders have taken certain steps. The latest developments in the on-board charging market are mentioned as follows:
1. Increased Charging Power of On-Board Chargers: Higher power levels are being sought by OBCs. The technology breakthroughs are enabling manufacturers to mass produce on-board charges that have power outputs of 22 kW or more. Users will benefit from shorter charging times for their electric vehicles due to this. After DC fast charging, AC fast charging is a common charging method.
The challenge for designers is to create highly functional OBCs that are both lightweight and small. OBCs with power outputs of 11 kW and 22 kW OBCs will assist in shortening the charging time for larger battery packs, namely those utilized in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This will enhance the user experience.
2. Development of Lightweight Materials in On-Board Chargers: New difficulties in developing lightweight and effective OBC solutions are brought on by the rising demand for on-board chargers with high power ratings.
The use of lightweight materials has been on the rise in the electric vehicle industry because of strict environmental regulations in many countries. Since lightweight materials contribute to lowering CO2 emissions, the regulatory authorities are encouraging the use of these materials.
Lightweight materials significantly reduce weight and increase the payload carrying capacity of electric vehicles. Additionally, lightweight materials help to increase vehicle performance.
The effectiveness of on-board chargers will be improved by using lightweight materials for manufacturing them. For high-power OBCs, white band gap materials such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride are used to preserve a lightweight architecture.
3. Increased Focus on DC-DC Integrated On-Board Chargers: One of the difficulties faced by the manufacturers of electric vehicles is reducing the weight of the vehicle. The on-board charger’s capacity for charging power increases when a DC-DC converter is integrated.
This complicates the design but boosts the effectiveness of the on-board charger. The on-board inbuilt DC-DC charger helps shorten the charging times to some extent. While reducing the overall weight of the electric car, the DC-DC integrated charger increases the significance of on-board chargers.
As a result, the market for DC-DC embedded on-board chargers is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period 2022-2032. In the upcoming years, an increase in the research and development activities for this segment of products with inbuilt DC-DC converters is expected to lead to several product launches.
On-Board Charger Market Forecast
The global demand for electric vehicles is anticipated to significantly drive the on-board charger industry. Vehicles that are battery electric or plug-in hybrid must have an on-board charger for the battery.
Government programs and environmental regulations are encouraging the use of electric vehicles, which is boosting the on-board charger market worldwide.
According to the BIS Research analysis, the global on-board charger market is expected to reach $43.94 billion by 2032 from $2.16 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 29.54% during the forecast period 2022-2032.
For more information on this market, please see On-Board Charger Market – A Global and Regional Analysis, a detailed 279-page report packed with data and insights on product segments, market opportunities, and the competitive landscape.
About the Publisher: BIS Research is a global market intelligence, research and advisory company that focuses on emerging technology trends that are likely to disrupt the market. Its team includes industry veterans, experts, and analysts with diverse backgrounds in consulting, investment banking, government, and academia.