News Story

UMD Researchers Creating First Onboard Fast-Charging System for Electric Vehicles

Professor Alireza Khaligh (ECE/ISR (link is external)) and his colleague in mechanical engineering, Professor Patrick McCluskey (link is external) have received a three year Grant Opportunity for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) valued at $460K. Their project, "Integrated On-Board Universal SiC-based Fast Charging for Plug-In Electric Vehicles (link is external)" centers on the design of an integrated, universal on-board fast charger compatible with all charging levels.

Using level-1 and level-2 low power charging at home overnight or during the day at the office with a 120VAC or 240VAC main connection can take 4-20 hours depending on available power and battery size. Therefore, trips of significant length would involve significant planning and vehicle downtime.  The current alternative is to charge through high power level-3 off-board chargers which are bulky, costly to manufacture, expensive to install, and requires comprehensive evolution of the national charging infrastructure.

Khaligh and McCluskey are collaborating with Steven Rogers of Genovation, an electric car company in Rockville, Md. Their ultimate goal is to provide a transformative solution to overcome present limitations of the charging methods for electric vehicles which integrates different disciplines of engineering, therefore fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

This novel and important research will:

  • lead to theoretical advancements in the design of onboard, integrated high-power chargers
  • result in innovative packaging and thermal management methods as well as physics of failure mode analyses for wide band gap based converters, leading to increased efficiency with lower size, weight, and cost
  • involve interdisciplinary research in power electronics, control, adjustable speed drives, packaging, reliability assessment, and thermal management

The research team will also ensure the highest quality integrated education and research to support the emerging workforce and educational needs of the U.S. energy and transportation industries.

Published September 11, 2015