TI Adds Wi-Fi Capability to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Texas InstrumentsTexas Instruments has introduced the first reference design that adds Wi-Fi connectivity to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Electric vehicle owners will now be able to remotely monitor and control the charging of their vehicles from just about anywhere with Wi-Fi, presenting dozens of potential use cases from home automation to checking the availability of nearby public charge points. Download the new EV Charging Station with Wi-Fi reference design.

Battery technology advancements and government regulations have resulted in a growing number of new electric vehicles around the world. But vehicle makers still need more charging stations to make it easier for drivers to charge their vehicles. The new reference design uses TI's SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi wireless microcontroller (MCU) technology that allows design engineers to create stations that intelligently charge at non-peak times or detect and communicate when a charging station is available.

One major barrier to widespread EV charging station adoption is the amount of time it takes to charge a vehicle. The reference design supports Level 1 charging, which is compatible with household outlets, as well as Level 2 EV charging, which helps vehicle owners tap into higher current (15A to 30A and higher) connections available in commercial office buildings. Level 2 chargers typically take up to eight hours to fully charge the vehicle if the owner wants to plug it in while at work.

Later this year TI plans to introduce a Level 3 EV direct-current charger reference design scalable to 600V and 400A that cuts charging time down to only 20-30 minutes - enough time to stop at a Wi-Fi enabled restaurant that has a charging station and charge the vehicle during lunch. Read the blog post, Electric vehicle charging stations are getting smarter and charging faster.

Key benefits of the EV Charging Station with Wi-Fi reference design:

  • Level 1 and Level 2 charge operation.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity support from any smartphone, tablet, computer or smartTV thanks to TI's SimpleLink Wi-Fi technology.
  • Power delivery up to 30 A, but expandable by using larger relays.
  • Expandable to support other applications such as payment, authentication and home automation design innovation.