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This paper reviews the current status and implementation of battery chargers, charging power levels, and infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. Charger systems are categorized into off-board and on-board types with unidirectional or bidirectional power flow. Unidirectional charging limits hardware requirements and simplifies interconnection issues. Bidirectional charging supports battery energy injection back to the grid. Typical on-board chargers restrict power because of weight, space, and cost constraints. They can be integrated with the electric drive to avoid these problems. The availability of charging infrastructure reduces on-board energy storage requirements and costs. On-board charger systems can be conductive or inductive. An off-board charger can be designed for high charging rates and is less constrained by size and weight. Level 1 (convenience), Level 2 (primary), and Level 3 (fast) power levels are discussed. Future aspects such as roadbed charging are presented. Various power level chargers and infrastructure configurations are presented, compared, and evaluated based on amount of power, charging time and location, cost, equipment, and other factors.
Date of Publication: May 2013