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ABB champions the future of EV charging in Africa

ABB champions the future of EV charging in Africa

ABB now has the largest installed base of DC fast chargers, giving it a huge quantity of data, input and experience it can use to further drive market growth

A decade ago the concept of autonomous driving and full electric vehicle (EV) fleets was very much a vision. Now it is a reality, with ABB leading the charge in developing new technology and integrated solutions that will continue to drive our EV future. ABB helped to shape this young industry from the start, and over the years has delivered many first-to-market technologies in DC fast charging.

The foundations for a future of smarter, more reliable and emission-free mobility is a key focus for ABB South Africa, which is showcasing its electric EV charging capability and expertise in the run-up to the Smarter Mobility Africa Live virtual summit from 27 to 29 October, according to Yuri Ramsamy, Product Marketing Specialist at ABB South Africa.

The event brings together mobility thought leaders from business and government to consolidate efforts and accelerate the transition to electric and smart mobility. The virtual summit will highlight currently available and future mobility solutions, including the latest technologies, policies, case studies, business models and the impact on health and the environment, to ensure that the correct decisions can be made to usher in the new world of e-mobility.

“We will see a marked shift, where everything is connected electrically, and shared mobility becomes the norm. As we transition towards e-mobility, fleet management will improve and we will see less traffic through a higher degree of car sharing, which will help to build our sustainable world,” comments Frank Muehlon, Head of ABB’s Global E-Mobility.

ABB entered the EV charging market in 2010 when it launched its pioneering DC charger. Now more than 14 000 ABB DC fast chargers are sold across more than 80 countries, from Peru to Rwanda. ABB is a global market leader in e-mobility charging solutions, with a strong market share in Europe, Asia Pacific and the US.

In 2013, ABB was the first company to develop networks of 50 kW chargers, spanning complete nations. This was paired with a unique cloud-based service for remote monitoring and servicing of chargers, which was a real game changer for connectivity and now forms part of the ABB Ability™ ecosystem.

More recently, in 2018 ABB was first-to-market with its liquid-cooled full 350 kW capable charging technology, which delivers higher power and charging speeds. Early 2020 saw the acquisition of Chinese EV charging provider Chargedot, giving ABB a stronger entry into the largest e-mobility market in the world and broadening its portfolio of DC and AC fast charging.

“Over recent years we have seen a marked shift in consumer perceptions, with the environment having a greater value than it has ever had before. People want to live in a cleaner, less noisy and less polluted environment and are willing to take steps to make this happen. This is where EV comes into its own. It will continue to drive increasing demand for EVs compared with traditional combustion engines, together with a demand for longer-range and higher-power charging through larger battery sizes,” highlights Muehlon.

ABB offers a total EV charging solution from compact, high-quality AC wallboxes and reliable DC fast-charging stations with robust connectivity to innovative on-demand electric bus-charging systems, with infrastructure solutions that meet the needs of the next generation of smarter mobility.

The AC charger portfolio ranges from 3.7 kW to 22 kW, while the DC charger portfolio ranges from 20 kW to 350 kW for light commercial vehicles and up to 600 kW for heavy vehicles such as buses. The ABB chargers are multi-standard to cater for the different types of vehicles using its charging stations. ABB’s main product line is its terra 50 range of 50 kW DC chargers. Latest product launches include the Terra 124 and Terra 184, a 120 kW and 180 kW DC charger respectively. This is based on market requirements and is anticipated to set a new benchmark for urban mobility.

In addition, ABB also offers Connected Services through its ABB Ability™ platform that allow charging station owners to remotely monitor and configure charge points, adapt business and pricing models over time, keep charging infrastructure up-to-date with the latest software, service the equipment efficiently and with minimal operational effort, increase charger uptime and the reliability of the charging network, and minimise investment in IT infrastructure and back-end software.

“Our Connected Services offering allows our customers to operate their charger network in the most efficient way to reduce the total cost of ownership and build a profitable business,” comments Ramsamy. A recent project was carried out successfully for a client in Rwanda that procured ten EVs for marketing and resale that needed AC chargers. ABB supplied its AC wallbox chargers, which were subsequently installed and are currently in operation.

A major opportunity at present is DC fast charging for the heavy commercial vehicle segment. “We have a lot of trucks travelling between provinces transporting products all around the country. Moving these vehicles to electric would reduce emissions and possible running costs and, in turn, bring down the overall cost of the goods we purchase,” elaborates Ramsamy.

ABB also supported the development of the CHAdeMO and the Combined Charging System (CCS) international EV charging standards. It is also one of the first EV charging station manufacturers to offer independent third-party verification of the CE certification of its products. “From a customer point of view, this guarantees that you will always have access to the latest technology, including software updates,” adds Ramsamy.

“The faster we transition to EV, the bigger the change will be, and we expect to see new players and OEMs entering the market. We will also see the merging of two worlds, where the automotive world becomes part of the electrical world. In the past, these were two distinct industries, but in the next ten years we will see them coming together to offer a better user experience.

“Looking ahead, we will also see a big shift in market share, with 25% to 30% of new vehicles hitting the market being electric. Some industry experts predict that this could be as high as 50%, which demonstrates the true potential of EV to create a more sustainable world,” concludes Muehlon.

For more information about Smarter Mobility Africa Live, visit https://generationehq.com/smarter-mobility-africa/