Vector simplifies charging of electric commercial vehicles via pantographs 

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 24 Jun 2020

Automotive industry solution maker, Vector is supplementing its ECU lineup by adding a controller for charging via pantographs. Developers of electric commercial vehicles such as buses will benefit from this solution for quick and efficient charging via an electrical collector.

The generic controller, the VC-EVCC-P, supports roof-mounted pantographs as well as loading and also enables communication with an existing charging infrastructure. 

The new Vector VC-EVCC-P controller supports charging with pantographs,  for electric buses.

The Vector controller VC-EVCC-P (Electric Vehicle Communication Controller for Pantograph charging) is a  24-volt electrical systems. This makes it usable in all kinds of commercial vehicles. The controller supports charging via current collectors, also known as pantographs. It is already qualified for production use and can be installed in vehicles directly. The new charging controller is also well suited for prototypes and evaluation purposes. 

Along with the conventional construction method, in which a pantograph is mounted on the vehicle roof and docks to the charging station from there, the Vector controller also supports inverted pantographs. In this configuration, which is being used increasingly, the pantograph is located at the charge point from where it establishes a connection to the electric vehicle, like a bus. Wireless communication with the charging infrastructure, which is needed for charging processes when inverted pantographs are used, is implemented as an accessory: the CAN WiFi Gateway. It enables WiFi communication based on IEEE 802.11a/n in the 5GHz band. Its radio license permits use of the CAN WiFi Gateway within European member states. 

Increased public awareness of air pollution in cities has motivated public transit companies to increasingly switch over to electric buses. The charging technology with pantographs is ideally suited for them. That is because it enables fast charging in charging slots that are more frequent and shorter in duration. This requirement is especially important for commercial vehicles. The goal is to keep the vehicles operating throughout the day without limiting their availability. 

The Vector controllers can be used universally with a focus on data communication. Because they use standard technologies, they are ideal for quickly developing functional samples and using them in production. All production ECUs are qualified for in-vehicle use. The Vector controllers are also available in higher volumes for test fleets and short production runs. Vector is able to offer a complete package with full functionality together with its AUTOSAR basic software MICROSAR. 

All images:  Vector Informatik GmbH

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