An ABB E-mobility press release passed my desk recently, and it caught my eye because I was a bit thrown off by the news. As you can see in the headline, the news is that ABB E-mobility is now selling EV fast chargers that are ENERGY STAR Certified. I typically associate the ENERGY STAR program with home appliances and other household goods, with ENERGY STAR indicating that they are quite efficient and good to buy if you care about the environment and the future of humanity. It never crossed my mind, however, that an EV fast charger could be ENERGY STAR Certified.
So, what does it mean to be an ENERGY STAR Certified EV fast charger?
First of all, the specific category ENERGY STAR puts these ABB chargers in is DC fast chargers anywhere from 20 kW up to 180 kW. Naturally, they also have to achieve certain levels of charging efficiency and certain levels of standby energy loss. The whole idea of ENERGY STAR is to promote products that save energy.
In addition, they apparently have to meet specific safety requirements, and they have to use Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) for network communications.
“DC fast chargers that have earned ENERGY STAR certification can support up to 1.5 MWh/year in energy savings, averaging over $1,650 in cost savings during the lifetime of the charging station,” ABB writes. “All EV charging systems that earn the ENERGY STAR label are tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and those tests are third party verified,” the company adds.
But that’s all from ABB. What does ENERGY STAR have to say? Glad you asked. “We are excited to see the Terra DC Wallbox and Terra 184 products on the ENERGY STAR list,” stated Ann Bailey, Program Manager, ENERGY STAR Products. “As an industry leader, ABB E-mobility is providing new opportunities to advance energy efficient EV charging nationwide by increasing the availability of certified products for our partners, including states, utilities, and the federal government.
Which ABB fast chargers got certified?
ABB fast chargers that got certification include:
- The “all in one” Terra 184. This charger can pump out 180 kW of power, and can deliver 400 amps of high current.
- The much slower and cheaper Terra DC Wallbox — up to 24 kW of power output. This option has a different focus, of course, as it is targeted toward “the needs of lower power DC charging where charging presents load challenges in a facility.”
“Combined, this range of chargers serves a variety of charging site demands, including highway charging, shopping malls, convenience stores, fleets, commercial facilities, school buses, auto dealerships and more,” ABB writes.
Indeed. There is no “one size fits all” in charging. Different applications prefer a different balance between power/speed and cost. It actually seems logical in certain places to include a mixture of these — I could see some visitors to a shopping mall wanting to get as much charge as possible in about 45 minutes, while others want to spend a few hours at the mall and don’t want to be bothered to move their vehicle after a super rapid charge. Choice — that’s what consumers want.
However, across the board, people want energy efficient technology that doesn’t waste energy, waste money, and disturb our rather hospitable Earth’s climate. It’s good to see that we can now trust these two diverse ABB fast chargers check those boxes.
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