The requirements for charging longer range Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) has consistently escalated the need for higher power DC Fast Charging (DCFC) systems. It wasn’t that long ago that 50kW charging was making its mark in the BEV charging space. However, as Tesla (and others) have been making consistent inroads in the BEV market, the focus for higher power systems has pushed the DCFC power boundaries much further and faster than expected. With companies such as, EVgo with a 350kW DCFC system or ChargePoint at 400kW DCFC systems, air conditioning systems will transition from a stand-alone cabin cooling system to a highly-integrated powertrain system cooling role to include removing battery pack cell/module heat that is generated during normal vehicle operation or during battery charging. This now places significant performance requirements on the air conditioning system and heightens the need for air conditioning systems to be at optimal performance at all times…….even during the winter months.
Vehicle service businesses that include air conditioning service as part of their services menu will need to consider the air conditioning system as one of the reasons for vehicle reduced performance, range reduction, etc. It’s time to welcome vehicle air conditioning systems into its new role of powertrain thermal management.
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