New emissions standards in the United States, Europe and the rest of the world have created a situation where electric vehicles are quickly becoming one of the largest growing segments of the automotive industry. Electric vehicles (EV) combat the problem of rising gas prices as well as emissions that create damage to the climate, but one of the major factors that has always held back public interest was the stylish aspect of EVs as well as the power. These cars lacked the get up and go that gas powered vehicles had, and for the most part they were styled for a more conservationist consumer who enjoyed a more minimal profile. Tesla almost single-handedly changed this, rolling out a fleet of vehicles that were both fast and good looking. The luxurious feel of a Tesla made them status symbols and not just alternatives, ultimately changing the perception of electric vehicles as a whole. In order to further this perception, Tesla worked hard to address the aspects of electric vehicle ownership that were viewed as being problematic, most notebly the creation of improved charging stations. Tesla has their own grid of stations where vehicles can be charged in a fraction of the time it takes to typically charge an EV, hovering far closer to the one-half hour timeframe that was held as the goal for the industry. This grid of “supercharging stations” is only available for Tesla vehicles, allowing them to be charged at both their own branded stations as well as traditional ones via an adaptor. Unfortunately, other brands of electric vehicles cannot use these stations to charge, and the majority of the buildings where standard charging stations are located are not able to deliver the high current AC charge necessary to cut down on charging times. In addition to this issue, most EVs contain rectifiers that cannot handle the necessary load to allow for ultra-fast charging, keeping them over an hour in charging times at most public hookups.
In order for the market as a whole to progress and not be centered around Tesla, an improved network of charging stations must be made available to the public, able to service all electric vehicles. This would entail significant investment on the part of station owners, who would need to upgrade to the newest DC charging technology, also expanding the footprint of the station by separating the transformer, inverter, cooling and user units. This poses a risk at the business level as well as to persons involved in the vehicle ownership, as the high voltage must be handled safely and inclement weather such as lightning events contribute danger during charging sessions. A potential loss of life to those who may be outside or inside their cars if a surge was to happen is very real. Only through the integration of EV lightning protection devices can these hurdles be overcome, ultimately bringing down the risk and therefor the cost basis for upgrades. Raycap SPDs specifically designed for EV charging station installations are making this more of a reality every year.