The EV industry is shifting toward higher-output onboard chargers. While more electric vehicles are using more powerful onboard chargers to convert AC to DC power more quickly (and lowering charging times), outputs of 3 to 3.7 kW are expected to continue to dominate the market through 2020 due to their lower cost. Manufacturers are working to make onboard chargers more than 95 percent efficient, 10 to 15 percent smaller, and, in many cases, are switching to bidirectional chargers with vehicle-to-grid capability. Many onboard charger components are outsourced by automakers, but this could change as automakers develop strategies to increase volume and reduce costs. Read more at Green Car Congress.
SolarCity says that solar energy storage will only become more affordable. Peter Rive, SolarCity co-founder and CTO, says that using Tesla's batteries has helped make home and business solar systems one-third of the cost from a year ago, and that costs will continue to drop with increased manufacturing volume. Rive also warns that utilities and regulators burdening solar customers could lead to "mass customer defection from the grid via solar battery systems." Instead, Rive believes it is in the best interest of everyone for utilities to "embrace distributed energy resources" and "advance the technologies that will lead to an affordable, decarbonized grid." Read more at the SolarCity Blog.