Megawatt charging might outshine hydrogen in semis, says report


Shazan Siddiqi is a Senior Expertise Analyst with market intelligence agency IDTechEx.

By Shazan Siddiqi

What’s the Megawatt Charging System (MCS)?
A brand new high-power charging resolution is required to satisfy the market want of the truck and bus {industry} to cost electrical heavy-duty automobiles in an appropriate period of time. Consequently, the Megawatt Charging System (MCS), a charging system for giant battery electrical automobiles, is now being developed. The MCS is able to charging at a most charge of three.75 megawatts (3,000 amps at 1,250 volts DC), which is the very best charge. MCS is predicted to allow quick and environment friendly charging not just for vans, but in addition for marine vessels, aeronautics, and mining. The ultimate publication of the usual and industrial rollout is predicted in 2024.

MCS specs and comparability with CCS. Observe: the above values are documented as doable however will not be carried out in typical installations (supply: IDTechEx).

Significance and use case of MCS
The elevated cost charge provided by MCS will enable clients to drive extra distance per day by using the mandated break time from the hours-of-service rules. These rules state that drivers should often take a break throughout their drive cycle. For instance, the European Union requires 45 minutes of break after each 4.5 hours of driving; the US mandates half-hour after 8 hours. It’s properly understood that decreasing charging occasions to suit into regular breaks within the obligation cycle is an enabler for improved electrification for industrial automobiles and long-distance haulage. Nevertheless, not each industrial fleet proprietor would require MCS as some might discover that slower, in a single day charging at depots suits their obligation cycles greatest. Website design will optimize for the bottom energy resolution that meets use case necessities. The latest report from IDTechEx finds that Stage 2 AC chargers present enough energy to recharge mild and medium-duty automobiles in a single day, however bigger battery capability long-haul vans would require DC quick charging. MCS is greatest suited to allow speedy charging of batteries when they’re working out of vary of their dwelling base; in different phrases, a BEV model of a stop-and-fill forecourt.

Challenges in implementing MCS
MCS is designed for a 6-fold increased present and as much as 10-fold increased energy in comparison with CCS. Commercializing chargers with rated energy of 1 MW would require important funding, as stations with such high-power wants will incur important set up and grid improve prices. The necessity for on-site power storage and solar-supplemented options can also be emphasised to scale back demand fees.

Fleet operators and OEMs should work along with utility suppliers to make sure correct capability for this new expertise is in place. Moreover, truck OEMs don’t manufacture their very own packs however purchase them from third events, so they should ensure that the voltage necessities meet the specs of MCS, in addition to the battery density and the spacing between the cells. They have to design for the cooling points, totally different connectors, and the battery administration system. All of those modifications contribute to the price. Infrastructure deployment can also be one other limiting consider MCS, as securing massive grid connections can take as much as 5 years. IDTechEx analysis finds that MCS infrastructure must be in place between 2025 and 2030 to help the long-haul electrical vans getting into the market.

Challenges in implementing MCS (supply: IDTechEx report “Charging Infrastructure for Electrical Automobiles and Fleets 2024-2034”).

MCS participant panorama
Bringing MCS to market is a cross-industry effort with numerous gamers alongside the worth chain. IDTechEx analysis finds that main EVSE {hardware} suppliers are actually growing their very own megawatt-capable charging stations. Element suppliers like cable and connector producers are following go well with and designing merchandise that may help MCS specs.

Megawatt charging participant panorama. Lists are usually not exhaustive (supply: IDTechEx report “Charging Infrastructure for Electrical Automobiles and Fleets 2024-2034”).

It was anticipated that the Tesla Semi would use the MCS connector. Nevertheless, in accordance with the Government Director of CharIN, Tesla is just not utilizing the MCS connector. The primary Tesla Semis within the US are as a substitute utilizing a devoted, proprietary connector, which IDTechEx speculates is an earlier model of MCS. The Megacharger from Tesla makes use of an immersion-cooled thicker cable than their newly launched V4 Superchargers to deal with the excessive amperage required for multi-megawatt hundreds.

Non-Tesla electrical vans will possible make the most of MCS completely or a mix of each MCS and CCS expertise. In July 2022, a three way partnership between Daimler Truck, TRATON GROUP, and the Volvo Group referred to as Milence was shaped, aiming to deploy 1,700 DC public cost factors (together with CCS and MCS) in Europe by 2027. IDTechEx forecasts that DC chargers able to MW charging will exhibit a CAGR of 43% within the coming decade, with extra granular energy class cut up forecasts out there in “Charging Infrastructure for Electrical Automobiles and Fleets 2024-2034”.

Can MCS put the nail within the coffin for hydrogen?
The truth that companies who’ve supported MCS, like Daimler Vans, are actually additionally investing in hydrogen fuelling is perplexing to many. A dual-track technique is being pursued within the electrification of its portfolio, with each battery-electric and hydrogen-based drivetrains being developed. Nevertheless, IDTechEx analysis finds that the adoption of MCS for electrical vans can doubtlessly cut back the necessity for hydrogen gas cell vans for a number of causes.

MCS can obtain a excessive charging effectivity, which implies that a big portion of the electrical energy fed into the car’s batteries is transformed into usable power, minimizing waste. In distinction, hydrogen manufacturing, transportation, and conversion in gas cell vans contain a number of power conversion steps, resulting in better power losses. Furthermore, hydrogen fuelling infrastructure is advanced and expensive to determine, requiring devoted hydrogen manufacturing, storage, and distribution services. MCS may draw energy from numerous sources, together with renewable power corresponding to wind, photo voltaic, and hydropower. This flexibility permits for a cleaner and extra sustainable power combine as in comparison with hydrogen manufacturing, which frequently depends on fossil fuels.

Lastly, IDTechEx analysis additionally finds that the present excessive worth of hydrogen considerably impacts gas cell vans’ complete price of possession (TCO) and fleets’ willingness to undertake this expertise. MCS would be the issue that pushes electrical to be the primary alternative for vans. The IDTechEx report on the EV charging market features a detailed protection of megawatt charging that can help the deployment of electrical vans to markets globally.

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