Christine Zeindler



Majid Moradzadeh, doctoral student in power engineering, poses in front of an electric vehicle power station at UBCO.

Majid Moradzadeh, doctoral student in power engineering, poses in front of an electric vehicle power station at UBCO.

Fossil fuels a key part of keeping plug-in vehicles on the road

New research from UBC Okanagan aims to improve the efficiency and cost associated with charging electric vehicles.

Despite the perception that electric vehicles are environmentally friendly, the reality is that most of the electricity used to power these vehicles is generated by fossil fuels, says Majid Moradzadeh, a doctoral student at UBCO’s School of Engineering.

“Renewable energy sources are currently a small part of the larger electricity generation system,” explains Moradzadeh. “Due to the variability of electricity output by these renewable sources, energy storage systems are vital to ensuring continuous power is available.”

In the first study of its type, Moradzedeh developed a comprehensive planning method specifically for fast-charging stations. The method considers a wide range of technical and operation features of renewable resources, energy storage systems and the electric vehicles’ charging demand. The goal is to create a fast-charging station at minimal optimum cost, while meeting its performance requirements.

The proposed cost-efficient and sustainable fast-charging station prioritizes the source of its power whether it be renewable, from storage or the main distribution system. It also mitigates the adverse impacts of charging electric vehicles on the distribution network.

“The key to building sustainable electric vehicle infrastructure is to ensure that it is economical,” says Morad Abdelaziz, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at UBCO. “By developing a planning method, we are building a roadmap towards fast-charging stations that can seamlessly target renewable sources of power instead of relying on existing fossil-fuel-powered sources.”

According to Moradzedeh, the findings will be used by governments to help establish future charging stations while highlighting reduced peak power usage and opportunities to postpone the distribution system upgrade.

The findings were published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

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Currently there are more than 1,600 active research projects underway at UBCO.

UBCO stories you may have missed in 2019

UBCO Okanagan has grown to a student population of more than 10,000. With this growth, has come new research opportunities—currently there are more than 1,600 active projects. UBCO researchers are challenging established assumptions, innovating solutions and creating new knowledge that will have broad impacts on our society. Here are some of the accomplishments reached in 2019.

Promoting resilient environments

UBCO biologists have discovered a new source of carbon dioxide in lake water that is used for irrigation. Their findings have practical applications for agriculture-based communities in arid regions. For more

Ecologists from UBCO and the University of Alberta have developed non-invasive methods for tracking animals, using DNA found in their feces, saliva and hair. These approaches will provide improved understanding of wildlife migration and population trends. For more

Supporting healthy people

UBCO has joined with international partners to determine how the human heart has adapted to engage in endurance physical activities. The findings will bring new insights to the international effort to reduce hypertensive heart disease—one of the most common causes of illness and death in the developed world. For more

UBCO researchers partnered with an international research team to complete 15 major scientific studies in Peru’s Cerro de Pasco to better understand how high altitude affects newcomers and Indigenous populations. This research is relevant for people who suffer from low oxygen health conditions including those with lung or heart disease. For more

A new Faculty of Medicine Research Centre, the first such facility outside the Lower Mainland, was established at UBC Okanagan. The Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management will serve as a provincial leader for research, knowledge translation and exchange in the urgent research field of chronic diseases. For more

Developing emerging technologies

UBC Okanagan researchers have discovered a new class of anti-ice surface coatings. These low interfacial toughness (LIT) materials ease the force required to remove ice from large areas, such as car windshields. For more

Researchers at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering have developed a low-cost sensor that can be interlaced into textiles and composite materials. While the research is still ongoing, it may pave the way for smart clothing that can monitor human movement. For more

Building thriving communities

UBCO researchers were involved in an international study which found that people are more charitable if allowed to quickly claim tax credits for their donations. Their findings showed that changing the deadline for donations so they land close to tax time increased contributions by nine per cent. For more

Thanks to a visiting international fellowship, a UBCO professor is collaborating with the University of Exeter to promote and disseminate environmental humanities research. This field speaks to the interconnectedness of climate change, factory farming and human health. For more