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SUNY Oswego research aims to improve electric car experience

New electric charging stations are installed in the city of Oswego
City of Oswego
New electric charging stations are installed in the city of Oswego

More drivers are looking into electric vehicles in an effort to help the environment and avoid high prices at the pump, but there are still some major barriers to making the switch, including high costs and high charging times.

That’s why Hui Zhang, an assistant professor at SUNY Oswego, is using a grant from the National Science Foundation to research solutions.

Zhang hopes to find a more efficient and less expensive inverter design to enable the adoption of high voltage DC links in electric vehicles.

“Once we increase the DC voltage inside the inverter, we can also have the possibility to reduce the size and weight of the power components in these electric vehicles and also reduce the power consumption of those components," said Zhang.

Zhang hopes the adoption of those high voltage DC links will help decrease charging time, making electric vehicles more user-friendly.

She said she was drawn to the project because of its potential to decrease dependence on fossil fuels and help the environment.

"This helps conserve energy and promotes energy diversity and independence," said Zhang.

Zhang said she also plans to get SUNY Oswego students heavily involved in the project, from coursework related to the design to summer internships and research opportunities.

Meanwhile, the city of Oswego is working to make its roads more electric vehicle-friendly with the installation of six new charging stations across the city.

"I think it's our responsibility to position Oswego for long-term success,” said Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow. “We're trying to get people to live here, to visit here, and as people move to electric vehicles, they're going to need these charging stations."

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.