Skip to content

Lincoln Electric Sparks a Revolution in EV Charging Infrastructure

As the electric vehicle (EV) market continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, the demand for reliable, accessible, and efficient charging infrastructure has never been higher. Enter Lincoln Electric, a company with over a century of experience in manufacturing high-quality, durable welding equipment. With its recent announcement of a DC fast charge electric vehicle charger initiative, Lincoln Electric is poised to make a significant impact on the EV charging landscape in the United States.

A Legacy of Excellence in High-Output DC Machinery

Founded in 1895, Lincoln Electric has a long-standing reputation for producing top-of-the-line welding equipment that can withstand the most demanding industrial applications. The company‘s expertise in designing and manufacturing high-output DC machinery, such as their Power Wave power supply system, positions them well to enter the EV charging market.

In fact, the electrical architecture of Lincoln Electric‘s welders is remarkably similar to that of DC fast chargers, requiring only minor adjustments to transition from low voltage, high current output to high voltage, low current output. This means that the company can leverage its existing knowledge, resources, and manufacturing capabilities to develop and produce high-quality EV chargers.

Addressing the Need for Reliable and Accessible Charging Infrastructure

As more consumers embrace EVs, the need for a robust, reliable, and easily accessible charging network becomes increasingly critical. Studies have shown that range anxiety and concerns about charger availability are among the top barriers to widespread EV adoption. A survey conducted by Plug In America found that 34% of EV owners consider nonfunctional chargers to be a "moderate concern," while 14% view them as a "major difficulty" or even a "dealbreaker" for EV ownership.

In California, which boasts the nation‘s largest EV market, a University of California Berkeley study revealed that 22.7% of chargers in the Greater Bay Area were nonfunctional during the study period. This highlights the pressing need for more reliable charging solutions, especially as states like California set ambitious goals to phase out gas-powered vehicles in the coming years.

Lincoln Electric‘s entry into the EV charging market comes at a critical time, as the company‘s focus on durability and reliability could help address these concerns and bolster consumer confidence in EVs.

Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing and Deployment

Several factors give Lincoln Electric a competitive edge in the EV charging market. First, the company‘s extensive experience in manufacturing high-output DC machinery, such as welders, translates well to the production of DC fast chargers. Second, Lincoln Electric‘s fully domestic manufacturing setup, which includes metal fabrication, plastic manufacturing, and 3D printing capabilities, enables end-to-end in-house production of chargers. This not only streamlines the manufacturing process but also aligns with government funding requirements for domestic production under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Moreover, Lincoln Electric‘s large field service division can likely be leveraged to maintain and service its charger network, ensuring optimal uptime and reliability. The company‘s commitment to producing equipment that is "engineered to be highly durable and reliable across a range of harsh outdoor operating conditions" could be particularly advantageous in regions with challenging weather conditions, such as northern climate zones.

Comparing Lincoln Electric‘s Chargers with Existing Networks

Lincoln Electric‘s planned DC fast chargers will feature a 50 kW architecture that is scalable to 300 kW or more, enabling 30-minute charging for vehicles with compatible CSS-1 connectors. As the company develops higher-output chargers, charging times could be reduced to 10-15 minutes for vehicles with suitable charging architecture.

While proprietary networks like Tesla‘s Supercharger Network and the Rivian Adventure Network currently dominate the fast-charging landscape, Lincoln Electric‘s chargers will provide a much-needed alternative for non-Tesla and non-Rivian EV owners. Additionally, Tesla‘s recent introduction of a $250 "CSS Combo 1" adapter allows some of its newer vehicles to charge at third-party CSS chargers, potentially expanding the utility of Lincoln Electric‘s network for Tesla owners.

Potential Benefits and Challenges

Lincoln Electric‘s entry into the EV charging market could yield significant benefits for both EV owners and the company itself. For EV owners, a more reliable and accessible charging network built on Lincoln Electric‘s reputation for durability and quality could help alleviate range anxiety and improve the overall EV ownership experience. For Lincoln Electric, this initiative represents a strategic diversification of its business, tapping into the growing demand for EV charging infrastructure and potentially opening up new revenue streams.

However, the company may face challenges in establishing a new charging network from the ground up. These challenges could include securing prime locations for charger installations, navigating local permitting and regulations, and competing with established players in the market. Additionally, while Lincoln Electric‘s expertise in high-output DC machinery is certainly relevant, the company will need to adapt its knowledge and processes to the specific requirements of EV charging equipment.

Alignment with Government Funding and Domestic Manufacturing Goals

Lincoln Electric‘s DC fast charge electric vehicle charger initiative is well-aligned with the goals of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which earmarks $7.5 billion in funding for the development of a national EV charging network. The company‘s commitment to domestic manufacturing and its ability to produce chargers that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions make it an attractive candidate for government support.

As the United States works to build out its EV charging infrastructure, companies like Lincoln Electric that can combine technical expertise, domestic production capabilities, and a focus on reliability and durability will play a crucial role in shaping the future of transportation.

The Road Ahead

With its first chargers expected to be manufactured in 2023, Lincoln Electric is setting the stage for a significant impact on the EV charging landscape. As the company refines its designs and scales up production, it has the potential to become a major player in the industry, leveraging its competitive advantages to deliver high-quality, reliable charging solutions.

As the EV market continues to evolve and grow, initiatives like Lincoln Electric‘s DC fast charge electric vehicle charger project will be essential in driving the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future. By addressing the critical need for reliable and accessible charging infrastructure, companies like Lincoln Electric are helping to pave the way for widespread EV adoption and a greener tomorrow.