Reusing EV Batteries for Energy Storage

Sumitomo Corporation has developed and installed what the company says is the world’s first large-scale power storage system which utilizes used batteries collected from electric vehicles (EVs). This commercial scale storage system, built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, will begin operating this month.

4R Energy Used EV Battery Storage projectOver the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby “Hikari-no-mori,” solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future. This project has been selected as a model project for “Verification of the battery storage control to promote renewable energy” for the fiscal year 2013 by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

Battery Business Development Department General Manager, Norihiko Nonaka said, “We are pleased to be a part of such an important verification project that can both utilize used EV batteries, and provide a large-scale power storage facility, which are important issues that need to be addressed for the future of renewable energy.”

Sumitomo Corporation created the joint venture company, “4R Energy Corporation,” in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in September 2010, to address the secondary use of EV lithium-ion batteries. The used EV batteries that will be recycled into this large-scale storage system have been recovered and have gone through thorough inspection and maintenance at 4R, to confirm safety and performance. This prototype system (600kW/400kWh) consists of sixteen used EV batteries. The company is also working on developing new applications for used EV batteries.

Greenercars.org Releases Environmental Ratings

Greenercars.org has released its 17th annual 2014 Environmental Scores with the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive topping the list with the hightest-ever score of 59 out of 100. The vehicle will be rolled out nationally this year. The GreenerCars initiative is part of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

2011_smart_fortwo-electric-drive-cabriolet_Softtop_RoadsterThe next two “greenest” cars were the Toyota Prius C and the Nissan Leaf. Toyota’s entire family of Priuses performed exceedingly well, with the regular Prius and the Prius plug-in hybrid nabbing spots #4 and #7. Other top scorers for 2014 include the Honda Civic Hybrid (#5), Lexus CT 200H (#6), Honda Insight (#10), and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (#12). Making its return to the “Greenest” list after an absence last year is the Honda Civic Natural Gas vehicle (#9).

“We’ve had such an influx of hybrid and electric vehicles in recent years that the race to earn a spot on the “Greenest” list is more competitive than ever, particularly for conventional vehicles. It’s encouraging to see automakers investing heavily in eco-savvy vehicles on the whole,” said ACEEE lead vehicle analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

New to the list this year is the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi’s new subcompact offering for the American market. The gasoline vehicle takes the 8th spot on the list. The only other non-hybrid gasoline model to make the list this year is the Smart ForTwo which placed at #11.

“From the rise in the number of efficient vehicles in car-sharing and car rental fleets to the myriad advanced technology vehicle choices available to consumers, the leading edge of the U.S. auto market is evolving rapidly,” said Steve Nadel, ACEEE’s Executive Director.

In addition to the “greenest” cars, the list also includes “greener choices” and the “meanest” cars as well. The dirtiest vehicle for 2014 is the Class 2B Ram 2500 followed by the Bugatti Veyron and the Ford E-150 FFV Wagon.

C-Max Solar Energi Taps Sun for Power

Ford Motor Company has announced its new C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, what they call a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best of what a plug-in hybrid offers, without depending on the electric grid for fuel.

Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.

Ford C-MAX Solar Energi ConceptThe result is a concept car that takes in essence a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which draws its power from the electric grid. Today, Ford C-MAX Energi is getting an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe (miles per gallon electric) city and 92 MPGe highway, for a combined 100 MPGe.

“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.”

SunPower is providing solar cells for the roof of the concept car. Ford also partnered with Georgia Tech Institute of Technology to develop a way to amplify the sunlight in order to make a solar-powered hybrid feasible for daily use.

The collaborative research teams developed an off-vehicle solar concentrator that uses a special Fresnel lens to direct sunlight to the solar cells while boosting the impact of the sunlight by a factor of eight. Fresnel is a compact lens originally developed for use in lighthouses. Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing enough power from the sun through the concentrator each day to equal a four-hour battery charge (8 kilowatts).

With a full charge, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to have the same total range as a conventional C-MAX Energi of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles. Additionally, the vehicle still has a charge port, and can be charged by connecting to a charging station via cord and plug so that drivers retain the option to power up via the grid, if desired.

After C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is shown at the 2014 International CES, Ford and Georgia Tech will begin testing the vehicle in numerous real-world scenarios. The outcome of those tests will help to determine if the concept is feasible as a production car.

Consumer Attitude About Renewable Energy Rebounds

According to a new consumer survey from Navigant Research, favorable attitudes toward a number of clean and renewable energy concepts, particularly solar energy, wind energy, hybrid vehicles and electric cars, have rebounded significantly from their 2012 levels.

The survey finds the average favorability rating for 10 concepts, which fall under the Solar and wind togethercategories of clean energy, clean transportation, smart grid, and building efficiency, also rose, to 51 percent, the highest level seen in Navigant Research’s annual survey since 2010.

“Between 2009 and 2012, there were steady declines in favorability for some clean energy concepts, particularly the most favorable concepts, such as solar energy, wind energy, and hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Clint Wheelock, managing director with Navigant Research. “This year saw statistically significant increases in favorability for seven of the 10 concepts, and a decline for only one – nuclear power.”

The white paper, “Energy and Environment Consumer Survey,” analyzes the survey responses as a basis for comparing consumer views of 10 energy and environment topics to one another. In addition to favorable and unfavorable opinions, the number of respondents unfamiliar with a concept is also considered in order to compare the level of consumer awareness within each topic.

The survey of 1,084 U.S. adults was conducted in the fall of 2013, and asked respondents to provide their level of favorability for the following key concepts: solar energy; wind energy; nuclear power; hybrid vehicles; electric cars; natural gas vehicles; biofuels; smart grid; smart meters and LEED certification.

According the Navigant Research, the similarly high levels of favorable views toward solar and wind energy indicate that consumers are generally supportive of the more established renewable energies that harness naturally occurring power sources. Since these two concepts have retained their most favored status year after year, Navigant Research asserts that consumers consider these renewable energies to be important pieces in the power generation portfolio of the future.

More Households Could Use EVs

Todays EVs surveyAccording to a national survey released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union, four out of 10 households could use an electric vehicle (EV) with little or no change to their driving habits and vehicle needs,

While less than 1 percent of the country are driving electric vehicles (EVs) today, the survey found that 42 percent of respondents with cars, equivalent to 45 million households when applied nationally, meet the basic criteria for using plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt. More than half of those households are also able to use a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), such as the Nissan LEAF.

“Consumers who might be shopping for a new vehicle this holiday season may be surprised to learn that an electric vehicle could be a good fit for their household,” said Josh Goldman, policy analyst for the UCS Clean Vehicles Program. “Drivers may have preconceptions about whether electric vehicles can meet their driving needs and habits, and this survey shows that for many, they can.”

IKEA Plugs In 3 Blink EV Charging Stations

IKEA has plugged-in three Blink® electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Dallas-area store as part of its partnership with Car Charging Group, Inc., the new owner of the Blink Network and Blink charging stations, and the largest provider of EV charging services with more than 13,430 charging points in 35 states and three countries. To charge an EV at IKEA Frisco, drivers pull into a EV_charging_stations_at_IKEA_Frisco_TX_Dallas_USA_designated parking spot, tap their Blink InCard (RFID card) to the reader below the screen, plug the charger into the EV, and then shop and eat at their leisure in the IKEA store while the vehicle is charging.

The new EV charging stations represents the 10th such project for IKEA in the U.S., with installation underway at seven other locations. In total, completion of the units currently planned will bring the total number of Blink charging stations available at IKEA locations to 55. Drivers may call Blink Customer Support (888-998-2546) to be provided with a guest code for the charging session and/or become a Blink member, which provides discounted rates at Blink stations. Information about Blink membership is also available at .

“We are thrilled at how these electric vehicle charging stations further the sustainability of IKEA Frisco, and now are available to the public,” said Robby Wierman, store manager. “We appreciate the support of CarCharging and Oncor – our partners in helping facilitate and promote the use of EVs in North Texas.”

What Will We Drive in 2023?

According to a new study, “Tomorrow’s Vehicles: What Will We Drive in 2023?” released by the Fuels Institute, the growth of vehicles running on alternative fuels will accelerate over the next decade but diesel-fuel and gasoline-powered vehicles will continue to dominate the market.

Tomorrow's Vehicles What Will We Drive in 2023For light-duty vehicles (passenger vehicles and light trucks), gasoline-powered vehicles will continue to dominate the market, although overall market share could decline from 93 percent in 2012 to as low as 82 percent of vehicle inventories in 2023. Diesel-powered vehicles will potentially comprise nearly 7 percent of the market while flexible-fuel vehicles capable of using E85 could grow to more than 9 percent of the market.

Meanwhile, for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (commercial vehicles like trucks and buses), diesel-powered vehicles will prevail, representing at least 94 percent of the vehicle fleet in 2023.

“On the surface, it may not seem that significant change is occurring, because gasoline and diesel fuel-powered vehicles will continue to dominate the vehicle fleet in 2023, but alternatives are gaining traction,” said John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute. “Consumers appear to be more open to alternatives than ever before and vehicle manufacturers are offering a wider variety.”

Given that there are more than 250 million vehicles on the road today, the report finds it will take years of strong sales of alternative fuel vehicles to reshape the country’s vehicle fleet. In addition, a variety of developments — including cost reductions for alternative-fuel vehicles, conveniently available refueling options, expanded vehicle range and overall consumer familiarity and confidence with new fueling options — will need to occur before alternative-fueled vehicles can capture significant market share.

“We need to ask — and answer — some tough questions so that the vehicles and fueling markets can develop together and convert consumers to new type of vehicles,” said Eichberger.

The report forecast the makeup of the vehicle fleet in 2023 based on two scenarios: a “base case” that incorporates current forecasts and an “aggressive case” that assumes more robust world economic conditions that further spurs demand and prices for petroleum products. In both projections, gasoline-powered vehicles will continue to dominate the LDV market but lose significant market share, dropping from 93.2 percent of LDVs on the road in 2012 to between 82.6 percent to 86.0 percent in 2023. This decline in market share is driven by a shift in the sale of new vehicles, with gasoline-powered vehicles’ share of sales falling from 83.4 percent in 2012 to between 67.6 percent to 78.9 percent in 2023, a potentially dramatic change in consumer purchasing behavior. Continue reading

Pressure Cooking to Improve Electric Car Batteries

David Kisailus and Jianxin ZhuResearchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have redesigned the component materials of the battery found in electric vehicles in an environmentally friendly way. The goal was to solve several problems with the technology including they take a long time to charge; the charge doesn’t hold long enough to drive long distances; they don’t allow drivers to quickly accelerate; and they are big and bulky.

By creating nanoparticles with a controlled shape, the research team believes smaller, more powerful and energy efficient batteries can be built. By modifying the size and shape of battery components, they aim to reduce charge times as well.

“This is a critical, fundamental step in improving the efficiency of these batteries,” said David Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering and lead researcher on the project. In addition to electric cars, the redesigned batteries could be used for municipal energy storage, including energy generated by the sun and wind.

The initial findings are outlined in a recently published paper called “Solvothermal Synthesis, Development and Performance of LiFePO4 Nanostructures” in the journal Crystal Growth & Design. Kisailus, who is also the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation, and Jianxin Zhu, a Ph.D. student working with Kisailus, were the lead authors of the paper.

The researchers in Kisailus’ Biomimetics and Nanostructured Materials Lab set out to improve the efficiency of Lithium-ion batteries by targeting one of the material components of the battery, the cathode. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), one type of cathode, has been used in electric vehicles because of its low cost, low toxicity and thermal and chemical stability. However, its commercial potential is limited because it has poor electronic conductivity and lithium ions are not very mobile within it. Continue reading

Cadillac ELR Leaves Detroit Smart Grid Ready

PrintThe LA Auto Show is taking place this week and the new Cadillac ELR will have some unique new features. The vehicle will leave Detroit, Michigan smart grid ready by using the extended range electric vehicle (EV) technology. Combined with OnStar’s could-based connection, the ELR will be able to communicate with the electric grid and potentially save energy.

ELR owners will have access to the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App, which in addition to allowing drivers to check their vehicle’s operating systems and send remote commands, gives them access to EV specific functions. The EV-tailored app shows owners their vehicle’s current state of charge, electric range, electric miles driven and eMPG, or equivalency of electric miles per gallon.

The RemoteLink Mobile App also will allow ELR owners to control and schedule vehicle charging, including an option to charge during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest. In addition to the RemoteLink app available today, OnStar is an enabler for solutions that may benefit drivers in the future.

“While RemoteLink is really our first Smart Grid service to be available for consumers, the same connection we use to enable the app’s EV functions can be used to open the door for more energy cost and load control benefits,” said Russ Eling, manager, Smart Grid and EV Services, General Motors.

OnStar has four unique Smart Grid APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, that utilities and third-party companies can work with to develop real-world solutions for the 2014-Cadillac-ELR-018-mediumELR including demand response, time-of-Use rates, charging data, and aggregated services.

An example of an aggregated service solution would be charging with renewable energy. A regional transmission organization would send OnStar a signal letting it know that renewable energy is available on the electric grid. OnStar then uses this signal to manage the charging of one or multiple EVs in order to utilize the available renewable energy.

OnStar recently partnered with TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. using Demand Response to aid with TimberRock’s ability to store and charge with solar energy.

Report: EV Charging Won’t Overload Grid

According to a recent PSR Analytics report that measured Summer 2013 vehicle charging in the nation’s highest residential concentration of electric cars, electric vehicle (EV) owners are charging their cars much less during hot summer afternoons than most behavioral models predict. The analysis, conduced by Pecan Street Research Institute, found that not only is charging behavior is much more diverse than has been predicted, but represents a much more manageable energy load and may be highly elastic to time-of-use pricing and similar tools.

If such findings are confirmed by other research, it could significantly increase utility industry estimates on the number of EVs the electric grid could handle without triggering disruptions or requiring major system upgrades.

PSR-EV-Report-Distribution-Graph-1024x332Pecan Street’s EV research trial in Austin, Texas has what appears to be the highest U.S. concentration of electric vehicles, including over 50 in a single half-square mile neighborhood. The institute’s data-intensive research trials (currently in three states) has produced the world’s largest research database of residential energy use according to the company.

“EVs represent the largest new electric load to appear in homes in a generation,” said the report’s lead author, Pecan Street CEO Brewster McCracken. “We still have a lot of consumer research ahead of us, but these findings suggest that this new load is not only manageable, but movable.”

Summer afternoon charging has emerged as a point of focus for utilities, particularly for those serving large cities where clusters of EVs have started to appear in some neighborhoods. The concern among utilities is that homeowners with EVs will all charge upon arriving home in the afternoon, and that such charging would occur during the peak demand hours on summer afternoons. During those periods, electric grids in many parts of the world are stressed due primarily to air conditioning loads coming on as people arrive home. Continue reading

Consumers Like ‘Green’ Car Options

According to a new survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), consumers like ‘green’ car options as long as green means money. Consumers want to see more alternative-fueled vehicles emerge over the next decade, and are willing to consider purchasing one of these vehicles.

Three in five (62%) consumers want to see more hybrid-electric vehicles over the next decade, two in five (43%) want to see more battery electric vehicles and one in three want to see more fuel cell (34%), natural gas, (31%) or flex fuel vehicles (30%), according to the nationwide survey conducted in partnership with Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC.

Consumers don’t simply want to see more alternative-fueled vehicle options — they are quite willing to consider buying them within the decade. Three in four (74%) would consider buying a hybrid electric, and three in five would consider purchasing a flex fuel (62%), fuel cell (58%) or battery electric vehicle (58%). Half of consumers would consider a natural gas powered vehicle (53%).

A relatively small 38% of all consumers would consider buying a diesel fuel-powered vehicle over the next decade. However, consumer willingness to consider diesel vehicles has significantly increaserapid-charging-station-tennessee-gas-station_100364801_md since May 2013. Only 31 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a vehicle in the next two years said that they would consider a diesel vehicle in May, whereas 50 percent of those consumers today are likely to consider a diesel vehicle.

Interestingly, consumers who say they are open to purchasing these “green” vehicles are heavily motivated by an economic incentive. Two in three consumers say the switch to an alternative fuel would be driven primarily by economic enticements, rather than environmentalism. Economic factors such as increased fuel efficiency or tax breaks are more important than environmental factors for those considering diesel, flex fuel, hybrid electric, propane, fuel cell, natural gas and battery electric vehicles (79%, 75%, 73%, 71%, 68%, 67%, 65%, respectively).

“This consumer survey reinforces what we have long thought: consumers are willing to embrace new fuels and vehicles but it must make sense for them financially,” said NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger. “Consumers are just as wary as fuels retailers about moving toward future fuels if they don’t have financial certainty.”

Next week, the Fuels Institute, of which NACS is a founding organization, will release “Tomorrow’s Vehicles,” a report looking at the vehicle market in 2023. In addition, every month, NACS conducts a nationwide survey to measure consumer perceptions about gas prices and how they relate to broader economic conditions. Earlier this week, NACS released its latest consumer sentiment survey that found that recent gas price decreases have helped lead to an increase in consumer optimism.

Industrial, Commercial, to Dominate EV Market

According to a new report from IDTechEx, over the next decade, the largest global electric vehicle (EV) value sector will be industrial and commercial for land, water and air – accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total hybrid and pure electric vehicle business. “Industrial and Commercial Hybrid & Pure Electric Vehicles 2013-2023: Forecasts, Opportunities, Players,” finds that the EV industry is expected to grow five-fold to over $300 billion in 2024.

The report find that those EVs not bought primarily on up-front price, such as buses and military vehicles and the heavy lifting or pushing vehicles such as forklifts and earthmovers, will continue to dominate. These customers are companies and governments primarily EV Reportconcerned about the total cost of ownership and performance. Less important are private individuals with concerns about up-front price when they buy smaller or lighter duty EV vehicles or electric bikes.

In addition, the EV market will grow with consumers also buying leisure boats, light aircraft with this category to dominate about 35 percent of the EV business to 2024. Military e-vehicles, land, water and airborne will be most of the remaining value market in 2024 and, as with industrial and commercial ones, they are not bought primarily on up-front price.

Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx said, “Manufacturers of industrial and commercial electric vehicles and their parts/services tend to be profitable whereas those making personal electric bikes and cars report most losses and bankruptcies. That said there are far too many manufacturers of light industrial and commercial e-vehicles. Their profitability can be improved even further by mergers and a shakeout of those that are neither niche nor volume players, as happened in the heavy lifting, pulling or pushing industrial and commercial sector with electric forklifts, ten years ago.”

The report shows that within the on-road types, buses are particularly important vehicles primarily due to the massive program of the Chinese government followed by electric vans and delivery trucks, conventional electric cars and special designs used as taxis and converted golf cars converted as people movers in airports, theme parks and hotel grounds. Finally, the report finds that indoor forklifts will continue to be the main subsector of industrial and commercial vehicles but with largest growth from relatively new applications such as agriculture, mining, utility and construction vehicles and outdoor forklifts.

Alt Fuel Finder? Yep, There’s an App for That

appFinding the right place to fill up on alternative fuels might be as close as your iPhone. The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a new, free mobile application for DOE’s Clean Cities program that helps users find a place to top off their tanks, whether it’s electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, e85 Ethanol, propane or hydrogen.

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator App, now available through Apple’s App Store, allows iPhone users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list containing station addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation.

“If you drive an electric vehicle, for example, you can now use your iPhone to easily identify, contact and navigate to the charging station that is most convenient to you,” NREL Project Manager Trish Cozart said. “Generally, people don’t search for a station while they are sitting at a computer; they need this information while they are out and about, which makes a mobile application the ideal means to deliver it.”

“The number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road has been increasing steadily over the last two decades,” Cozart said. “Drivers and fleets have an unprecedented array of options to cut or eliminate petroleum use, and this new app serves as one more tool to make that easier.”

The app draws information from Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which contains a database of information for more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.

Report: U.S. Military to Rely on Electric Vehicles

According to a new report, “Alternative Drive Vehicles for Military Applications,” the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to increase its purchases of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the next few years. The move is part of the military’s efforts to operate vehicles that do not run on fossil fuels. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the DOD will acquire more than 92,400 EVs for non-tactical purposes from 2013 to 2020.

AdvancedTransportationTechnologies_Icon“In remote theaters of operations, the cost of moving fuels to forward military locations can be a multiple of the cost of the fuel itself,” said Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “The military’s approach to reducing fossil fuel consumption from non-tactical operations includes acquiring increasing numbers of vehicles powered by ethanol blend and biodiesel blend fuels; but the majority of the investment will go toward HEVs and PEVs.”

The report highlights one particular area of focus for the military market, and that is the development of microgrids in tandem with vehicle-to-grid (V2G)-enabled PEVs. Microgrids can enable bases in both tactical and non-tactical operations to utilize energy generation sources more efficiently and to operate independently of conditions on the grid. V2G-enabled PEVs used solely in non-tactical applications provide an additional layer of energy support and storage that can assist islanding microgrids and balance distributed energy generation resources by providing power from the vehicles’ battery packs to buildings.

The report examines the market for alternative drive vehicles for both tactical and non-tactical military fleets. Market drivers and barriers are analyzed in detail, and key industry players are profiled. Market forecasts for vehicles and fuel consumption, along with fuel cost savings, extend through 2020.

Greenlots Selected to Manage EV Charging Network

BC Hydro has selected Greenlots to manage a provincial network of DC Fast Chargers in Canada. The company will use its SKY network management solution and initial rollout Greenloots SKY network managementincludes 13 DC Fast Chargers supplied by ABB and Eaton. By utilizing Greenlots’ SKY platform, BC Hydro says it will be leveraging an open standards platform that ensures best-in-class services for site hosts such as access control and pricing, while enabling multiple payment options for EV drivers, all without requiring a subscription to utilize the charge station.

“The deployment of Canada’s first Fast Charger network is a key enabler for the adoption of electric vehicles in B.C. [British Columbia]. The installation of more charging locations with faster charging rates will allow greater freedom for EV owners and enable inter-urban travel. The network is also running on an open standards platform that ensures flexibility for future growth and for changes in technology,” said Kip Morison, chief technology officer with BC Hydro. “The deployment of this infrastructure brings British Columbia to the forefront of EV adoption in North America.”

The DC Fast Charger Project, announced in January 2013, was funded by the provincial government under the Clean Energy Vehicle Program to provide electric vehicle owners across British Columbia with an accessible network of charging options. To date, 13 B.C. communities have agreed to serve as site hosts and charging station operators for the DC Fast Chargers.

The Clean Energy Vehicle Program includes the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, which supported 452 Level 2 charging station installations in public locations throughout B.C., the CEV for BC Point of Sale Incentive Program which has provided 659 vehicle incentives to date; upgrades to hydrogen fuelling infrastructure; the LiveSmart Residential Charging Station Rebate Program which has supported 190 residential charging stations; and 125 Level 2 charging station installations in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings by March 31, 2014.

BC-Hydro-DC-Fast-ChargerBased on Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), the open communications platform that has become an industry standard in Europe and is gaining significant traction in North America, SKY allows site hosts the flexibility to mix and match hardware and software vendors to suit their specific needs, while providing full access to programs and the ability to monitor charging station activity. The DC Fast Chargers running on SKY allow drivers to charge their cars, free from subscription-based issues, and offer payment options for credit cards via mobile apps, RFID cards, pay-by-phone or card swipe.

“British Columbia experiences the highest discrepancy between gasoline and electricity prices in North America, which provides a favorable environment for high EV adoption rates,” added Brett Hauser, President of Greenlots. “Having seen the inherent risks associated with deploying proprietary communication protocols in other countries, BC Hydro has selected SKY to manage the provincial charge station network because of the robust functionality and open standards architecture. BCH can provide best in class services to site hosts and EV drivers today, while ensuring that the provincial charger network will scale well into the future.”