[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos
April 24, 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.
AeroVironment licenses PNNL EV smart charger controller technology
March 06, 2013
|The PNNL technology tells a vehicle’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. Source: PNNL. Click to enlarge.|
AeroVironment, Inc. has licensed smart charging controller technology developed at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for incorporation into its charging station equipment. (Earlier post.) The commercial license agreement is between AeroVironment and Battelle, which operates PNNL.
The Grid Friendly EV Charger Controller technology notifies the car’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. By charging plug-ins when electricity is most readily available, the technology could translate into lower bills for vehicle owners and a more stable grid. AeroVironment will use a portion of the licensed technology in a new prototype version of its Level II charging systems.
Transit operator launching test of wireless charging of electric buses in Mannheim, Germany
March 02, 2013
|Powertrain components of the PRIMOVE bus. Click to enlarge.|
German regional transit operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is introducing a pair of electric buses with Bombardier PRIMOVE wireless charging technology (earlier post) in a research project serving the city of Mannheim, Germany.
During the “PRIMOVE Mannheim” research project, the electric buses will recharge wirelessly while passengers get on and off the vehicles at bus stops along the inner city route 63. Both e-buses, built by the Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie HESS AG, are also equipped with the new Bombardier MITRAC e-bus powertrain for city buses. In addition, an electric van equipped with wireless PRIMOVE technology will be tested as a RNV service vehicle.
Battelle introduces Grid Command Distribution services and software for rapid modeling of smart grid distribution circuits
February 26, 2013
|Screen shot of a Grid Command Distribution “heatmap” analysis for a neighborhood. Source: Battelle and AEP (data). Click to enlarge.|
Battelle recently unveiled its new Grid Command Distribution services and software for utilities. The software is a front-end for the open-source GridLAB-D, a distribution system simulation and analysis tool developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy (DOE) lab managed by Battelle. Battelle staff developed the new Grid Command Distribution software internally as part of its work over the past two years as part of an ongoing smart grid demonstration project in Ohio: AEP Ohio’s gridSMART program, sponsored by the DOE.
The new offering greatly shortens the time—from 4-5 days to less than a minute in some cases, according to Battelle—required to build extremely detailed planning models for the analysis of distribution circuits on a smart grid that encompass a plethora of devices, technologies and operating policies such as energy storage systems, line configurations, transformers, demand response tariffs, Volt-VAR optimization (VVO), plug-in vehicle charging, water heater loads, and so on. (VVO seeks to optimize voltage at all points along the distribution feeder under all loading conditions, thereby increasing grid efficiency.)
€4.6M eNterop project for PEV-charging point interoperability kicks off
January 28, 2013
The eNterop project, the goal of which is to to ensure the smooth interoperation of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) and charging points from different manufacturers, recently had its kick-off meeting in Berlin. Funding for the €4.6-million (US$6.2-million) project is split 50/50 between the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and industry parters: Continental, Fraunhofer, TU Dortmund, BMW, VW, Daimler, RWE, and Siemens.
The International standard ISO/IEC 15118 defining communication between vehicle and charging stations was recently established to guarantee this interoperability between vehicle and charging point. For manufacturers of control equipment and charging points, however, the implementation of the standard involves elaborate testing with a wide range of different product types and in all kinds of different use cases.
Pike Research forecasts smart city technology market to grow to $20.2B annually in 2020; smart transportation component to be worth $5.5B by 2020
January 22, 2013
In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that the smart city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion annually in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020—a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%. Globally, Pike anticipates cumulative investment of more than $117 billion in smart city technologies between 2012 and 2020.
Pike Research analyzes the market in terms of the five “industries” that are core to the development of smart cities: smart energy; smart water; smart transportation; smart buildings; and smart government. The fastest-growing of these industries will be smart transportation, with a CAGR of 19.5% between 2012 and 2020. By 2020, the smart transportation market related to smart cities will be worth $5.5 billion annually.
Volkswagen Group talks EV charging standards, electrification strategy
January 21, 2013
|One of approximately twenty VW Golf blue e-motion prototypes under test in the United States, with Eaton’s 50kW DC Quick Charger, at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory, near San Francisco. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this month, Volkswagen and Eaton executives met with a small group of journalists at the VW Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California, to discuss VW’s partnership with Eaton on AC and DC charging, followed by a broader conversation about VW’s plans for vehicle electrification over the next several years. Topics included the upcoming introduction of the blue e-motion Golf electric vehicle, sometimes called the e-Golf, near the end of 2013 (early 2014 for the US market), as well as Volkswagen’s goal of achieving 3% of its global sales through plug-in vehicles by 2018.
That goal is part of VW’s overarching Strategie 18, in which the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer hopes to trump Toyota in global sales by the same year. Volkswagen sold 9.07 million vehicles in 2012 to Toyota’s 9.7 million; assuming 10 million vehicles sold per year in 2018, VW would need to move 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year to meet their mark.
California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV charging and V2G services are components
January 10, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the university’s microgrid. The Commission also approved funding of $220,554 to expand the campus’ burgeoning charging network for plug-in electric vehicles, through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
December 06, 2012
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). (Earlier post.)
Two new PEV-specific apps from OnStar targeted at range anxiety and public charging cost
November 17, 2012
|The new EV Waypoint application will plot a waypoint route with recommended charging stations is the route is beyond the range of a single charge. Source: OnStar. Click to enlarge.|
At the GM Electrification Experience—at which GM previewed the Spark EV (earlier post)—OnStar previewed two new apps for drivers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs): one slated for release to address the possible range anxiety of electric vehicles (Spark EV Waypoint), the other, a concept to address the cost of public charging (Park-Tap-Charge) that leverages Near Field Communication (NFC).
Since the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle launched in late 2010, drivers have been able to manage vehicle charging, including the option to charge during off-peak hours through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App. As GM expands its electric vehicle line-up next year with the 2014 Chevy Spark EV, more drivers will be able to manage and control electric-only functions from their phone.
New international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards
October 22, 2012
Hubject GmbH, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE and Siemens earlier this year, and eighteen other companies have formed the “eMobility ICT Interoperability Interest Group”—an international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards. These would support, for example, integrated charging infrastructures and the easier provision of supplementary services.
Electric cars will become more integrated into the intelligent traffic infrastructure and energy networks of the future than conventional combustion engines, with modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) forming the backbone for the integration of electric vehicles into these networks, the partners note. The cooperation between as many service providers as possible provides the foundation needed to ensure a standardized data exchange between all players and to reduce barriers for the users.
Study finds households manage charging of PHEVs without help from online tools
October 17, 2012
Households with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and smart meters actively managed how, when and where they charged their cars based on electricity rates but rarely took advantage of online feedback, according to a two-year study by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).
The study, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA with the integral partnership of Xcel Energy, is one of the only of its kind, combining both household and vehicle data in a smart-grid context.
GM and OnStar sign on as official Pecan Street partners; studying EV services and smart grid interaction
July 24, 2012
OnStar and General Motors are partnering in the Pecan Street Inc.’s smart grid research project in Austin’s Mueller community, the Pecan Street Demonstration. Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems.
Chevrolet made 100 Chevrolet Volts available for purchase on a priority basis last September to residents participating the Pecan Street Inc.’s demonstration project, which now has the nation’s highest residential concentration of electric-drive vehicles in place. OnStar and GM are now signing on as an official partner of Pecan Street Inc., to help shape future electric vehicle services.
International Transport Forum brief suggests Smart Grid and EV technologies could be mutually beneficial; V2X potential
July 06, 2012
A new policy brief published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) notes that existing electricity systems will need to be reconfigured to support the widespread adoption of electric mobility and suggests that Smart Grid technologies and EVs and EVs could be mutually beneficial. EVs could both benefit from and help to drive forward investment in Smart Grids.
EVs could grow to account for a substantial share of total electricity consumption and peak load, increasing peak demand by over 20% in some long term scenarios, according to the brief. The greater the increase in consumption, the larger the potential benefits from Smart Grid technologies that improve the ability of the electric utility to follow load, and schedule EV charging outside of peak hours.
Toyota develops vehicle-to-home (V2H) power system; testing begins at the end of year
June 04, 2012
|Energy management with the V2H system. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed a vehicle-to_home (V2H) system for the mutual sharing of power between plug-in vehicles—plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)—and homes. The V2H system is to start testing, using Prius PHVs, at the end of 2012 in approximately ten households as part of the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project (Toyota City Project) that began in April 2010.
The announcement follows on Nissan’s introduction of the LEAF-to-home V2H system, which can supply electricity from Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) to residential homes when used with the “EV Power Station” unit—also a 6 kW charger for charging the LEAF—developed by Nichicon Corporation. (Earlier post.)
Nissan to launch the “LEAF to Home” V2H power supply system with Nichicon “EV Power Station” in June
May 30, 2012
|LEAF to Home with EV Power Station. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will launch the “LEAF to Home” V2H (vehicle-to-home) power supply system, which can supply electricity from the 24 kWh Li-ion battery pack in Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) to residential homes when used with the “EV Power Station” unit—which is also a 6 kW charger for charging the LEAF—developed by Nichicon Corporation.
Nissan will showcase this system at its Japanese dealership showrooms beginning in June to help promote efficient electricity management and demonstrate the features built into electric vehicles. The company plans to sell 10,000 units during the fiscal year.