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GridPoint Smart Charging Software to Support eTec/Nissan LEAF Deployment

GridPoint, Inc., a provider of smart grid software, will provide its latest generation of electric vehicle management software (earlier post), Smart Charging 3.0, to support the eTEC/Nissan LEAF deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure—the largest yet in the US. (Earlier post.) The company made the announcement at the Plug-In 2009 Conference and Exposition in Long Beach, CA.

GridPoint will provide smart charging and data logging capabilities to utilities in strategic markets of the eTec program in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington that will support the deployment of up to 5,000 Nissan LEAF vehicles and a network of up to 12,750 charging stations.

GridPoint’s charging management software will give utilities the ability to deploy load shifting, load shaping, renewables integration and demand response strategies. Advanced smart charging capabilities, such as synchronization with the availability of renewable energy, may also be explored.

To date, utility-led smart charging trials have been limited by the availability of grid-connected vehicles. The size and scope of this project creates a unique and valuable opportunity to assess and qualify:

  • Effects of a mature plug-in electric vehicle environment, with and without smart charging, on multiple electrical grids;
  • Benefits of smart charging on grid reliability to inform utility, PUC and regulator decision making on vehicle-related rate schedules;
  • Customer satisfaction and perception of various smart charging scenarios; and
  • Incentive programs to ensure maximum participation in smart charging programs.

Smart Charging 3.0. For two years, GridPoint has been building and deploying smart charging software, collecting data from hundreds of converted plug-in vehicles and gathering feedback from utility customers. Smart Charging 3.0 builds on this to deliver:

  • Forecasting and Backcasting: GridPoint has introduced forecasting capabilities for plug-in vehicle load, setting a new standard for smart charging. Based on historic behavior, Smart Charging 3.0 predicts vehicle-related load up to 24 hours in advance. This new functionality allows utilities to better plan for the impact electric transportation load will have on the grid and to proactively initiate smart charging strategies to mitigate and/or leverage that load. Additionally, Smart Charging 3.0 provides a visual display of plug-in charging impacts with and without charging management for the previous 24 hours - allowing utilities to quickly assess the effectiveness of their smart charging strategies.

  • Demand Response Functionality: Smart Charging 3.0 supports external demand response notification via the OpenADR standard, allowing plug-in vehicles and charging stations to stop charging during critical peak events. System users are notified of ongoing demand response events through real-time messaging that appears on GridPoint’s smart charging and data logging portals. Consumer notification via Web portal or handheld device is also enabled.

  • Enhanced Smart Charging Portal Design: Through the addition of intuitive functionality in the Smart Charging Portal, GridPoint has improved the ability to quickly ascertain the impact of vehicle charging load and the success of various smart charging strategies, while also providing a greater ability to drill down and explore charging behavior during a specific time of day. Enhanced functionality includes 24-hour display of historic and predicted load/generation, zoomable charts, mouse-over data detail, and real-time display of aggregated statistics of all vehicles deployed in smart charging programs.

Smart Charging 3.0 also enhances system scalability and reliability via performance optimization and increased redundancy. In response to requests from utilities and research institutions, GridPoint has expanded the software’s data capture to include average power factor, battery pack voltage and other advanced performance information.



I am intrigued by the Nissan Leaf. It seems to have been developed incredibly rapidly, and it has a remarkable range considering the relatively small battery pack. The Chevy Volt has been deemed to be vapor ware for years, since 2007 if memory serves. And yet there are Volt IVers tooling around Michigan now. But my point is that it took GM 2+ years to get the IVers on the road. But Nissan announced the Leaf recently and states that they will sell it in 2010 despite the probability that the battery will only last 5 years. This is just odd, the Leaf is going to have a 25 kWh battery, but is supposed to have a 100 mile range. The Volt will have a 16 kWh battery and will have an AER of 40 miles. This doesn't add up, the Volt is advertising pretty nice efficiency numbers, but the Leaf looks like an aerodynamic brick and is claiming even better efficiency numbers. Nissan has jumped the shark, there is no way the Leaf can do what they claim. And I am not sure that GM has done itself any favors with the 230 MPG claim, even though my own mileage last year would have been more than 400 mpg if I had owned a Volt.


Indeed, GM may not have done itself any favors with the 230 MPG claim, but as you say, many users mileage will be more than 400 mpg.

And this should be as acceptable as the occasional dissatisfaction with the Prius mpg.

Also, the goal is sales, not satisfaction, at least not satisfaction for everyone.

And I believe the 230 MPG number is what the EPA is expected to issue.

If I was GM, I would issue public warnings that owners not fill their tanks in the winter, lest it over flow come summer.


Of course if a residence was equipped with minimally a 5kW CHP Residential Power Unit - they could charge their EV off-grid. Consider how friendly this would be - diverting coal fired grid demand to cleaner, abundant NG in near term and biomass syngas longer term. THAT'S a smart grid.

Energy conservation begins with off-loading residential electric demand to RPUs, less suburban sprawl, mass transit and a broad portfolio of energy resources. Progress is well under way.

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