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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Sprout at Plug-in 2010

Blink
Blink residential unit. Source: Ecotality. Click to enlarge.

With the market increasingly focusing on infrastructure to support the anticipated surge of plug-in vehicles produced and planned, electric vehicle supply equipment (charging stations)—including a new inductive charging system—appeared prominently on the exhibit floor at the Plug-in 2010 conference and exhibition this week in San Jose, CA, along with associated announcements. Among those exhibiting were:

Aerovironment. Earlier this year, Nissan Nissan North America (NNA) selected AeroVironment to supply electric vehicle home-charging stations and installation services supporting the introduction of the LEAF.

Avinc
Aerovironment’s home charging dock. Click to enlarge.

In June, Plug In Carolina selected AeroVironment to supply, install and support a network of public electric vehicle stations in seven South Carolina cities. The charging network is expected to be operational by 1 December 2010 to support the variety of new EVs entering the roadways.

The company offers a broad range of Level 1, 2 and 3 charging solutions.

Better Place. Better Place, perhaps better known for its battery swap model, had on display its Level 2 charging stations (charge spots).

Coulomb. Coulomb Technologies will expand the ChargePoint Network through partnership agreements with Leviton, Siemens and Aker Wade. Each of the Coulomb partners will market and distribute their own brand of home and/or public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) built specifically for the ChargePoint Network.

The ChargePoint Network is founded on an open interface, standards-based architecture providing station owners with a complete set of business applications, and providing drivers with EV charging apps.

Coulomb’s industry partners products include:

  • Leviton: Level I and II residential and public charging stations for the US and Canada EV market.
  • Siemens: Level I and II residential and public charging stations in the US, Canada and Europe.
  • Aker Wade: Level III networked fast charging stations for electric vehicles worldwide.
Eatonl3
Eaton’s quick charger. Click to enlarge.

Eaton. Eaton Corporation displayed its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and Eaton-branded Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle (iMiEV) car.

Eaton is introducing a full family of products for each of the three product market segments: Level 1 (120Vac), Level 2 (240Vac) and DC Quick Charge (480V).

Eaton’s quick charger can recharge the iMiEV to 80% of battery capacity in 25 minutes. Eaton will also provide service to these stations through its national network of satellite manufacturing facilities and engineering service organization.

Ecotality. ECOtality unveiled its flagship electric vehicle charging stations: Blink. The J1772-compliant Blink Level 2 charging stations will be available in two models: one, an in-home residential wall-mount unit and the second, a commercial stand-alone charger.

The unit boasts a bright, interactive, networked touch screen that will allow EV drivers to choose the most convenient time to charge and to program the device to charge when rates are lowest, saving consumers time and money.

ECOtality worked with global innovation firm frog design on the Blink family. Roush Manufacturing will manufacture the Blink home and commercial electric vehicle chargers.

Evatran Plugless Power. Evatran, a subsidiary of MTC Transformers, has developed a Level 2 (7.7 kW, 240V at 32A) inductive charging system that it plans to roll out on a commercial scale in 2011. The company recently received a $1.25-million grant from the Wythe County (Virginia) Joint Industrial Development Authority to conduct more research and testing on the system. Plug-ins such as the Volt and LEAF will be able to use the Evatran system with an adapter.

Equipped parking spaces include a Plugless Power parking block and a control console that interacts with and informs the user of the charging status. The parking block is installed on the ground at the front of the parking spot and self-aligns with the vehicle adapter. The control console can be purchased as a standalone tower or as a wall-mountable unit, and with backup J1772 plugs. Future control console models can include networking options and fee-based units.

The company says that it is in discussion with a number of vehicle OEMs.

Ingeteam. Spain-based Ingeteam develops devices for electrical quantity measurement and equipment for process automation and control of electrical machines. It manufactured its first EVSE systems earlier this year.

Leviton. Leviton Mfg. Co. Inc., the largest privately held global provider of electrical wiring devices, data connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems, has developed the evr-green Home Charging Station line.

Liberty PlugIns. Liberty PlugIns is providing Level 1, 2 and 3 charging stations integrated with metered parking. Liberty partners with various digital pay station manufacturers and gated parking system providers.

“Synchronous Codes” is Liberty PlugIns’ patent pending technology that allows parking pay stations to generate the authorization codes used to operate our EV charging stations. Each code is unique to that specific transaction and cannot be reused, protecting the lot owner and the consumer from potential fraud.

In a typical application, the customer pays for both parking and EV charging at the pay station, which then generates an authorization code that is printed on the customer’s receipt. The customer returns to his vehicle, enters the authorization code into the charger and plugs the charging connector into his vehicle’s power receptacle. If the cord is disconnected during the charging process the flow of electricity is interrupted until the cord is re-inserted and the code re-entered. The process is complete when either the car reaches maximum charge or the charge time has elapsed.

Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric’s EV charging solutions will include Square D smart charging stations and smart grid technology.

  • In residential settings, consumers will have access to Level I and II Square D charging stations. These stations, which meet all NEMA requirements, can be mounted to a garage wall or installed as an outdoor pedestal mount. Intelligent communication and smart grid integration capabilities will be offered in advanced versions.
  • In commercial settings, the Level II Square D charging stations will provide public and private-access charging. Schneider Electric will also offer a modular Level II charging solution for fleets—including federal government and private fleet locations that require multiple charging points and fleet management.
  • Level III Square D fast-charging stations will be introduced for customers needing a quick charge.

Schneider Electric will offer Infrastructure Management Solutions that provide advanced communication, connectivity and efficiency for their EV charging stations. Options will include monitoring, reporting and smart-grid capabilities, such as energy management, revenue management, energy usage reports, advanced alert notification and more.

Schneider Electric, through its own Services organization as well as its established channel partners and electrical contractors, will offer installation and maintenance services to help ensure reliable servicing of the charging stations and a positive customer experience.

Schneider Electric currently has pilots and partnerships underway in North America and Europe. Schneider Electric recently signed an agreement with urban mobility specialist Parkeon in June 2010 to provide local authority clients with a unique solution to manage urban parking facilities integrated with an electrical vehicle charging infrastructure.

Additionally, in April 2010, Schneider Electric announced that it will provide electric vehicle chargers for the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) trial in Strasbourg, France being conducted by EDF and Toyota. Schneider Electric’s 135 chargers are being installed in the partner company’s parking lots and at the homes of participating Strasbourg residents.

Square D by Schneider Electric charging stations and services will be available in the coming months in North America.

Comments

HarveyD

Level I and II charging stations will certainly be mass produced in many countries. The lowest cost more competitive units may very well come from China and India in the very near future. Expect price to be way down by 2010.

SJC

"inductive charging system"

I was told that this could not be done, good thing no one told them that.

Engineer-Poet

It was done ages ago, for the GM EV1. It's just expensive for the extra hardware, lossy and not reversible for V2G.

sheckyvegas

Too many cooks in the kitchen on this one. We need to start setting out standardization, like with the J1772 connector, before this gets out of hand.
Coloumb and Ecotality are leading the way here and we should follow that model. Otherwise, EV drivers will have to start purchasing adapters for potential charger mismatches down the line. That just creates another set of headaches.
Let Better Place keep the swapping concept, but straight charging connections need to be standardized, or that's going to set the whole ballgame back.

skierpage

A MyNissanLeaf forum member posted that the Leviton and Schneider Electric will be less than $800! That's a great price drop from $2200 for an AeroVironment, though that includes installation. The big breakthrough of Leviton's evr-green is they read the National Electrical Code section 625 and unlike everyone else interpreted it that they can offer level 2 charging stations that plug in to a standard NEMA 6-20, 6-30, or 6-50 240V receptacle. Everyone else believes you have to have an electrician install a hard-wired circuit.

@sheckyvegas, the standardization for EV cars and plugs in the USA and Japan is finished: 240V Level 2 is SAE J1772, fast DC Level 3 is CHAdeMO. All the fancy smart grid networking stuff in Coulomb's charging station seems irrelevant for recharging at home until you actually get rewarded for dynamically adjusting your charging... wake me up when slow-moving utilities ever get around to that. And besides, the right place for smarter charging isn't in the charging station hardware, it's in the browser/smartphone app that talks to your car and can alert you to the utility's "Delay charging until 3am and get a cheaper rate" promotions, again when and if utilities ever get around to it.

Coulomb is promoting their network to users as a standard for locating an available PUBLIC charging station then paying for the juice. That won't affect your choice of EV or home charging station; it will affect which public charging scheme you sign up for, similar to how you decide which credit cards to apply for.

Engineer-Poet

People already get rewarded for dynamically adjusting their air conditioning.  I'm one of them; my utility can shut my A/C down 20 minutes out of each hour to manage peak demand, and I get a discount on that power.  Just put the charger on the A/C controller and you're done.

SJC

"DC Quick Charge"

This seems like the way to go for parking garages and malls. If you are at work, you have 8 hours to charge. When you are at business meetings or shopping you might like it to charge more quickly.

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