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DOE seeks to cut cost of Level 2 EV charging equipment in half in 3 years; $12M FOA

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000554) for up to $12 million in cost-shared projects to develop and make available to the market in three years smart-grid capable Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at half of the current costs of commercially available EVSE with comparable functionalities.

The Grid Integration Tech Team (GITT), comprising the domestic automotive industry, electric utilities, and DOE programs and national laboratories, identifies two major task areas that need to be undertaken to achieve its vision of transitioning EVs from early market acceptance to mainstream adoption of millions of vehicles by 2020. These are to: (1) reduce the cost of electric charging infrastructure; and (2) manage EV loads while maintaining or improving power quality, reliability, and affordability. This FOA is intended to address both task areas.

Given that AC Level 2 (L2) EVSE is expected to account for a large majority of residential and commercial EVSE (until standards for DC fast charging for commercial EVSE are established), this FOA addresses development of smart grid-capable L2 EVSE for residential and non-residential applications.

  • L2 Smart Grid-Capable EVSE for Residential Use. DOE says that 80–90% of EV charging will occur in the evening or at night, based on substantial survey and use data. The majority of this charging is expected when owners plug in at homes. The objective of the first Area of Interest is to develop L2 smart grid-capable EVSE for such use.

    Each application should incorporate bi-directional communications between EVSE and energy service providers; revenue-grade metering; advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)/Ethernet/power line communications (PLC)/Wi-Fi/cellular/ZigBee interface capable; interface capable with in-home displays and home energy management systems; utility communication messaging (pricing/demand response/forecasting signals, etc.); and controls (direct load control at fixed percents of EV load reduction, remote disconnect).

    The electrical ratings for L2 EVSE under this Area of Interest should be: 208VAC to 240VAC, 40 Amps AC (maximum).

    This Area of Interest’s target is to reduce the current cost by a minimum of 50% per EVSE under the same manufactured volume without taking into account cost reductions through economies of scale.

  • Level 2 Commercial Grade, Smart Grid-Capable EVSE for Non-Residential Use. Non-residential use includes EVSE installations at commercial and public locations for commercial charging, workplace charging, fleet charging, etc. Commercial grade EVSE refers to its materials, construction, performance, and enclosures that are UL-listed and meet NEMA certifications for outdoor use.

    Features should include bi-directional communications between EVSE and energy service providers; revenue-grade metering; AMI/Ethernet/PLC/Wi-Fi/cellular/ZigBee interface capable; interface capable with local energy management systems and local energy management systems; utility communication messaging (pricing/demand response/forecasting signals, etc.); controls (direct load control at fixed percents of EV load reduction, remote disconnect); and transaction management information (authentication, local vs. remote/central billing, interoperability with billing networks, etc.)

    The electrical ratings for L2 EVSE under this Area of Interest should be: 208VAC to 240VAC, 40 Amps AC (maximum).

    Although this Area of Interest’s target is to reduce the current cost by a minimum of 50% per EVSE under the same manufactured volume without taking into account cost reductions through economies of scale, applications must also include cost analysis to project what further cost reductions could be achieved through economies of scale (from the current volume to 1,000,000 units, with cost projections for two additional interval volumes in between).

The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is focused on the development of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that are capable of implementing smart charging of electric vehicles (EVs), referred to as smart grid-capable EVSE. A goal of the OE Smart Grid R&D Program is to develop and implement smart grid to support transportation electrification. A near-term objective of the program is to reduce electric charging infrastructure cost.

Comments

HarveyD

Somebody in Asia and/or in EU will mass produce adequate Level II charge stations with time and meter for even less without subsidies before 2015.

SJC

240VAC, 40 Amps AC (maximum)

I can charge for 30 minutes to get 4kWh and then drive 15 miles in the city for another 30 minutes.

Roy_H

This should be a piece of cake. The existing prices are sky high only because of no competition and low volumes. Price will come down 50% in 2 years or less without any subsidies at all.

Most of the interface capability described does not involve much with the charger, but is concerned with communicating with the car. This is a reasonable path for car communications to internet etc, but all it has to add is its voltage and current capability.

HarveyD

Charger/Vehicle communication is not much of a challenge. A miniaturized, mass produced, multi-purpose, com-unit should not weight more than a few ounces and cost very little by 2015/2016.

Future multi-purpose com-Nav-units will replace many existing mobile and fixed com-units found in/with todays cars/drivers. Those little black boxes could by mass produced by third parties at very low cost. Electrified vehicles will have a personality and individual identification (IP) much like todays PCs, tablets and cell phones.

SJC

Blue tooth has a range of 30 feet and costs next to nothing to add to the car computer negotiating a charge.

Reel$$

Actually, because there is a huge surplus of energy overnight in the US, people will elect to use plain old L2 chargers that do no more than connect us to the 220V feed. No talkback, no wifi, no AMI or remote, no fancy digital anything is needed. It's called KISS engineering. Emphasis on Simple.

Less is more. Small is beautiful. etc.

Reel$$

With the lower PV prices we will see more stand alone PV parking shelters in the sunbelt. These produce energy free from the sun. No central, digital, remote, coms anything. Entirely off-grid. Charge for free.

This is happening right now. It cannot be stopped.

ToppaTom

My (free with survice contract) cell phone can manage to monmotor and charge its battery quite efficiently.
A somewhat more sophisticated system for EVs, for less than $1500 should be a slam dunk ($10 x 10 for complexity x 15 for DOE envolvement = $1500).

Is the DOE bored? Do they DOE have nothing to do?

SJC

I like simple, but the computer you are on is not simple but they work well for a long time. If I pull into my garage with an induction charger I would expect my charger to communicate with my car and me. If I plan to stay at home the rest of the night, the charger can learn the state of charge and work off peak so that I have a full charge in the morning at the least cost.

Reel$$

Yes. It's simple: charge after 11PM or when local rates drop. Local communication is easy. It's adding all the "smart" crap that over-engineers the issue. Phones, iPods, iPads, notebook computers all charge themselves without having to talk to the utility.

Utilities need to "man up" and plan to meet demands 24/7 without a lot of "smarts". That's their job. If they can't do it - someone else will.

Herm

EVSE are so overpriced now, basically fancy extension cords with safety features plus a relay.

One item that could be popular is commercial grade 120VAC 12A socket that has built-in communications features.. easy to retrofit to all parking spaces and low cost.. you plug-in, it bills your account and enables the power to flow.. all electric cars come with a 120V EVSE standard. They will boost your range 40 miles when you plug them in for 8 hours. That magical 40 miles number comes up again.

ToppaTom

Even WITH all the "smart" crap, they would be no more costly than a Droid phone or iphone, plus the latest 220v to DC converter technology.

Somebody in Asia and/or in EU or even the USA, will mass produce adequate Level II charge stations with time and meter and even bells and whistles, for even less without subsidies before 2015.

Free enterprise.

SJC

That is assuming that there is capital available to free up the enterprise.

Reel$$

You guys aren`t still buying the USA is broke BS are you...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20067801-71.html

Grid charging without `smart` crap will be the desired connection. If it`s public charging - just swipe your card and pay for whatever kW hours and minutes are used.

HarveyD

Our good old inefficient ICE vehicles will go through a complete remodeling in the next 20 years or even before.

Of course, many will be partly and/or fully electrified.

Many will weight less than one tonne.

The majority will have cordless smart charging system...

Many will have driver's assistance units built in or as an option to compensate for drivers weakness, clumsiness, etc.

Of course, most future electrified vehicles will have smart computerized on board unit (s) to do many chores without driver's interference.

Nobody can stop those coming changes. Even deniers will have to learn to live with it.

Reel$$

Well, if equipment is offered as an option, we can easily choose not to use it. Options are good. Choice is good. Everyone should have the right to choose.

HarveyD

As long as they are not very noisy motor bikes or cars.

SJC

No need to swipe a card, the transaction is done over wireless link between car and charging station in a pay point model.

I do not want to see a lot of public money put into expensive chargers that will not be used. That would be yet another monument to our stupidity. Let the market numbers show what is needed, it does not take long to install these.

Herm

You guys know LV 2 EV charging equipment is not a charger right?.. these devices just provide AC power to the car in a safe manner, the actual AC-DC charger is internal to the car.

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