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Siemens, Duke Energy and Ford demonstrate lower cost home smart charging technology for plug-ins; due on market next year

Siemens Energy Management Division has teamed with Duke Energy and Ford to demonstrate the results of an 18-month effort to reduce the cost and expand electric vehicle charging technologies. Held at the Duke Energy Envision Center in Erlanger, Ky., and utilizing a Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid, Siemens provided the first UL-approved residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to demonstrate the ability to monitor status, report energy use, and be controlled locally from the local area network and from the cloud.

In 2012, Siemens was awarded $1.6 million in development funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support research aimed at significantly reducing the current costs of electrical vehicle (EV) chargers and developing “smart” charging capabilities that support power grid efficiency and consumer demand.

The grant, awarded to Siemens Corporation, Corporate Research and Technology (SCR&T) was supported by nearly $750,000 in matching research funding—an investment shared with Siemens Low Voltage Electronics, the group responsible for Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and a business unit of Siemens Infrastructure and Cities.

During the demonstration, Siemens’ residential EVSE was shown to be accessible by web-connected computers, smart phones and tablets, allowing the EV owner to better monitor the status of the EV charging, schedule future charge events, as well as determine the total kilowatt hours consumed and the cost of charging.

With these technology developments, an EV owner can better understand the exact cost of charging the electric vehicle, schedule the charging process when rates are lowest, and share charging experiences. Utilities can also take advantage of the technology to offer programs that help manage the time and level of EV charging across the grid to increase grid reliability and efficiency while minimizing peak demand.

This demonstration marks a turning point for the EV industry and proves the tangible benefits of bringing advanced EVSE technologies into the home and the power marketplace. Intelligence in EV charging stations means homeowners can reduce the cost of charging up to 60 percent by automatically charging during low energy rate periods, where such programs are available. Utilities can shift loads off critical peak periods to avoid the need for new generation sources.

—Barry Powell, head of Siemens Low Voltage & Products

Also demonstrated was the ability to monitor and control the EVSE from an OpenADR server. OpenADR is an open standard for Automated Demand Response, allowing utilities to manage grid load resources remotely and automatically.

By using OpenADR or by directly accessing the Siemens Cloud, utilities can offer rate programs to EV owners to allow the consumer to charge at attractive rates while simultaneously allowing the utility to manage the loads on the grid. By shifting each EV charging event slightly in time, utilities can potentially reduce the peak demand on the grid, which in turn helps to reduce the total amount of generation needed.

Appliance connection. The Siemens EV charging station presented at the Envision Center also demonstrated a novel, new industry standard interface designed to allow appliances to work with utility demand response programs.

The connection is based on the CEA-2045 modular communications interface standard, introduced in February 2013 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is assessing the CEA-2045 interface to determine its ability to provide smart grid connectivity standard for water heaters, AC units and other large home energy loads. Siemens believes this EV charger is the first EVSE that provides this connectivity.

In addition to the CEA-2045 connector in the EVSE, Siemens also demonstrated a CEA-2045 communication module that provides Wi-Fi communications for any CEA-2045 enabled appliance.

The demonstration was funded as part of a grant received from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), which supports the development of EVSE’s that are capable of implementing smart charging of EVs, referred to as smart grid-capable EVSE. A goal of the OE Smart Grid Research and Development (R&D) Program is to develop and implement smart grid technologies to support transportation electrification.

In March of 2012, the DOE awarded Siemens a grant to develop a low cost Smart Grid Capable EVSE. Duke Energy and Ford joined Siemens as partners to provide utility and automaker expertise and feedback.

The Siemens EV charging station with Wi-Fi connectivity and smart phone application used in this demonstration is expected to be available to the general public in 2015.



Fantastic. Headline trumpets lower cost, story omits that little detail.

I'd rather have fast charging in my Ford Focus Elctric than a supposed lower cost "smart" EVSE designed to deliver a demand response capability to my utility. (They couldn't pay for this themselves?)

The Focus Elctric is already smart enough to automatically start charging off peak while I sleep.

Ford is really missing the boat. Prices on Focus electric have plunged another $4,000 (now $26,000 *before $10k in incentive incentives*) while Volkswagen e-Golf and Kia Soul EV get $100/month premium for providing fast charge.

For a consumer who doesn't need fast charge, it's the deal of the century, not so good for Ford.

If I was a Ford shareholder, I'd be a little concerned about their inability to keep up with the technology consumers actually want.


I'm thinking Duke Energy is desperately looking for some good press.


Please trust our free enterprises to come up with the best solutions as they always did?


This R&D study rightly addresses concerns about 'overwhelming the grid' with fast-charging EVs. Note the vehicle model was plug-in hybrid PHEV with their 'small' battery pack of 5kwh, rather than all-battery BEV whose battery packs are much larger, varying from the 25kwh Nissan Leaf to the 85kwh of a Tesla 'S' sport coupe. Should we design regional utility grids to support 10 Tesla coupes or 170 PHEVs? Sooner or later, rooftop photovoltiac arrays should be incorporated into the charging system design whereby every household gains the means to survive emergency grid failure along with many additional benefits/advantages. We're not going to be driving everywhere like chickens with their heads cut off for many years longer. Buy a plug-in hybrid.


Is this related to the submetering pilot program in California.


@Sirkulat, I wish I could agree with you, but the premise is wrong. This EVSE is a residential solution. No one is fast charging at home. The demo car is a Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid. No one is even charging that car above 3.3kW, let alone fast charging.

The home charging use case is overnight. There is plenty of capacity overnight, no one is seriously worried about "overwhelming the grid" at night. Utility planners I have personally talked to have done sophisticated simulations that show *no grid upgrade required* until 2030.

By then an enormous number of US households will be producing their own power, and not just with solar.


@ECI as you say, this is about charging at night when there usually is lots of excess capacity. All you want is to have your car charged by 7am in the morning and you don't really care when it is charged other than that. (You might like to have 20% as a base level in case of minor emergencies).

IMO, you want to scatter 3kw chargers around corporate car parks as well so people can top up during the day. This is especially useful if you have a PHEV with a low capacity. Also, if you are only trying to add 5kwH over 8.5 hours, you have a lot of flexibility as to when you do it.
If you have a leaf, you could still fully charge it in 8 hours.
In germany, they have a lot of excess power during the middle of the day in summer (from Solar) so encouraging people to charge their cars then would make sense.

@Sirkulat, you only get solar during the day, when most people are at work with their cars. Thus, unless you have a second large battery, you have to use or lose the midday solar power (or sell it back to the grid, which you deplore).


If one were top read the article one would find no mention of Ford participation (they might have supplied the vehicle) or funding,
Nothing to do with Ford at all.

This is about a generic charger grid interface for end user savings and grid support.

Exactly what the doctor ordered.

It can be very easy to post on a blind rant it takes a second longer to review the article so as to comprehend.

The device is exactly core requirement for grid future proofing and providing a non proprietary metering point from which (I presume ) many standards (if we must suffer multiple standards and plugs) can be connected.
That is your car , mine, ford gm any. and those hotrods or 'bitsas' - bits of this and bits of that that I want to see out there.
No capacity limit is suggested - that would depend entirely on the supply capacity.

This is the first, not the last, but it is required in the majority of future installations.

Good work.


So first correction, Ford are a 'partner'.

Second why would one not choose an already programmable device as per Focus offpeak capability as an appropriate mule.
It just sets the bar a bit higher and tests compatability of existing progammed devices to explore potential errors.


Sorry, EcarInsider, but whatever YOUR premise was, it's wrong. How's it feel to have your opinion casually dismissed? Don't worry about how and where the electricity is generated nor how it is used, just plug-in, charge-up and drive everywhere always. Whee! Ooopsy, the electricity stopped. Oh no. Who should you blame?

And look here, Mahonj. MY viewpoint has ALWAYS stipulated the integration of rooftop solar into regional utility grids. The small PHEV battery pack can have its lifespan extended as a stationary system for low power household use. Try that with the much larger Tesla battey pack when it reaches is 100,000 mile lifespan limit. The world has no shortage of smart ass know-it-alls who can't think outside their mental box of assumptions.

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