In the near future, your laptop can manage your entire electric car charging requirements. Cisco, the technology goliath, has made its presence into the market by partnering with ECOtality, a San Francisco based charging company.
The development would be on ECOtality’s Blink electric charger. The partnership would create a linkage between the battery charging times using Cisco’s Home Energy Controller System.
The charger would send a message wirelessly to the car owner’s home computer for data on charging, where the user can set up parameters for the electric car’s charging. This would help in preventing overusing the home’s electric grid during peak hours, often in the mornings and the early afternoons. Many utility companies are advising EV owners to charge their car’s batteries during the evening when energy demand is lower and off peak rates for electricity are in effect.
This would be helpful in neighborhoods that have several residents owning electric vehicles. Electric vehicles use the equivalent of one home’s electricity demand when charging. Thus, charging electric vehicles during peak hours can place overwhelming demand on a community’s electric grid.
“The Blink interface communicates directly with utilities to determine off-peak and low-cost charging times, and allows consumers to maximize energy usage and reduce costs,” said ECOtality chief executive Jonathan Read.
He added that the partnership with Cisco would provide solutions for consumers to utilize renewable energy using efficient technologies supporting smart grid deployment. It is also working with Sprint for the wireless connectivity to its Blink station.
This is only part of ECOtality’s $230 million project for electric vehicles, which would include installation of 15,000 public and private electric car chargers. This program is supported in party by the US Department of Energy.
Other companies have entered into similar partnerships. General Electric had teamed up with Juice Technology on home energy management systems on their car charging stations. Better Place, a battery swapping station has a partnership with the home technology giant, GE. Silver Spring Networks is currently working with ClipperCreek for the same kind of systems. Siemens has Coulomb Technologies on its wing to offer Siemens’ smart grid technology packaged with Coulomb’s charging station package.