‘Collaborative’ smart EV charging lowers barriers, gives control to consumers


Orlando, FL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM)

The ‘collaborative energy exchange’ model for charging of electric vehicles (EVs) lowers the barriers and gives more control to consumers.

This is the word from Itron, which is displaying a Nissan Leaf alongside a Clipper Creek charging station with embedded Itron communications and metrology, part of the company’s Embedded Sensing platform, at Itron Utility Week this week.

The revenue grade metrology enables utilities to work directly with businesses or consumers on dynamic pricing strategies like time-of-use rates or demand response programs. The communications technology – using RF, ZigBee or WiFi – gives both consumers and utilities unprecedented visibility into when and how consumers are charging their vehicles.

The collaborative model replaces more traditional models where third-party vendors stand between end consumers and utilities, essentially acting as energy brokers. With the Clipper Creek charging unit, utilities can offer advantageous rates to consumers who, for instance, charge during off-peak hours or elect to participate in demand response events. This direct interaction incents the kinds of consumption behaviors that balance grid loads while saving consumers money.

“We’re connecting buyers and sellers in what the industry is starting to call a ‘collaborative energy exchange’, explained Itron’s Stephen Johnson, product line manager, energy management. “We put the power and control into the hands of those who can do the most good with it – consumers.”

The 240 V, 40 A charger will top EVs off in under three hours. In addition, the charging station uses existing infrastructure such as AMI communications networks as well as home or business WiFi. Best of all, consumers can control the charger remotely with mobile devices.

Itron’s Embedded Sensing platform combines metrology and sensing technologies with control software and flexible communications options to enable collaborative exchange networks.