Innovative electric vehicle smart charging pilot announced


San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 29, 2010 – An innovative plug-in electric vehicle (EV) pilot program aimed at testing and validating the security, scalability and functionality of smart charging technology integrated with the smart grid has been announced for the San Francisco Bay area.

Sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the pilot also will include smart grid solution provider Silver Spring Networks and plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider ClipperCreek, Inc.

Set to begin in autumn of 2010, the pilot combines emerging plug-in electric vehicle technology with the scalable, secure, and reliable smart grid network already deployed at PG&E. As part of the pilot, Silver Spring-enabled ClipperCreek charging stations will be integrated with PG&E’s smart grid network platform. Charging stations will relay metered electricity usage data to PG&E, enabling the utility to directly monitor and meter the charging station, separate from a house’s electricity load, and to understand the impact of various approaches to EV charging.

At the same time, consumers gain greater visibility into the impact their charging options have on cost, grid reliability and the environment.

The findings will be open to a broad audience, helping to set best practices for EV charging and utility integration of EVs across North America.

In separate work EPRI working with Southern California Edison surveyed some 900 customers on a number of EV issues and found that 95 percent would prefer to charge their electric vehicle at home. Moreover many of those also would be prepared to pay a premium to fast charge (at 240 V) rather than slow charge (at 110 V).

However, public fast-charging availability (for example, a 10-15 minute charge facility) also was found to be an influence on potential PHEV adoption, with almost 40 percent saying the capability would “definitely” influence their buying decision.