US deal aims to match grid capacity with EV charging

EV charging platform operational intelligence
Californian companies eMotorWerks and OSIsoft have teamed up to offer both consumer and utility a better picture of grid capacity and the best times to charge an EV

In the US, smart grid electric vehicle charging company eMotorWerks has forged a partnership with operational intelligence company OSIsoft in a bid to improve EV charging and grid capacity balancing.

OSIsoft’s PI System will offer access to historical and real-time data between eMotorWerks’ Juice Box platform and independent service operators (ISOs), regional transmission operators (RTOs), utilities, and any other energy balancing authorities.

JuiceBox is an EV charging platform that works by shifting when and how much electricity the network draws from the grid in a bid to help utilities and operators better manage grid capacity and ease grid congestion, while integrating excess solar and wind power.

The operational intelligence in OSIsoft’s system combines sensor-based data from eMotorWerks’ network of JuiceBox charging stations with data from electrical utilities and ISOs.

eMotorWerks claims the solution also offers EV customers faster, easier, and more secure access to the status of their charging stations.

Commenting on the tie-up between the two Californian smart tech companies, Valery Miftakhov, founder of eMotorWerks, said: “The PI System is used as the data infrastructure at all ISOs and RTOs in the US, and is therefore a natural choice for us to leverage for delivering superior service.”

Growing EV pressure on grid capacity

The deal comes as new research confirms North America as the leading global market for light duty plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

New research from Navigant Research puts sales in 2014 of PEVS at more than 133,000.

The market is forecast to grow to more than 1.1 million vehicles sold annually by 2024.

While regional sales are concentrated in California, where both state incentives and a mandatory zero emissions vehicle program drive PEV penetration, the market is expected to continue to grow in other states and Canada.

Commenting on the data, Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “Automaker adoption of PEV technologies as adaptations for existing model lines is growing significantly, and these technologies are being placed into larger vehicle segments such as sport utility vehicles, trucks, and minivans.

“Similarly, the introduction of next-generation, fully electric vehicles with ranges near or over 200 miles and price points below US$40,000 is expected to drastically increase mass-market PEV acceptance as a pragmatic transportation option.”