EV Connect Launches EV CaaS

EV Connect has launched what they call the first-ever “EV Charging-as-a-Service” or “EV CaaS,” to reduce up-front costs and simplify the process for purchasing and installing EV charging station infrastructure by turning the purchase decision from a capital expenditure to an operating expense. The new program was developed in collaboration with GE and SparkFund.

EV-Connect-LogoEach EV charge station comes with GE’s WattStation and DuraStation as well as EV Connect’s base management software and service. Starting at $99 per month per charge station, the EV CaaS, says EV Connect, offers businesses and government entities a full-service resource to assist with financing, deployment and management.

“The single biggest hesitation facility owners have when considering EV charging station installation is up-front cost,” said Jordan Ramer, EV Connect President. “The EV CaaS program, in collaboration with SparkFund and GE, offers a pay-as-you-go alternative to capital purchases and greatly simplifies the decision-making process.”

EV Connect says they are the first provider to offer this type of program. In addition to overseeing procurement, permitting and installation, they manage all aspects of the charging station including service, driver support, station management and usage.

“Welcome to a new world of financing for EV charging infrastructure,” added Pier LaFarge, SparkFund Co-founder and CEO. “EV CaaS puts EV charging within reach of any facility by shifting financing from an upfront capital expenditure to a pay-over-time operating expense.”

Constellation Launches EME With ChargePoint

Constellation is offering customers a new electric vehicle charging program through the new Efficiency Made Easy (EME) program in partnership with ChargePoint. The program enables customers to help fund new EV charging stations and business may be eligible to purchase ChargePoint EV charging stations (including installation, serve and warranties) through their electricty or gas supply agreement.

logos“Constellation is always looking for new and innovative energy solutions for our customers,” said Divesh Gupta, manager, energy solutions for Constellation. “Efficiency Made Easy allows customers to implement technology such as ChargePoint’s EV charging stations to better manage their energy use and support their environmental goals – without an upfront investment.”

EME enables its commercial and industrial supply customers to implement energy efficiency and other solutions without up-front capital expenditures. The costs of these solutions are included over the term of a customer’s supply agreement. In cases where customers are utilizing EME for efficiency measures, they may realize immediate savings on energy costs from reduced energy use according to Constellation.

Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, added, “By offering charging stations, installation, service, and warranty with no upfront capital, this channel partnership is a great example of how energy companies can help to spur EV growth the right way. Minimizing the upfront cost to buy and install charging stations and providing customer choice, makes it possible for even more businesses to offer EV charging to their employees and customers.”

EV Fast Chargers Come to Québec

New fast chargers for electric vehicles are now available in Québec with a 400-V fast-charge station and four 240-V charging stations as a result of a new partnership between the Electric Circuit and Magog’s Carrefour Santé Globale (CSG). This is the first public fast-charge station in the Estrie region. This initiative was made possible by Nissan Canada.

borneaquariumce“We salute the initiative of Carrefour Santé Globale that allows Magog to be the first city in the region to offer a fast-charge station for drivers of all-electric vehicles, in addition to playing a strategic role in the Québec-Vermont charging corridor,” said France Lampron, Director – Transportation Electrification at Hydro-Québec on behalf of the founding partners of the Electric Circuit. “We are pleased to have such a dynamic partner contribute to making the Electric Circuit the most extensive public charging network in Québec.”

The fast-charge network is growing rapidly and this new charging station is an additional point of service along the Montréal-Vermontcharging corridor. The Electric Circuit is the largest public charging network in Québec. A total of 34 charging stations are now in service in the Estrie region including 11 in Magog, 1 in Racine and 22 in Sherbrooke.

“We are delighted to offer these new public charging stations. This initiative reflects Carrefour Santé Globale’s commitment to offer an array of services to its customers and ties in with our sustainability strategy,” added Gilles Bélanger, General Manager of CSG. “In addition, we are proud to participate in the efforts of the City of Magog to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.”

PG&E Donates PHEV for Emergencies

On August 24, 2014, a 6.0 earthquake rocked Northern California and the City of Napa, resulting in more than 70,000 customers losing power to homes and businesses. One year later, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) donated a state-of-the-art plug-in electric hybrid truck as part of the city of Napa’s commemoration of the earthquake. The “Napa Strong 6.0/365” commemoration event recognized the earthquake response of the many dedicated first responders, PG&E employees and the community.

The_state-of-the-art_truck_donated_by_PG&EBarry Anderson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and operations presented the keys to a plug-in electric hybrid pickup truck as an innovative, new tool to use during emergency response.

“As we look back today and celebrate the progress made in Napa since the earthquake, we also look forward and emphasize the importance for each of us to have an emergency plan before a natural disaster occurs,” said Anderson. “By supporting the city and first responders with new technologies like this next-generation electric hybrid truck, we are furthering our collaboration toward increasing local emergency preparedness.”

The truck, developed locally in California by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. in partnership with PG&E, combines 30 miles of all-electric driving with 350 more miles of hybrid driving range and can provide up to 40 kVa of exportable power. This exportable power is enough to power a small neighborhood and allows first responders to plug in lighting, equipment and other tools at the site of an emergency.

The vehicle donation is part of a larger PG&E initiative to donate a series of innovative plug-in electric hybrid pick-up trucks and the associated charging infrastructure to local fire departments. The donation is part of PG&E’s commitment to operate as the greenest utility fleet in the industry, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles, including approximately 1,000 electric and electric hybrid units.

Portland Int’l Airport Adds EV Charging

Portland International Airport (PDX) has become the airport with the largest number of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the country. PDX installed 42 L1 PowerPost EV charging stations that are designed and manufactured by Telefonix. EV drivers are able to recover about 5 miles of range for every hour they are plugged in. The range lost in a typical commute of twenty miles is recovered in about 4 hours at a cost to the facility of less than 75 cents. The PowerPost EV charging stations will be free to use for employees and visitors.

“This installation makes a huge statement,” said Bill Williams, business development manager for Telefonix, EVSE Division. “The electric vehicle movement is gaining steam and will continue to do so. Facilities like PDX are acknowledging this growing community and sending a signal that they support those who are embracing electric vehicles by installing stations for both airport employees and travelers.”

Telefonix Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Telefonix Inc.)

Telefonix Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Telefonix Inc.)

According to Telefonix, Portland International Airport chose PowerPost level 1 electric vehicle charging stations for their integrated, retractable cord reel, which keeps cables off the ground, reducing maintenance and tripping hazards. They were also selected because they are level 1 units, which have low current requirements and allow for an efficient use of energy. Level 1 charging is well suited for long-dwell parking that is typical at airports and workplaces. In addition, the low-current requirements of level 1 also allowed the airport to install more charging stations as compared to more powerful chargers that often require costly upgrades to the electrical supply.

“We are excited to support our travelers and employees with these new EV charging stations,” said Vince Granato, Port of Portland chief operations officer. “Voted America’s Best Airport in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Travel + Leisure’s Reader Survey, we take pride in delivering a memorable and positive experience to those who use our facilities. The installation of EV charging stations is one of our many environmental initiatives, which are central to how we do business and serve as good community stewards.”

Williams added, “Airports are really taking an aggressive approach to delivering on the need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” “Given that customers parking for 4 hours or more represent over 85% of all occupied spaces at an airport and the fact that airports often have sustainability initiatives in place, it’s a perfect fit.”

The Quest for a Sustainable Highway

The Mission Zero Corridor Project in Troup County West Georgia is trying to build a ‘green highway’. The travel corridor would, according to Innovia Technology, who has been commissioned for the project, rethink the purpose and function of infrastructure to generate social, environmental and economic value.

Ray-C-Anderson-Memorial-Highway-Exit-14-artist-impressionSome of the technologies being looked at for the project include algae biodiesel gas stations, smart solar-powered roads, moon-cycle adjusting lights, wildlife bridges, driverless cars, electric-car charging lanes and cultural greenways.

“Worldwide the highway infrastructure is continuously maintained, rebuilt and expanded at considerable economic and environmental cost. The Mission Zero Corridor Project is proposing an alternative future where highways have a positive impact on our communities. It’s very exciting to be involved in making this vision a reality,” said Alastair MacGregor, CEO of Innovia Technology, of the challenge ahead.

The late Ray C. Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc. developed the Mission Zero framework to eliminate Interface’s environmental impact while maintaining productivity and still turning a profit. The aim was a promise to “eliminate any negative impacts the company may have on the environment by 2020” and the framework created a blueprint for business sustainability. As a memorial, the Ray C Anderson Foundation is using a 16 mile stretch of Interstate 85 as the living experiment of the “regenerative, restorative and sustainable highway”.

To get the project started the Foundation and Interface funded a vision study through The Georgia Conservancy’s Blueprints for Successful Communities program. Using Interface’s Mission Zero framework as a roadmap, graduate students in the School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with studio instruction from a team of architects from Perkins+Will in Atlanta, explored how a highway could be a tool of change. The outcome was an inspirational report that identifies a broad range of potential technologies and opportunities. Innovia’s role is to provide a creative exploration of new opportunities, evaluate the technologies for viability and scalability, and to propose a strategy to bring the vision to life.

Green Charge Networks & ChargePoint Partner

Green Charge Networks and ChargePoint have forged a partnership in the electric vehicle (EV) space. The two companies will combine EV charging with EV charging stations. The companies cite combining energy storage with EV charging will eliminate the high cost of demand charges caused by spikes in power usage. This challenge is oftentimes a barrier for EV charging installation.

Photo Credit: CarStations.com

Photo Credit: CarStations.com

“We are proud to partner with ChargePoint, whose mission is to bring convenient charging to every EV driver,” said Vic Shao, CEO at Green Charge Networks. “Having EV charging readily available at public locations, especially along highly traveled corridors, will enable further electrification and accelerate adoption of electric vehicles. The combination of energy storage with EV charging is important and necessary, especially in California where demand charges are some of the highest in the nation.”

The first customer of the combined technology is Redwood City, California. The city is focused on reduced its environmental footprint (they have their own Climate Action Plan) and electric vehicle use is one their solutions. Today, Redwood City has five EV charging stations combined with energy storage including two DC Fast Charging Stations that were installed in 2014.

Redwood City said these EV charging stations, located at the public library and in a public parking garage, are heavily used with an average of 8-10 sessions per day. Green Charge Networks’ said their intelligent energy storage is shaving multiple peaks per day (80 in May, 2015) caused by the EV charging stations. The energy storage is expected to save nearly $7,000 annually in demand charges at the five Redwood City locations alone. The Redwood City energy storage equipment and installation came at no cost to the City; rather, Green Charge’s financing model provides a zero down cost solution. Green Charge Networks installs, owns and maintains all of the energy storage equipment.

“By combining EV charging and energy storage to reduce consumption during peak hours, businesses can save money,” added Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO. “This can significantly reduce the cost for a business to offer EV charging thereby increasing EV adoption while promoting grid stability.”

Cadmus Releases EV Research, Policy Report

The growing number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road may present challenges for the country’s infrastructure (roads) that according to Cadmus, can be addressed through smart planning and thoughtful policy.

ev charging

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

A report released in June 2015 by the Federal Highway Research Association (FHWA) based on Cadmus research, Feasibility and Implications of Electric Vehicle (EV) Deployment and Infrastructure Development, is the first comprehensive examination of EVs undertaken by FHWA. Cadmus’Damon Fordham directed the research team, and John Norris of Ricardo-AEA led the technical analysis, with support from Good Company, Eastern Research Group (ERG), and independent consultants Mark Stout and Doug Tindall.

The project kicked off with an extensive literature review, a series of expert interviews and a forum that included more than 50 EV, transportation and auto industry experts. The team conducted an analysis of the potential deployment of EVs in the United States and the potential impact on the mission of FHWA. The results of the research will be used to aid transportation agencies at the national, state, and local level in understanding how to prepare for the future financial implications, safety planning, and infrastructure development needs associated with EVs.

“The analysis was eye-opening,” said Fordham. “For example, one key finding was that—even at the highest deployment levels we considered—the future impact of EVs on gas tax revenues is a small fraction of the impact of existing federal fuel efficiency regulations.”

Cadmus has found that many states have already begun implementing policies to support the increasing use of EVs. For example, In Washington state, a financial modeling tool developed by Cadmus will soon be helping facilitate expansion of the state’s EV charging infrastructure. A recently passed state law establishing funding for public-private EV infrastructure partnerships directs potential EV charging infrastructure developers to the tool, which Cadmus created to inform policy recommendations made by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The tool allows users to easily evaluate the business case for a proposed EV charging installation from both public and private sector perspectives.

EEI and DOE to Accelerate EV Development

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have announced a partnership that will identify and pursue collaborative opportunities to promote and accelerate the nationwide adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

During EEI’s Annual Convention in New Orleans, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and EEI President Tom Kuhn signed a memorandum of understanding to take a variety of joint actions—including research, infrastructure, and outreach programs—to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs.

EEI President Tom Kuhn and Energy Secretary Moniz sign an MOU on electric vehicle adoption. — in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: EEI

EEI President Tom Kuhn and Energy Secretary Moniz sign an MOU on electric vehicle adoption. — in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: EEI

“The U.S. transportation system produces a third of the country’s carbon emissions, making it essential that we improve plug-in electric vehicle technology and increase their numbers on the road,” said Moniz during his speech. “Today’s announcement enhances the kinds of private-public partnerships needed to remain at the forefront of advanced vehicle technologies that reduce our emissions and provide safe, reliable transport for the American people.”

EEI’s said its collaboration with DOE builds on the electric utility industry’s leadership on transportation electrification. EEI pointed to one example of this dedication – its fleet electrification initiative. Launched last year, this effort includes a commitment by EEI and its partnering member companies to invest at least 5 percent of their annual fleet budgets in plug-in vehicles and technologies.

“The electric power industry is a tremendous leader in moving the electric transportation market forward, and we are excited to work with our federal partners to bring about the economic, environmental, and security benefits of transportation electrification,” added EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Transportation electrification benefits electric utility customers, while also bolstering America’s energy security and sustainability. These are priorities our industry shares with our government partners.”

EEI also announced that its fleet electrification initiative has exceeded the anticipated $50 million annual industry commitment, and will total more than $90 million in 2015, adding more than 800 new plug-in vehicles and 740 new charging ports to utility fleets.

Coalition Fights for EV Dev in San Diego

A broad coalition has submitted a proposed settlement to the California Public Utilities Commission in an effort to speed up the deployment of smart electric vehicle charging stations in San Diego. The proposal calls for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to install smart charging infrastructure at up to 550 multi-family housing sites and workplace locations throughout its service territory, with an average of ten chargers at each location for a total of 5,500 separate chargers. Customers would have a choice of rate options and equipment to ensure drivers charge in a manner that maximizes fuel cost savings and supports the electrical grid and to promote competition and market growth in the charging service industry.

“This proposal would increase access to electric cars and trucks and leverage those clean vehicles to cost-effectively integrate wind and solar energy to the benefit of all utility customers,” said Max Baumhefner, attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who is part of the groups supporting the initiative. “If the Public Utilities Commission adopts this carefully negotiated settlement, it would confirm California’s leadership in moving both the transportation sector and the electric industry to a future free of fossil fuels.”

Blink electric vehicle charges in Orange County, California. Photo Credit Joanna Schroeder

Blink electric vehicle charges in Orange County, California. Photo Credit Joanna Schroeder

The goal of the proposal is to enable all communities access to electric vehicle charging stations and the corresponding benefits from EV on the road – less fossil fuel use and less emissions. The plan calls for SDG&E to install at least 10 percent of the charging stations in such communities and facilitate the expansion of electric car sharing to expand access to zero emission vehicles. As noted in The Greenlining Institute’s 2011 report, “Electric Vehicles; Who’s Left Stranded?” communities of color are more concerned about air pollution, making them a natural, but largely untapped market for clean vehicles.

“We commend SDG&E and all involved for putting together a proposed pilot program that, if adopted, would mean more EV charging stations in disadvantaged communities while helping create a diverse workforce and supplier network to get the job done,” said Sekita Grant, environmental equity legal counsel at The Greenlining Institute, another participating coalition member. “We need to make clean electric cars and trucks a reality for Californians of all income levels, and look forward to working with SDG&E to push beyond the settlement targets to make that happen.”

The pilot program would feature price signals that encourage drivers of electric cars to save money by charging their vehicles when renewable energy is plentiful and energy prices are low. This will help avoid the need to build more power plants and other electrical infrastructure.