The U.S. Energy Department has awarded nearly $7 million to four companies to develop better connected and more economical electric vehicle chargers – cutting costs by as much as 50% in three years.
“Developing smart electric vehicle chargers will provide more options to consumers and accelerate the build-out of charging infrastructure in ways that strengthen the electric grid,” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a release.
Fremont, Calif.-based Delta Products is to receive $1,997,450 from DoE and match it with $1,441,770. Delta is to streamline development of residential EV chargers that use low-cost secure wireless networks to connect directly to electric utilities. The goal is to “minimize the cost of communications between the charger and the electric utility and, at the same time, meet the local demand for smart charging,” DoE says.
Eaton and GE for Commercial Chargers
The Siemens corporate research unit in Princeton N.J. is to receive $1,617,619 as it invests $747,552. Siemens will redesign its current EV charging equipment, DoE says, “to enable flexible, intelligent control of charging, so that power quality and service reliability are maintained on the local distribution grid.”
Eaton is to receive $1,837,004 and provide $991,418 in match money. Eaton is to develop and demonstrate commercial EV chargers that work with and support the smart grid, including providing two-way communications with the electric utility and coordinating with a community’s smart meter network.
GE is to receive $1,362,318 from DoE and invest $819,365, and “improve the design and infrastructure for commercial chargers for fleets of electric vehicles operated by companies, including FedEx,” DoE says.
Separately, GE said the EV market “has been stuck in low gear.” The company vowed to “design and build a better commercial fleet charging station… that will incorporate GE’s existing smart grid technology and help dramatically cut installation costs in the depots and garages housing bus, vehicle delivery and other commercial and government fleets… The new design could reduce the total number of the physical stations required while still providing the same number of charging cords.”
Work will take place in Niskayuna, N.Y.
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