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Right now – and likely even more so in the near future – lots of localities and businesses are installing electric vehicle charging stations at selected parking spots for customers and employees. For now, many of those stations are providing free electricity in a bid to encourage adoption of zero emissions plug-in vehicles. That works fine as long as the number of EVs remains relatively low, which it certainly will for at least then next several years. At some point however, if EVs start to reach mass adoption rates, the economics of providing free juice to drivers will become unaffordable. At that point, some sort of mechanism for identifying the car being plugged in and then billing the driver will become a necessity.
At this weeks EVS24 conference in Norway, Elektromotive has announced what it calls the world's first billable three phase fast charge station. The ElektroBay can supply up to 32 amps at 240 V to allow for faster charging than what is possible with other charge points. There are already 160 existing ElektroBay stations in the UK that will be updated with the new communications capability. The ElektroBay is equipped with 2-way GSM mobile communications and users will get a key fob to identify themselves. The system will be able to handle multiple billing systems including cell phone-style pay-as-you-go and direct billing to the home utility bill.

[Source: Elektromotive]

PRESS RELEASE:

WORLD'S FIRST BILLING SYSTEM FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING POSTS REVEALED AT EVS 24

A ground-breaking tool for monitoring and invoicing electricity drawn from vehicle charging stations will debut at the Norwegian zero-emissions exhibition, EVS 24, today (Wednesday 13 May). Called 'EBConnect' – the latest technical innovation from British company Elektromotive – the system will make it easy to identify energy consumption and bill customers accurately. It will be installed in all Elektrobay charging stations, of which there are already over 160 across the UK.

The sophisticated EBConnect software manages a two-way exchange of data via GSM and the internet to track electricity usage and invoice accordingly. The system allows the possibility of a number of payment methods including a 'pay-and-go' service, where the user adds credits to their personalised Elektrobay keyfob. Alternatively, costs can be automatically added to the consumer's household utility bill, or the balance can be settled remotely with the user paying via SMS text messages, interactive voice recordings and automatic registration number recognition.

While the cost of charging electric vehicles is minimal in comparison to refuelling petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles, advancements such as EBConnect are essential to the development of a charging network. The intelligent Elektrobay is the world's only fully operational charging station that is compatible with all fully-electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

Another world first to be unveiled at EVS 24 is Elektromotive's Three-Phase 'Fast Charge' Elektrobay prototype. With a power supply of 32 amps, this charging station will reduce charging times, making it particularly suitable for heavier users of electricity and commercial vehicles. The single unit is the first of its kind to provide two separate five-pin power sockets, both able to accommodate the all-new Mennekes plug, which is anticipated to become standardised on all electric commercial vehicles.

Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director for Elektromotive commented, "We are working hard to increase our network of charging stations around the globe. By offering new technologies, such as EBConnect and the Three-Phase 'Fast Charge' Elektrobay, we are helping to facilitate the transition to electric-powered passenger and commercial vehicles."

For more information about Elektromotive, please visit www.elektromotive.com


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  • 5 Comments
      • 6 Months Ago
      What's happening now is you have all of these pay charger manufacturers like Coulomb Technologies stumbling over each other to be the first in an area. The first one will be the one that gets the contracts for the equipment. Then THEIR computer system will be the one collecting the money, they will be the one getting the commission which equals $$$$ in their pockets. There will be no competition since cities usually will not tolerate 2 different brands of service for the same job.

      Let's say you are hungry and a little low on charge. You decide to stop by your favorite restaurant 4 blocks away. You park next to a street side charging point for a quick 10 mile booster charge while you're eating. You have no choice if they want to bill you $2.50 for parking and $12.50 for 1.5 kilowatt hours of electricity used. Electricity I can get at home for 13.5 cents a kilowatt hour. A non EV only paid $2.50 to park while I had to pay $15.00 plus sales taxes, plus service fees etc. (You ever read your cell phone bill and see all of those agencies with their hand out? $29.95 a month, NOT! )

      It doesn't matter if I pay by direct debit, prepaid service or credit card I'm still getting it up the butt for driving a green vehicle. That is my point about gouging. This can and has happened in situations of a monopoly. A monopoly created by the city because they wanted simple, uncluttered and only have to deal with one company. All the key fob does is identify who gets the bill not how much is the bill.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Yeeess! This is what I was referring in my previous comment about AeroVironment's chargers in D.C.

      http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/05/11/nissan-teams-up-with-aerovironment-to-charge-electric-cars-in-d/

      Why reinvent the wheel(s) --literally-- with a new plug for all EVs? Let the manufacturers supply their own receptacle and a cable, as long as the latter can plug into a country's standard outlet --like this one in London. It already has safety features built in (see the LEDs on the top, indicating it is currently "off" because the door is open).

      As for paying, this charger opens with a special EV key fob; it would be fairly easy to configure it to accept a credit card instead. Of course, I would imagine that, in time, restaurants, stores, theaters, malls, would all start offering free charging to attract customers, perhaps with "validations" --similar to what occurs now.
      • 6 Months Ago
      a solar array of some sort(also shading the station) would be nice to supplement the power

      if i am solar at home(off grid) i don't have a utility bill
      solar oven line dried laundry etc.

      it should be just like gas now, wave your little keychain deal and bam! you are billed with the service, location and amount
      • 6 Months Ago
      And how much are they gong to charge for the electricity? $1.00, $5.00, $10.00 per kilowatt hour? There had better be tight government regulations in place to keep these providers from gouging the customers. And also to prevent monopolies where city "X" allows only 1 charging provider to supply stations. If you have a problem with the provider you are stuck with no way to charge your car. Cities already do this with cable TV providers. If you don't like their service you have no other choice (in some places you are not allowed a satellite dish of any size).

      I understand I may be paying for parking too. But I will want a detailed listing of the charges every month, with parking and energy charges separated. I'm not going to let them just say we charged you $35.00 on Tuesday the 12th at charging station 475421. I will want to know if I'm being unfairly charged. I'm not going to tolerate Airline tactics where the ticket price is listed at $50.00 but by the time you get on the plane you'll have paid an additional $125.00 in nickel and dime fees for baggage etc.
        Quantumphysics
        • 6 Months Ago
        As far as I'm concerned, I hope the government of America controls this wholesale and simply lets smaller companies deploy them. The last thing you want is for power companies to get to decide how much electricity costs you. I think the EV charge stations should be linked to your home Electric Bill as well.