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Coulomb Technologies' big news at EVS26 was a collaboration with Fuji Electric Corporation of America to add Fuji's 25-kW DC Quick Charging Stations into the ChargePoint Network. In fact, the very first such charger on the network was sitting there in the booth, and actual deployment in the U.S. is scheduled for later this year. Coulomb is already neck-deep in actual deployments of electric vehicle charging stations: more that 6,300 non-residential stations are online now and Coulomb says that about half of all EV drivers in the U.S. have a ChargePoint card. To get the latest, we spoke with Coulomb's Michael Jones about the Multicharge SF program and – yes – the SAE combo charger announcement.

It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary.

First, about Multicharge SF, which is a partnership with the City of San Francisco, Coulomb and PG&E and is funded by the California Energy Commission. The goal, perhaps unsurprisingly for San Francisco, where upwards of 60 percent of people live in multi-family units, is to find a way for apartment dwellers to recharge their EVs. Jones said the city government took the lead and identified places where chargers would be most useful, then reached out to the property owners to get them interested. In the end, about 70 different properties applied to be a part of the $900,000 program – and around 45-50 of them will be selected to actually get some of the total of about 100 chargers. "[The locations] represent all the different demographics: large properties and small properties, condos, co-ops, TICs [tenant in common, which means one mortgage for multiple units] and rental communities," Jones said. The variety extends to different income brackets as well as new and old properties. "One of the things we ran into early on is that there are some incredibly old power systems in San Francisco. Glass tubes in the fuse boxes. It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary."

The only way to get this many different groups involved was to start with a diverse set of partners. "It has to be a multi-stakeholder proposition to really work in the region," he said. "If I didn't have the city out with its resources, legal and building codes and everything else, it would be impossible for me to organize all those things. It really becomes a great template that other cities and public-private partnerships can use."

For example, Jones said, there's a rule in San Francisco that says that if you charge money for a parking space, you need to register as a parking operator. So, how does that apply to EVs? Does every building owner who installs a charger then need to go get a parking license? The city attorney is currently researching the answer to this question, he said, adding that the mayor standing by to quickly go to bat and get the rules changed if it is determined that the answer is "yes."

With its Chargepoint Network, Coulomb doesn't really care what connector people are using to get their cars on the grid. As long as the communication systems are there, Chargepoint can work with whatever kind of charging station is out there. But he did have a few things to say about the SAE combo charger. Specifically, that it doesn't encourage fast infrastructure deployment.

"Having that Level 2 standard [J1772] gives certainty to drivers," Jones said. "With fast charging, because you still have competing standards, I think that makes it a pilot proposition for a lot of communities as far as really getting behind a specific charger type. I think until the market coalesces around a technology, you're still just going to see a lot of uncertainty about what to deploy on any large scale."

As Coulomb works to solve some of the infrastructure problems, others arise. The trick is to not have partners hesitate too much, and so get as many chargers into use as makes sense.
Show full PR text
FUJI ELECTRIC ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH COULOMB TECHNOLOGIES
Manufacturer to Integrate ChargePoint Network into its DC Quick Chargers

Edison, N.J., and Campbell, Calif., May 1, 2012 – Fuji Electric Corporation of America announced today that it has collaborated with Coulomb Technologies to integrate Coulomb's ChargePoint® Network into its DC Quick Charging Stations. The ChargePoint Network is the largest network of independently owned charging stations in the world and Fuji Electric's 25kW chargers will be a valuable addition, providing a full charge to electric vehicles in approximately 60 minutes. The Fuji Electric charging stations are to be released in the US later this year, and will offer electric vehicle drivers and station owners alike the convenience of accessing all the advanced functionality of the ChargePoint Network. The ChargePoint Network-enabled Fuji station will be showcased at the EVS26 show in Los Angeles, May 6 – 8, 2012 in the Fuji Electric's Booth #823 and in the Coulomb Technologies' Booth #943.

"Fuji Electric has conducted extensive research to understand consumers' concerns, and we've tailored our product to address these needs," says Phil Charatz, president and CEO of Fuji Electric Corp. of America. "We look forward to providing users with a convenient and satisfying charging experience, and the integration of ChargePoint Network into our product will help to enhance that interaction."

ChargePoint-enabled Fuji Electric stations will be included on all ChargePoint mobile phone applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. These ChargePoint mobile apps provide an easy way to locate stations near any specified address and get turn-by-turn directions. Additionally, these applications allow drivers to utilize ChargePoint Network's station reservation feature. Drivers can locate stations, and then make, view and cancel a reservation time slot directly from a smart phone. EV drivers can access features including the ability to: help with trip planning, manage the cost of charging, and find and operate public ChargePoint-enabled stations.

"The collaboration with Fuji Electric is an important addition to the ChargePoint Network," said Pat Romano, president and CEO of, Coulomb Technologies. "EV drivers can look forward to state-of-the-art cloud-based EV charging solutions all available on Fuji stations, With more than 300 charging stations deployed in the overseas market, Fuji Electric brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the EV Charging industry here in the US, making their product a perfect fit for our network of users.".

"Fuji Electric has made its commitment to energy and the environment a top priority, and our goal of working toward a sustainable future is evident in the products we manufacture. Helping to develop the charging infrastructure is a critical step towards mass adoption of electric vehicles in the USA, and our 90-years of experience have proven our ability to manufacture reliable products complete with the latest technologies," said Charatz.

About Fuji Electric Corp. of America
Fuji Electric Corp. of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., and has been responsible for sales and distribution of the company's products since 1970. Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. has been developing power electronics equipment since 1923, and is a global leader in industrial products ranging from semiconductors, power supply, and power generation equipment to AC drives and electric vehicle charging stations. For more information please visit www.americas.fujielectric.com

About Coulomb Technologies
Coulomb Technologies is the leading electric vehicle charging solutions company. Coulomb¹s ChargePoint Network is the largest online global charging network connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. Coulomb also provides ChargePoint Network service plans and cloud-based solutions that handle all drivers billing and support. This provides organizations the control and flexibility they need to optimize performance of their electric vehicle charging operations. Open to all charging station manufacturers, stations on ChargePoint Network are currently dispensing over 437 Megawatt hours of energy each month, with drivers plugging in for more than 2400 charging sessions per day. For more information, visit www.coulombtech.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Years later, still "almost there" on EV stations. Also, since when is 25kW fast charge? Even a LEAF would take 40 mins to get to 80% charge on that. And for a high capacity car (aka Tesla) it's downright slow.
        skierpage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The Fuji Electric Corporation of America DC Quick Charge station mentioned in the press release supports (only) the CHAdeMO standard, but is only 25 kW (CHAdeMO goes to 62.5) and max current 62A (CHAdeMO goes to 125), and looks bigger than the two execs cutting the ribbon put together. The ChargePoint network integration is neat and I guess if you're going to have one of these standing outside like a gas pump it has to be somewhat beefy, but the Nissan wall-mount seems a lot smaller and cheaper.
        Naturenut99
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I'm not going to argue with you. But here is a couple numbers. 208v x 120a = 24.96 kwh 240v x 104a = 24.96 kwh Most public L2 charging stations 240v x 30a = 7.2 kwh Tesla's Home Charger which far exceeds all others... 240v x. 70a. = 16.8 kwh Now Tesla's upcoming Fast Charging Stations, I don't know what that will be.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          Tesla's new AC twin charger is 240v x 40a x 2. 20kW (there's no h). Their supercharger (fast charging stations) are not yet detailed. An 85kWh Tesla would take about 5 hours to charge off their 20kW AC station, a bit less off this 25kW DC station. Not exactly fast. Their new supercharger is seemingly about 100kW, as they say it puts in 160 miles in 30 minutes. What I was referring to about "almost there" on EV stations is the lack of chargers, not speed. Here we're talking about having 100 chargers in SF "any day now". It's been "any day now" for a long time.
          skierpage
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Naturenut99
          @Rotation, Elon Musk has said the SuperCharger is 480 V and 90 kW. From a comment by stephen.kamichi on the Tesla Motors forum: "According to Stephen Smith of TM.....The TM supercharger is a level 3 charger and it outputs 480 volts at 100 amperes or more. The chemistry of the 40 kWh battery pack is not capable of receiving 90 kW of input power. The 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery packs can be supercharged (level 3 charging) only sparingly for occasional long trips." (Folks, DC fast charging is not "Level 3".)
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I mentioned this in the earlier thread about allowing others to use my (hypothetical) charger for profit. If I let them charge for free - no problem, at all. If I charge for the kWh, then I run afoul of the utilities - reselling electricity isn't exactly legal. If I charge for the space, I have to get a business license, which would be denied, because my home in a residential area isn't zoned for a parking business.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        What if you let them charge for free, but they had to belong to an EV club and paid on-line for a set amount of charges? But if someone charges at your place, you get a charge someplace else.
          Ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          I think a good business model is the franchise one. Individuals or groups can place a charger and pay for it someplace, and then they get access to use other chargers at a similar frequency. Users that don't have a charger can pay a fee each time on-line.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Barter and trade-exchange systems get a little messy sometimes. A lot of friction happens when you have some users who don't reciprocate as much as they take. I've been personally burned a few times after letting people use my service, and then when I go to them, there's "some issue x" why I can't be accommodated at that time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_exchange_trading_system
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I've investigated even selling my on-street parking permits (each property gets two), but the city wasn't cool with that idea. Bummer, cause I've never needed them, but there's plenty of people who would've paid dearly for them.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          People in SF already do that (usually for friends/family, not strangers), but do not contact the city directly (they just sign up using your address and then use the permit).
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @Letstakeawalk "That's fraud. Tsk Tsk." It's even worse with the handicap placards. Probably a large majority of the people who park in my area got the placards from their parents who are retired and don't even use the car. For the permits it's almost impossible for the city to catch, although in general it doesn't really affect parking that much since the permit is a sticker and you can't have permits for two areas at the same time. Abuse of the handicap placards are a different matter, on the other hand.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          That's fraud. Tsk Tsk.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      "One of the things we ran into early on is that there are some incredibly old power systems in San Francisco. Glass tubes in the fuse boxes. It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary." We run into "knob and tube" systems here in Charleston quite frequently doing restorations. I've even seen people restore their original fuse box (as long as an EE signs off, no need to replace something that works!) to better than new condition - one fellow put a glass cover so that he could show it off to guests. Of course, there was an up-to-code panel hidden neatly away.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      If i remember a123 said themself that their battery was not meant for fast charging. http://www.plugincars.com/a123-systems-warns-todays-battery-technology-cant-withstand-constant-quick-charging-121344.html
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Can't withstand *constant* quick charging. 98% of the time you will normal charge at night. If you need a quick charge now & then for a longer trip, it won't be a big deal.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Actually, if you read the full article A123 says that their battery is GREAT for fast-charging.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just don't see how these charger companies are going to be profitable w/o government help. I'm glad they are out there installing chargers but I can't see it being much of a business. People are just going to charge at home 98% of the time such that chargers won't see much use unless they are at good destinations or are fast chargers between cities.
      Naturenut99
      • 2 Years Ago
      Re: ..." a rule in San Francisco that says that if you charge money for a parking space, you need to register as a parking operator. So, how does that apply to EVs? Does every building owner who installs a charger then need to go get a parking license?" Obviously, if a homeowner allows others to use their private one... Then No. If they were to charge a fee, then maybe register without a fee for registering ( I know unheard of ). That could be done online and at kiosk's without overhead. But is there even a reason to have them register at all...? If they are charging then they would have to report the income, so there would be a degree with which they are on record for doing it. Maybe, if a homeowner allows others to charge, then no. But if that driveway becomes "many" cars with "multiple" (I'd say 3 x J1772 or more) then they become a parking lot.?.?.?
        Naturenut99
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        Same would apply to condo's / apt's. No building owner should then be considered a parking lot, because they are still residential with renters/ owners doing the charging.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        The mayor and city is open to changing the rule if it becomes an issue. Hopefully the same thing is done by CPUC in terms of charging for electricity at a station (CPUC doesn't let you do that now without treating you like a utility, so right now all charging stations charge for the "service" of charging, not the actual electricity used).
          Naturenut99
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          I did read that the Mayor would change it. Just putting in my 2 cents, based on the general idea of "charging for charging". Plus, so far no charging station I have used has charged at all... No fee, and not for electricity. Primarily because they are already screwing us to park. Chicago stations, ( outside of Walgreens) are almost all parking garages. It's been a while but I don't think Whole Foods ( those using garage style vs parking lot ) charges to park if you shopped there.
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