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One of the important technological hurdles to getting plug-in vehicles to work smoothly with the burgeoning smart grid is getting the vehicle and the grid to talk to each other. EDF, the company working with Toyota on the plug-in Prius tests and with Daimler on the Smart ED tests in the UK, has announced that its Power Line Communication (PLC) technology is working in the Elektrobay charging stations made by Elektromotive. PLC sets up a "conversation" between the car and the station and the "resulting 'conversation' can exchange data and discuss billing, power requirement identification, transaction security and safety." Elektromotive said that by adding this sort of communication ability to the test grid early in the process makes the London charging network the most comprehensive in the world.
Innovative recharging station now 'talks' to electric cars
The UK's network of Elektrobay road-side charging stations is now able to 'talk' to electric cars that are being recharged. Elektromotive, the makers of Elektrobay, is the world's first alternative fuel supply company to integrate the latest Power Line Communication (PLC) technology (developed by EDF), into its road-side charging stations.
This PLC integration allows the Elektrobay to 'talk' with a recharging vehicle by sending and receiving digital signals via the power cable, without the need for additional wires. The resulting 'conversation' can exchange data and discuss billing, power requirement identification, transaction security and safety.
"The addition of this EDF-PLC technology to the Elektrobay's abilities, so that the car and the charging station are effectively 'talking' to each other, is in preparation for the future requirements of the vehicle manufacturers, energy companies, electric vehicle owners, and safety legislators," comments Greg Simmons, Technical Director of Elektromotive Limited.
"The UK's recharging infrastructure needs to be economical to operate, simple and safe to use. By incorporating Power Line Communications at this early stage into our Elektrobay network's development, we are able to provide the world's most comprehensive plug-in hybrid and electric recharging facility," concludes Simmons.
Elektromotive is also set to play a key role in 'real world' testing of the new Toyota Plug-in-Hybrid vehicle – the UK's first plug-in hybrid (PHV) introduced by a car manufacturer – launched in the UK last week. The single test car will utilise the network of 'Elektrobay' recharging stations to keep fully charged and will be used in everyday motoring by EDF Energy employees for more than a year.
Creator of the world's first truly generic electric vehicle refuelling network, Brighton-based Elektromotive Ltd, is the UK's leading green transport infrastructure provider. Currently there are 68 Elektrobay stations in the UK with plans to rapidly increase this number nationwide. Each Elektrobay has an advanced operating system and ergonomic design, offering a safe, secure and extremely user-friendly dedicated power outlet.