With that in mind, the local utility will begin installing a charging network in the state capitol. MGE has purchased six Chargepoint units from Coulomb Technologies. The Chargepoints support a subscription charging system that works much like mobile phone services.
MGE plans to offset all electricity use from the Chargepoints with renewable energy. The first unit should be installed this summer with all six in place by early 2010. MGE purchased its first plug-in hybrid in 2008 and it is getting a plug-in Ford Escape hybrid this summer with vehicle to grid capability for a test program.
[Source: Madison Gas and Electric]
MGE Plans Electric Vehicle Charging Network
Project first in country
Madison, Wis., June 25, 2009-As part of several technology demonstration projects under study, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has purchased six Coulomb Technologies electric vehicle charging stations from Carbon Day Automotive, Chicago, Ill. Electric cars and trucks charged at the stations will have their emissions offset through renewable energy. The project is the first of its kind in the United States.
The vehicle charging network will provide users with options that extend the range and use of their electric vehicles. The driving range for an electric-powered vehicle can be about 40 miles. Currently, owners have to recharge their car or truck at home or at prearranged locations. Only a handful of public vehicle charging systems are in place throughout the world.
MGE plans to install the first charging unit this summer and have the network up and operating by early next year.
"MGE's forward-thinking efforts ensure the Madison area will have the infrastructure to support electric vehicles," stated Scott Emalfarb, a principal in Carbon Day Automotive.
Last year, MGE purchased one of the state's first plug-in hybrid cars. This summer, the company will install vehicle-to-grid technology in a new Ford Escape plug-in hybrid, making it "Smart Grid" ready. This technology allows the vehicle to recharge at low power demand times and can also be discharged to supply the grid with power during peak power demand hours.
"This demonstration project will show us how use of plug-in vehicles could eventually affect operations of the electric grid and power supply planning," said Lynn Hobbie, MGE senior vice president.
Carbon Day Automotive is a division of Carbon Day, an organization dedicated to increasing environmental awareness by encouraging people to play a part in saving the planet.
Coulomb Technologies applies networking technology to the challenge of charging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in order to fuel the electric transportation industry. Coulomb's ChargePoint(SM) Network addresses the needs of drivers, utilities, governments and parking-space owners.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 137,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 141,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy (Nasdaq: MGEE). The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.