Rachel Grossman on Friday, 11 March 2011 17:03
Cisco Systems is partnering with Ecotality, an electric vehicle (EV) charging station company, to incorporate electric vehicles into a home energy-management system. Using Cisco’s Home Energy Controller, customers will be able to easily manage their Ecotality’s Blink home EV charging station to save money and lessen impacts to the utility grid. The Home Energy Controller will allow customers to monitor and program when and how their EV is charged.
To minimize costs and increase energy efficiency, the home EV charging station could slow the rate of charging at peak times, and primarily charge vehicles during off-peak times at lower rates, usually after 9 p.m. Since charging an EV can use as much power as an entire home consumes, the Home Energy Controller will benefit both customers and utilities by enabling customers to charge at off-peak times at the touch of a button.
The system’s ability to communicate with the smart grid is key component to the advancement of EVs. By encouraging strategic energy management, the system will facilitate the charging of electric vehicles during off-peak times, which will save customers money, and alleviate utilities’ concerns regarding power load and load management.
Ecotality and Cisco intend to test the integrated system in San Diego first as part of a Department of Energy program supporting EV charging stations.