Cisco and ECOtality announced a partnership today to respond to the impending onslaught of data produced by electronic vehicles charging on the smart grid. With most R&D partnerships there is a fairly distant horizon for any real consumer facing products, but in the case of Cisco and ECOtality, that time frame is 2011.
Leveraging the foundation of The EV Project, a federally funded green infrastructure project between ECOtality, Nissan and GM which hopes to have 15,000 public chargers installs by years end to support 5,000 to 7,000 electronic vehicles in nine states, Cisco and ECOtality will link the Blink Network with Cisco’s home energy controller. Cisco will also sell this data back to the utilities to monitor and manage both home and public charging while keeping it manageable for the utilities.
“If a consumer is not already aware of what their energy and electrical costs are, we think they’re going to become acutely aware of that once they purchase an EV,” Colin Read, ECOtality’s vice president of corporate development said. At the same time, utilities will have to tightly manage EVs plugging into their grids, which add the equivalent of a typical household electrical load to the grid when they’re charging.
“Energy management is one of the key smart features of Blink charging stations. By combining Cisco’s Home Energy Management solution with our Blink Network charger interface, consumers will now be able to monitor and control their energy use-including EV charging-at home and on the road,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “The Blink interface communicates directly with utilities to determine off-peak and low-cost charging times, and allows consumers to maximize energy usage and reduce costs. Together with Cisco, we are delivering a solution that empowers consumers to adopt renewable energy and promotes energy efficient technology that supports the deployment of the smart grid.”
Cisco’s home energy controller: (data sheet PDF)