This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 24, 2010

Companies Rolling Out Innovations in Electric Vehicle Charging

Photo of a vertical rectangular electrical box which has an insulated wire coiled in front, and is attached to a round, metal pole.

Coulomb Technologies' pole-mounted charging station for electric vehicles.
Credit: Coulomb Technologies

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more common in the United States, with several new models expected to start shipping later this year, companies are seeking ways to make the new transportation more acceptable, and one means is to make recharging easier. To that end, General Electric Company (GE) and Juice Technologies recently jointly announced their development agreement to create intelligent plug-in electric vehicle charging devices for U.S. and global markets. The chargers will integrate GE's smart meters with Juice Technology's "Plug Smart" technology, which enables EVs to communicate with the Smart Grid, to help consumers charge their cars during low-demand, lower-cost time periods. The companies will begin offering the EV chargers in the United States in the second quarter of 2010, with full-scale production ramping up throughout the year. Global availability will follow. See the GE press release and the product description from Plug Smart, a subsidiary of Juice Technologies.

Meanwhile, Evatran has developed "Plugless Power" recharging systems that use electrical induction to eliminate the need for cords and plugs. The company announced on February 23 that it would launch a field trial of pre-production units in its headquarter town of Wytheville, Virginia. Participants will include the Town of Wytheville, several businesses, and individuals, each of whom will be driving electric vehicles on a regular basis and using the Evatran prototype systems. The company expects full-scale production by late fall 2010. For drivers seeking plug-in charges, Coulomb Technologies recently announced the ChargePoint iPhone App, a free application that allows EV drivers to locate ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations for EVs anywhere in North America. The App also allows users to see in real time if a charging station is currently available. See the Evatran press release and product description, plus the press release from Coulomb Technologies.