Car-friendly outlets pave way for electric driving
December 5, 2008, 3:37pm PST | Length: 00:04:00
At the AlwaysOn Venture Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Praveen Mandal, president of Coulomb Technologies, outlines the difficulties in finding places to plug in rechargeable cars and balancing the grid, once automakers release their new lines of plug-in vehicles. He introduces his company's networked "Smarlet" system, which that monitors usage, and can be installed in pedestals and streetlights.
Male Speaker: Just about every major auto maker --
many with the exception of Honda -- has a very active or
pro active plug-in vehicle program. BMW is going to be
leasing 500 of these cars in New York and LA starting in
January. You've got Toyota who's going to be bringing
out their plug-in hybrids in 2009, and fleet -- we've
all heard about the Chevy Volt and how important that is
to the U.S. and foreign oil independence. And Mercedes
will be announcing something in Detroit next year as
well. Chevy -- Chrysler has three programs as well.
The forecast -- the graph on the right is the forecast.
Just to put it into perspective, 700,000 vehicles is
nothing in terms of new vehicle sales. Last year there
was roughly about 16 million vehicles sold in the U.S..
This year's forecasted to be about 10 to 11 million. So
-- hence, the reason why the auto makers are hurting.
So finally, these cars are coming. What's the
challenges associated with these cars. The first and
foremost where are people going to plug it in and
charge. There's the Department of Transportation
Department of Energy study that states that we have 54
million garages in the U.S. today, and about 27 million
cars, registered vehicles. You can imagine that in San
Francisco about one out of every six cars are not parked
in garages. Most of the parking structure is for
curb-side at nighttime. The second is that people want
to charge more than once a day, right? The plug-in
hybrids have 30 to 40 mile range. The BEVs have longer
range. These cars are trickle chargers. Their onboard
chargers range from 1.1 kilowatt to 6.6 kilowatt. They
take hours to charge. So you want to -- you want to
have a charging station where people normally park,
which is where they sleep, where they work, and maybe
where they play -- like golf courses or movie theaters.
Second is, you know, we don't think that subsidies can
work. The recurrent costs and the costs of these
charging stations have to be paid for. This is one of
the things that we address, and I'll get into how that's
addressed. The third is that the 3,000 or so utilities
in the U.S. are debating about at what point does it
start impacting the grid and the load on the grid. And
this is another issue that needs to be resolved. This
is our solution. It's a system. It consists of network
charging stations. That's what you see over there.
They're called smartlets. What they are, are charging
stations with networking technology embedded in them.
Version 1 is Zigby Inaudible dot four. In this
cluster, one of the studies Inaudible a Gateway. The
Gateway has a radio. In this case, shown as CDMA.
Could be shown as GSM GPRs or something else that
communicates back to our server. This is a client
server technology. A lot of the energy policy
administration, the subscription revenues, you know,
host revenue model, everything is done -- is enabled
because of this network charging system. These are some
of our systems. We did announce a standard -- yesterday
at EDTA a standardized J 1772 connector on a charging
station for 220, 15, 220 charging. There's a pedestal
version we call Ballard, and then there's a smaller
version that mounts to a street light. The reason why
we have the street light is because a lot of times there
is conduits already laid to the street poles, and it's
an easy installation provided there's spacing in the