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Technologies' big news at EVS26
was a collaboration with Fuji Electric Corporation of America to add Fuji's 25-kW DC Quick Charging Stations into the ChargePoint Network
. In fact, the very first such charger on the network was sitting there in the booth, and actual deployment in the U.S. is scheduled for later this year. Coulomb is already neck-deep in actual deployments of electric vehicle charging stations: more that 6,300 non-residential stations are online now and Coulomb says that about half of all EV drivers in the U.S. have a ChargePoint card. To get the latest, we spoke with Coulomb's Michael Jones about the Multicharge SF
program and - yes - the SAE combo charger announcement
It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary.
First, about Multicharge SF, which is a partnership with the City of San Francisco, Coulomb and PG&E and is funded by the California Energy Commission. The goal, perhaps unsurprisingly for San Francisco, where upwards of 60 percent of people live in multi-family units, is to find a way for apartment dwellers to recharge their EVs. Jones said the city government took the lead and identified places where chargers would be most useful, then reached out to the property owners to get them interested. In the end, about 70 different properties applied to be a part of the $900,000 program - and around 45-50 of them will be selected to actually get some of the total of about 100 chargers. "[The locations] represent all the different demographics: large properties and small properties, condos, co-ops, TICs [tenant in common, which means one mortgage for multiple units] and rental communities," Jones said. The variety extends to different income brackets as well as new and old properties. "One of the things we ran into early on is that there are some incredibly old power systems in San Francisco. Glass tubes in the fuse boxes. It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary."
The only way to get this many different groups involved was to start with a diverse set of partners. "It has to be a multi-stakeholder proposition to really work in the region," he said. "If I didn't have the city out with its resources, legal and building codes and everything else, it would be impossible for me to organize all those things. It really becomes a great template that other cities and public-private partnerships can use."
For example, Jones said, there's a rule in San Francisco that says that if you charge money for a parking space, you need to register as a parking operator. So, how does that apply to EVs? Does every building owner who installs a charger then need to go get a parking license? The city attorney is currently researching the answer to this question, he said, adding that the mayor standing by to quickly go to bat and get the rules changed if it is determined that the answer is "yes."
With its Chargepoint Network, Coulomb doesn't really care what connector people are using to get their cars on the grid. As long as the communication systems are there, Chargepoint can work with whatever kind of charging station is out there. But he did have a few things to say about the SAE combo charger. Specifically, that it doesn't encourage fast infrastructure deployment.
"Having that Level 2 standard [J1772] gives certainty to drivers," Jones said. "With fast charging, because you still have competing standards, I think that makes it a pilot proposition for a lot of communities as far as really getting behind a specific charger type. I think until the market coalesces around a technology, you're still just going to see a lot of uncertainty about what to deploy on any large scale."
As Coulomb works to solve some of the infrastructure problems, others arise. The trick is to not have partners hesitate too much, and so get as many chargers into use as makes sense.
Continue reading EVS: Coulomb readying San Francisco with 100 stations, finds "museum tour of electricity"
EVS: Coulomb readying San Francisco with 100 stations, finds "museum tour of electricity" originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 16 May 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink
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