Preparing for the Arrival of Electric Vehicle (Text Version)
Curtis Framel: Welcome to today's Department of Energy's sponsored webinar. My name is Curtis Framel, Technical Assistance Program, TAP, lead, with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, SWEEP, based in Boulder, Colorado.
We are a non-profit public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in the Southwest and are part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Recover Act Technical Assistance Provider Network.
I'll be serving as the moderator for today's presentation on Preparing for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles.
Our speakers for today's presentation include: Mike Salisbury, also with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and George Little, who is with the Vermont Energy and Investment Corporation based in Burlington, Vermont. And I'll further introduce them shortly but first, let's go over the agenda for the day.
Leslie, I need to turn the slide.
Leslie: Sorry, you cannot operate the slide.
Curtis Framel: Oh.
Leslie: You had control. You can't move your mouse or anything?
Curtis Framel: I can move my mouse but it's not moving slides.
Leslie: Can you hit the down arrow? I see your mouse moving. Are you moving the mouse?
Curtis Framel: There we go. Thank you.
So, let's go over the agenda for today. I'll give you a short intro on the Technical Assistance Program, for those not aware of the services. We'll then spend the bulk of our time addressing elements of developing electric vehicle, EV infrastructure plan, and then we'll go to questions.
The webinar will work like this: Everyone's muted except for the three presenters, as you know, and we will go through the presentation in about 45 minutes and are leaving questions for the end. Though, you don't have to wait to the end for questions. So, when you have a question, go ahead and put it in the question box on the right-hand corner. It's the orange arrow, which by clicking will go in and out. The blue button is just to get full screen.
If there's a specific person you would like your question to go to, indicate that or I will just open it up to both speakers.
If you want to speak, use â€˜raise hand' function and type the question in the question box and then you will be recognized and be unmated.
A copy of both the presentation and verbal transcripts will be posted on the Solution Center website afterwards. Also, just so you know, listeners will receive a questionnaire evaluation when the webinar is over and would appreciate any comments and that will be posted three to five business days after the webinar today.
So, with that, what is the Technical Assistance Program, TAP? It's over 200 helping hands represented through several dozen organizations. Through TAP, DOE has launched an effort to assist SEP and EECBG grantees and sub-grantees, Recovery Grant recipients, who are eligible to receive free direct assistance from these technical experts.
I know here at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project we have received questions from state to municipalities on a wide variety of requests. From assistance with state and local building codes to finding example RFP's for some wind engineering equipment.
We're working on a county electric vehicle study now and we support industrial program work. We're being asked questions like, "How to wean business off of energy rebates and incentives while maintaining high participation rates?" and, "How to communicate a message on climate change to state employees?" And the questions go on and on.
And the key to TAP is asking. What's really important is the one-on-one assistance, although, we do have peer exchange meetings coming up soon across the country, and that's an effort to hear from you and your peers what's working and what's not. These events are being organized now, so let us know if you're interested in attending the one in your state or region.
So, in a nutshell, the TAP has five teams offering diversitive-skills related to program development and implementation, as you can see from the summary list. Your questions can be assigned to any one of several teams; financing, performance contracting, regional coordinators and even the National Energy Laboratories.
SWEEP and VEIC, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, are part of Team 4, which is the program implementation team and represented by these regional and national organizations.
And I'll show you this again at the end of the program with contacts so you know where to go for further information. And that's the key to TAP; brokering and providing information and research to help you, as recipients, get the job done.
So, with that, onto our subject matter for the day.
Our first speaker is Mike Salisbury. As I mentioned earlier, Mike is also with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and our transportation program. Mike's work at SWEEP has focused on promoting policies that reduce driving and promote the use of higher-efficiency clean-air vehicles.p>
Mike is the co-author of the Colorado Transportation Blueprint, a comprehensive document analyzing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas from the transportation sector, and he has worked on legislation in multiple states to promote the sale of high-efficiency vehicles.
With that, Mike, let's get started.
Mike Salisbury: All right. Thanks a lot, Curtis, and thank you everyone for being here today. So, to start with kind of a brief snapshot of some of the stuff going on in the electric-vehicle infrastructure world, a lot of stuff happening at the government level, the Federal government level, the Department of Energy and also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there's a lot of funding being injected into this area.
I think one of the very key aspects is the EV Project, which is a project partnership between the DOE and the company ECOtality, and they're helping to set up private and public charging infrastructure in 16 cities across the country and their plan is to install 1,500 charging stations by June of 2011.
And one of the really critical things that they'll be bringing is they're going to be collecting all this data from the early adopters of the electric vehicles so that we'll have a good idea of how they drive and how they charge their electric vehicles and the report of this data can be really critical in allowing us to really establish from what are the best practices regarding setting up electric vehicles infrastructure in other cities.
Other programs, the Queen City Program, provides support for alternative fuels and vehicles. FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, they're, actually right now, working on developing guidelines for the development of smart grids; you have cities such as Boulder, Colorado that are kind of moving forward with their own, developing their own smart grid. Governments, Federal and state, they're offering tax incentives and tax breaks for the purchase of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. And many have tax credits available for installation of the infrastructure as well.
The Federal government also has a lot of support, over $2 billion, in advanced battery research, and, obviously, the industry. A lot of manufacturers themselves, I think you probably know about vehicles like the Nissan LEAF, the Chevy Volt, maybe the Prius plug-in hybrids that are coming up.
But just from what I've seen, over the next two to three years, there's estimated to be about 20 new vehicle types, some electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, being put just in the U.S. market. So there's a whole new niche and subsidized vehicles going out there and a lot of businesses have been getting into that and taking advantage of that and trying to serve that through the needs of this niche.
And then there's a lot of groups in the public and private sector who are kind of supporting electric vehicle and electric-vehicle infrastructure for a variety of reasons.
So, generally, what we're talking about today is outlining how a city, a municipality, or kind of any level of government really, would go about what they are developing on an electric-vehicle infrastructure plan and what elements go into that.
So, these six bullet points you see on this slide, is a general outline of our presentation. And we're obviously going to get into quite a bit more detail about each of those. And I'll go ahead and start in the next slide.
Really, one of the most important initial steps to developing a kind of EV infrastructure plan is to assemble the right group of stake holders to representing the relevant groups to put the plan together. Some of the kind of very important people that you'd want to have giving input on this, you would start with the local utilities.
They're going to play a pretty key role in coordinating infrastructure deployment and developing a greater smart-charging capability and also offering things like charging different rate structures for charging at night, for example.
Your local governments are going to be very involved in this effort because they're kind of the instigators and they're kind of the focal point of a lot of this, and at all different levels; the mayor, the fleet manager, city planners, they all kind of have a role to play.
Local businesses are really critical to developing the plan. You have not just the electric-vehicle auto dealers, who obviously have an interest in seeing these vehicles and the infrastructure promoted, but also you have companies or businesses that might be interested in providing electric charging infrastructure at their business as a way to kind of bring customers in and also have EVSE, Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment companies, who are going to be important as far as helping you realize how much this infrastructure is going to cost and there's the companies ECOtality, Coulomb, eTec, AeroVironment, for example, are some companies in that work.
Local non-profits, they're all ready most likely going to be active at a local, even state level, and they're going to have a real level of expertise about electric vehicle and electric-vehicle infrastructure, and that can be very helpful.
And then, other government agencies, MPO, which is Metropolitan Planning Organization or even councils of government, can really play a key role because, especially, when you're talking about areas of more than one jurisdiction, which is often obviously the case in many metro areas.
I know in the Phoenix area their Association of Government there is actually playing a pretty central role in developing their electric-vehicles infrastructure plan. They have a lot of experience working across all the different cities and municipalities that are in that area, so they have a real expertise to help out with that.
And then also agencies like air quality agencies. They can play an important role because they're developing their long-term air quality plans to help meet the Clean Air Act requirements and so they're interested in electric vehicles as ways to kind of reduce criteria pollutants from tailpipe emissions.
And so generally it's going to require a lot of coordination and a lot of communication for those kind of groups to come together and operate smoothly, but it's really an important first step to have all these important stake holders at the table and they're there from the beginning.
Curtis Framel: Great, thanks, Mike. And we'll be going back and forth between Mike and George. So, let me introduce George as our next speaker.
George Little has helped develop the Vermont Energy Investment Corporations Transportation Department. His particular interest is in bidirectional communication between electric-drive vehicles and the grid. His particular expertise is knowledge of government agency rule making. He was formerly the Rural Transportation Manager for the Quebec-Labrador Foundation and a contract administrator for the Vermont Low-Emission Vehicle Program, where he was one of the primary authors and technical leads for successive adoptions of zero-emissions requirements, greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles, including serving as the technical lead for Vermont in defense of Greenhouse Gas Standards in Federal District Court and Environmental Performance Labeling requirements, and finally Emission Warranty and Recall Reporting Provisions.
With that introduction, George, why don't you take it away.
George Little: Thank you, Curtis and thank you Mike. We're very grateful to SWEEP for all your support and experience and preparation of this webinar.
The next seven slides provide an overview of regulations, codes and standards and how they may be reflected in the permitting process. Much of the material we will quickly cover is also available for your review at the DOE Clean Cities website. We will provide that link in the resources page at the end of this presentation. The coordinator toolbox would be your link at the DOE Clean Cities website, which then offers you webinar archives.
And many of the bullet headings that we will use in the next seven slides come from a presentation on March 23 of this year by Jim Francfort of DOE's Idaho National Laboratories and Don Karner of eTec, who is also associated with ECOtality, the operators of the EV Project.
Their presentation on March 23 was titled Electric Drive Vehicles and Their Infrastructure Issues. And we thank Linda Bluestein of the DOE Clean Cities Program for permission to borrow some of the structure to which we have added our own individual comments.
We do have regulations, codes and standards because safety needs to be paramount, obviously; ultimately, for human health but also to protect structures and equipment.
Mandatory safety regulations related to EVSE and as Mike keyed up, with your permission, we will use this as a naming convention to generically refer to the basic preparation for EV vehicles, can include sections of the Code of Federal Regulations, especially Title 29, Section 1910.
Now, the title itself, Code of Federal Regulations, might suggest that codes and regulations are synonymous; however, regulations are legally enforceable, while codes, in their purest sense, provide advice on how to meet those regulations or regulatory requirements.
Voluntary standards include equipment standards from ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, and those from IEEE, the Institute of Electrically and Electronics Engineers, as two examples.
So the distinctions between standards, codes and regulations can be a bit murky. As an example; in some criminal proceedings, courts may not hold that adherence to standards at the same level of expectation and responsibility as adherence to regulations.
However, proceedings in civil court may treat standards and codes as industry practices and, thus, are de facto performance requirements.
In summation; regulations are mandatory, voluntary compliance with standards is our expected behavior. Not following codes, essentially invites an assessment that regulations have not been followed.
Some of the applicable authorities, when we discuss regulation codes and standards, include OSHA. We are all, undoubtedly familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is a prominent Federal agency.
OSHA has mandatory requirements. That is regulations for workplace equipment to be certified to various standards. For our purposes in discussing EVSE, these devices, which they certify, often refer to Underwriter Laboratory standards for electrical equipment. In particular; UL standard 2202 applies to EVSE and this is the baseline OSHA requirement.
The National Electric Code, NEC, is also known as the National Fire Protection Association, Title 70. And it is revised on a three-year cycle. The National Electric Code recognizes Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories, NRTL, like Underwriter Laboratories, or UL, for certifying equipment acceptable to their code provisions.
Now the NEC is adopted by most local jurisdictions and also has a standard state-wide adoption. At the individual jurisdiction level, cyclical adoptions of the three-year revised NEC may, due to unique logistical and administrative processes, briefly have earlier, rather than the most current version, of the NEC officially in effect.
NEC Article 625 address electric-vehicles charging systems including the wiring, the coupler, the control and protection of the equipment, and the EVSE location itself. And it will be the NEC and that Article 625 that local building inspectors will be using in evaluating EVSE or infrastructure installations.
I'm sure we all are familiar with the Society of Automotive Engineers, otherwise referred to as SAE, and after many years of development, in January 2010, SAE adopted their standard J1772. And this is the electric vehicle conductive charge coupler that applies to both Level I and Level II charging that is 120 and 240 volts and covers 16 to 80 amps respectively. And the LEAF and the Volt will be compatible with this standard.
To show you again, the interrelation between Laboratory's codes, standards and OSHA requirements, the UL certifies the J1772 coupler, which in turn, meets the provisions of the National Electric Code 625. These couplers, as a point of interest, are designed to survive 10,000 connection and disconnection cycles. That's fairly substantial, sometimes modeled as up to 27 years in use. And these couplers have five pins; two power pins, two data pins and a ground pin and they support two-way communication; an issue that we'll be discussing further as we go along.
Permitting is the process of controlling infrastructure additions and changes. LEED is the likely familiar acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a green building certification system.
Incentives for LEED-certified buildings are increasing and can dovetail with other sustainable community policies, including multi-model transportation options and innovative approaches to lessening traditional parking space requirements and, thus, the cost to developers and building owners.
The LEED certification process establishes credit options for providing EVSE in both new and existing construction. For existing construction there is a requirement to survey building occupants about their reduced commuting trips related to the citing of the building and its amenities.
This survey focus is broadly shared with the concepts of locational efficiency and smart growth. If we consider locational efficiency as a principle then it can be expressed in an affordability index as the tool applied to that principle. And these are concepts which flow from the work of Scott Bernstein at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago.
This thinking is widely reflected now at the local NPO and RPC level and those would be valuable local contacts for people to make to learn more.
Briefly, locational efficiency is a measure of accessibility and convenience. And of interest to grantees, is emerging as a screening criterion for Federal policies and funding programs, so it's clearly a concept that we should include in our EVSE permitting considerations.
Locational efficiency is a tool for estimating travel demand by measuring vehicle ownership, vehicle miles traveled, vehicle use and it can be expressed as a dollar value and, thus, as a way to calculate relative cost of different options.
The permitting procedures on this slide are largely self-explanatory. Their progression is from the simple to the more complex, top to bottom, and we would highlight here that a plan check is less intensive and likely less expensive than a planning review as a permitting procedure.
Assuming that safety elements are otherwise well accounted for in local codes and processes, it may be helpful for a municipality to review their local provisions with an eye to expediting the installations of EVSE.
If you will, top down executive-level support and advocacy for innovative and expeditious permitting will make the position of code administrators much easier.
The permitting process does involve some level of inspection, obviously. An authorized party might be as simple as a licensed electrician. An authority having jurisdiction can be an organization, it can be an office, it can be an individual, an entity responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard for approving equipment, evaluating an installation or other proposed procedure.
And the inspection process has its roots in the National Fire Protection Association, Standard 20, or the National Electric Code, where these procedures are essentially codified.
Essentially, it would be prudent to proactively determine, at the local permitting authority level, if the permit reviewers and/or the associated inspectors are conversant with and comfortable applying the applicable National Electric Code EVSE provisions. That was, again, Section 625.
Expedited dealer facilitation has already been mentioned by Mike and this is an interesting win-win scenario that's proposed to ensure that new plug-in vehicle owners can expeditiously use that vehicle. It's clearly an enlightened self-interest for the dealer, the brand they represent, and facilitates the general progression to wide-spread electric drive transportation.
Residential EVSE permitting is likely to become an ever more common activity. Assuming that the LEAF and the Volt and their cousins have reasonable market acceptance starting this fall, we may expect an approaching wave of activity a year from now, in the fall of 2011, when sales go national instead of these initial geo-targeted early-deployment regions.
In large part, the EV project is meant to provide for these early-deployment regions and the challenge now will be to provide that charging infrastructure appropriate to the national sales.
So, starting just about now, examination and potential streamlining of permitting procedures is highly advisable. Some of the requirements that will likely happen in residential permitting include the addition of an appropriate branch circuit with an appropriately rated circuit breaker and wiring.
A service upgrade may also be required. As you may know, most residences have a 240 volt supply, which will support either Level I or Level II charging; however, the service amps or the electrical power, if you will, can vary from as low as 30 amps in half-century old building stock to 100 to 200 amps in newer construction.
Increasing the service amps, if that is required, will be reflected through the service entrances, the meter panels, the main panel, the breaker and the wiring; all part of the permitting review process.
The critical thing to remember is, that if we exceed the current rating of a wire it gets hot, raising the safety issue that we began our discussion with and is an interesting way of illustrating why it would be the National Fire Protection Association, which develops the National Electric Code.
If required, a load calculation will determine the minimum-sized service by calculating the probabilities of simultaneous operations of devices based on the National Electric Code, Article 220, and those devices, of course, would include EVSE.
Commercial EVSE permitting will require the elements listed on the slide. Load calculation is once again based on National Electric Code criteria and licensed professionals will have either worksheets or software program tools to make a calculation.
Among the relevant details of this calculation exercise, looks at utility records for peak load at a location and system capacity. So, essentially, commercial EVSE permitting is going to have a level of rigor, a step up from that of residential.
You'll note the final line requires planning review if outside. This is that further step from a simpler plan check that we mentioned on the previous slide and essentially broadens the evaluation focus to include a potential larger suite of applicable codes and standards in a jurisdiction.
So, logically, permitting authorities at this point, may again wish to be planning the allocation of their resources over this coming year for an anticipated coming volume of permit applications. Some of the commercial applications will have private vehicle charging applications but there will be some genuine commercial vehicles coming, the Ford Transit Connect, for instance and some medium-duty vehicles, maybe quietly arriving despite the high publicity of the passenger-car market.
And with the next slide, Mike will continue discussion of this resource-planning theme.
Mike Salisbury: All right, thank you George. So, generally, we'll go back in to talking about some of the planning elements that go into this.
It's important, I think, to develop and think about having a long-range plan for the EVSE in your area, so that you really have, for the city, a clear idea of what the goal is, what they're trying to get to ten years from.
Curtis Framel: Mike, we couldn't hear you there.
Mike Salisbury: Oh, sorry about that. Yeah, I was just saying that it is important to have a long-range plan to kind of figure out where you're trying to get ten years down the line. One way to kind of go about that is to have a series of short-term plans to build to that ten-year goal.
And one of the things you'll need to come up with is to try and develop estimates, try to determine how many electric vehicles you might expect in your area over this time period, so that you can effectively plan out when and where to provide the kind of charging infrastructure. And the planning will also help insure that you develop an actual comprehensive charging infrastructure plan that's not kind of at hawk where you add two charging stations one year and then realize two years later that you need a couple more over there.
Really, you're trying to focus on providing infrastructure as efficiently as possible, so we're conserving our resources and that that infrastructure can serve the most and greatest number of people.
And part of the planning also is you'll need to kind of examine area travel patterns and existing building and electricity infrastructure to help you best determine the locations for infrastructure.
And then there's plenty of opportunities out there for planning sustainable communities. There's a partnership, one example is there's a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Highway Administration, HUD and EPA that's kind of focused on sustainable community and planning and kind of integrating these elements of the environment and housing and transportation, which is something you can see that electric vehicles in the infrastructure can play a part of.
And just kind of a brief overview, when we're talking about charging infrastructure, George briefly mentioned a little bit of this but there's three basic levels that we kind of talk about and each one kind of can meet certain different needs.
Level I, it's kind of the ambiguous outlet that you will find everywhere and this level of infrastructure could actually work for some people and some vehicles. For example, if you have a smaller plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, for example the Prius plug-in hybrid, so it has a range of about ten miles on its battery.
That's the kind of thing that you won't need a long period of time to charge it, and to charge it at your house overnight. You can see on the slide here that for the Volt, for example, the larger battery, it could require about 10 to 13 hours to fully charge it, but again, if you're charging the vehicle at home overnight and your car is parked for 12 hours every night, then that might work for you.
Obviously, the upside of this is that it's all ready there, there's no need to make a significant investment of a new infrastructure for some of the people who this will work for.
[Background Noise] But, if you are starting to _________ cities to this electric vehicle, pure electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF with the larger battery, you're going to definitely want to look at Level II charging and that's kind of a discouragement. It has - in houses, your clothes dryer operates on that kind of voltage.
So, it's in houses but again, if you're going to charge your vehicle, you're probably going to need some of those upgrades that George talked about. But this kind of charging level can be deployed at homes, businesses and public charging facilities and at this voltage you're going to be able to charge most electric vehicles in a fairly reasonable time, either with overnight charging or if you have it parked for a good number of hours.
And then this final level, Level III, is a very high voltage charging, which mostly closely resembles what you think of as topping off or filling up at a gas station. These are very important, that kind of help electric-vehicle drivers kind of overcome the idea of range anxiety, where they're very concerned that they're going to be stranded on the side of the road, with no electrical source to allow them to get home or get where they need to go.
Another, and George had talked about the planning and permitting, this is important and it's also a safety issue. You're talking about high amounts of electricity but also making sure that the different areas of the grid can actually handle that kind of voltage.
So, I want to kind of discuss where to invest your resources in EV infrastructure. Home charging should generally probably be the first focus because this is probably where the majority of EV owners will actually do their charging, especially the early adopters.
_________ at survey said that 63 percent of potential EV users prefer charging at home. So again, almost all single-family homes are going to all ready have access to at least Level I charging. So, if you can also determine what areas of your city are all ready perhaps well-served by single-family homes that have that kind of capacity, you might want to invest some of this home-charging resources into areas with, say, lots of apartments or condos without garages that would lack the all ready built-in infrastructure.
And yet, many electric vehicle owners are going to want to upgrade to Level II charging in order to speed up the charging and lots of states do offer some kinds of incentives for installation of EVSE in homes. Like, for example, the EV project we mentioned, is currently subsidizing the provision of home-charging for those purchasing EV's in the cities that they're working in.
The second kind of focus, I think is going to be on charging infrastructure in places where vehicles are going to be parked for long stretches of time; six to eight hours during the day. These will end up being the prime charging places for those without the capacity to charge overnight at home. So if you're thinking about locations such as parking garages, Park-n-Ride transits, actually on-the-job sites, most of these are going to be Level II charging to make sure that people have a sufficient time to recharge their vehicle and then this is also something employers, businesses can offer both to their employees as benefits or something to attract customers to their business.
And then finally, thinking about what's truly public charging stations, and this is going to give drivers the opportunity to top off with a Level II or Level III charging, depending on their needs and time constraints.
So, Level II will work in some instances, where vehicles are going to be parked for a couple hours, so shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, places like that. And then Level III, again, it can be used for people who are looking for a quick kind of top off and those can be deployed in certain kind of pocket areas with highways or corridors and will help relieve range anxiety.
Businesses, as in like a private service to their customers, and also to draw customers. For example, Best Buy is actually planning to install charging stations at stores around the country or in several cities over the next year. And then the data collection analysis part of this, really helps the city or municipality determine where to place the public charging and strategies for doing that, you can define the areas that are going to have high population or employment densities and also those areas with high-traffic volume, so the most number of people can be served by the infrastructure that you invest.
And so, again, you might not need to invest a lot of this public charge infrastructure in areas where people all ready have access to home charging.
Curtis Framel: George?
George Little: Thank you, Mike and Curtis.
The two bullets on this slide, actually, lead us into a fairly dense discussion and I'll try to be expeditious in discussing it.
Coordination's a key element among stake holders, obviously, who are preparing for the arrival of electric vehicles and not the least of which is coordination with local utilities and, potentially, even the regional transmission operator.
Networked charging stations, and good examples of these are in the EV project, the efforts of Coulomb Technologies and AeroVironment, will have the capacity to interact with the grid, to communicate with the grid and to coordinate with utilities and grid operators.
Some of the non-networked home vehicle charging stations will also facilitate communication and will interface with the grid through emerging Smart Meter installation and a growing interest by homeowners in home-area networks.
Nissan, GM and Ford vehicles all support a variety of iPhone-type applications, apps, and GM and Ford also have the OnStar in sync by directional connectivity systems. In the degree to which these applications communicate and are used by vehicle owners to communicate, first, with a network charging station and then with a grid, will highlight the eventual progression and a current elemental distinction between an individual vehicle operator interacting with the grid on a one-time basis, if you will, and the eventual structure interaction of multiple operators. And this is the heart of a controlled versus uncontrolled charging discussion.
This does rapidly become a highly nuanced topic and we might suffice it to say, for our discussion today, that there will be clear opportunities for commercial aggregators to serve a variety of clients. There's going to be an opportunity for utilities and RTO's, ISO's and there's likely going to be a potentially involved public policy discussion on the privacy and use of data emanating from vehicles and their charging connections and there will be cyber security issues.
Now, ideally, the vehicle operator experience connecting to the grid, would be one that follows what we refer to as the cell-phone model; that is the ability to roam and to have one's vehicle identified and seamlessly connected at varying locations beyond one's own home or service territory.
The vehicle onboard data suite will be able to broadcast the battery state of charge, even the vehicle identification number, GIS data, and if the operator further has some level of identification that identifies him to a charging point, and the move here is toward contactless radio frequency identification and RFID cards. This will facilitate what will be the necessary periodic billing and identification of the vehicle operator to the system. And is also a building block for the coordination of data that may be shared for a grid-optimized system.
Hopefully, recent experience of ATM and credit card industry providers will help ameliorate some of the security issues and, as we sort of revisit an iteration of that technology, as you may know, credit cards now in the European union are by and large all RFID enabled, that that experience in those industries will translate over to our use of those cards with electric vehicles and reduce the number of sort of teething problems as technology gets rolled out in that application.
And, this is a way to say that we might well consider that younger generations clearly embrace a new connected world of shared data. Which doesn't change the fact that some of us in other generations are expressing fairly broad consumer concerns over the ability of network charging station providers to access what is otherwise proprietary operator information.
And this is clearly that policy discussion that we spoke of a moment ago and what we don't know, of course, is what the intensity of that discussion will be and whether the people who are active in those discussions, those policy makers, share or do not share, the younger generation's perspective.
So, having that on our radar screens is probably a good idea.
This data communication ability that we're speaking of is also central to the functions that we'll see on the next slide.
As we look further out to the needs for coordination for good optimization, we consider the not-infrequently-discussed opportunities for vehicle to grid, V2G, and vehicle to home or vehicle to building.
These opportunities require the bidirectional communication that we were just speaking of and, in the case of transfer of power, also require that the vehicle have bidirectional AC to AC inverters.
Willett Kempton at the University of Delaware is the leading researcher in aggregating electric vehicles. He's developed a proprietary communication system and bidirectional power electronics and is now participating in a PJM territory in the mid-Atlantic states; this is a frequency regulation program. And of interest to listeners to this presentation, there is now supporting legislation in Delaware that codifies, that establishes a compensation protocol for vehicle owners and utilities to provide power to the grid from their battery packs.
GE thinking, as you may well know, is that since most vehicles are parked up to 23 hours a day, the opportunities to manage the charge and discharge of the energy source represented by the battery packs, typically at relatively low and brief rates, which does not, as we know at this point, profoundly impact battery life, provides the opportunity to respond in real-time to grid operator signals to regulate the frequency that is the cycles; the hertz and voltage, which is a grid operation necessity.
This is a clear money-making opportunity. The people who provide that power, typically through aggregators are reimbursed based on the duration of the presentation of their battery pack to the grid.
It was for this reason that you may have heard the famous expression from Jon Wellinghoff, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman, who about a year-and-a-half ago, characterized a plug-in vehicle as a cash cow.
The final two bullets on this slide really look out to even further functionalities that we may expect from electric vehicle communication systems and these include the optimization of design; that is the idea that the battery cell, a battery pack, may have utility, pardon the expression, at several different levels and enable the capture of renewable generation to sort of integrate that to the grid and to provide sort of an intelligent full-life cycle design.
There are large utilities in Texas and California who are looking at vehicle battery packs at the end of their effective service life in vehicles as providing uninterruptable power supplies at a static utility level.
Eventually, we certainly expect that carbon is going to become monetized one way or another through various public policies. And that will begin to decarbonizes the grid also, and that will further highlight the importance and the use of vehicle communication data as the method of quantifying what the interaction and quality of an electric vehicle interaction with the grid is in a system that will essentially, as an example, create credits for the use of lower-carbon intensity fuels and that would be an electric-drive vehicle as opposed to a fossil fuel-power vehicle. And there needs to be some method of quantifying the kilowatt hours that that vehicle receives from the grid and possibly even offers to the grid.
So, communications and the ability to build in the evolving computer model, on the very robust suite of data that all ready exists in vehicles and use that to integrate and coordinate with the grid, will become increasingly important.
Curtis Framel: Thank you, George. Let's move on to public education, as we wrap up the presentation so we have some time for questions and answers.
Mike Salisbury: Sure, kind of the last point that we want to hit today is, it's just very critical that there be public education elements so that the public and the automobile purchaser's ideas of what electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure are going to provide them, actually match up with the reality, so that they know how far a vehicle can actually go without a charge.
I was speaking with someone who is in Arizona working with the EV project and they actually have a very aggressive engagement of their customers all ready, educating them on what to expect from their electric vehicles and from their recharging infrastructure, and this is before they get the vehicles.
They're really trying to get out in front of this and make sure that the early adopters, especially, are not going to be frustrated by their expectations. It's very important that purchasers of vehicles have an understanding of what the different vehicle types, what they offer; that there's a big difference between a plug-in hybrid with a 10 mile capacity versus a Nissan LEAF with maybe a 100 mile electric capacity. And so different drivers are going to have different needs and going to want a different vehicle type to best suit their driving patterns.
And then based on that vehicle they get, they're going to probably want to think about, "Okay, what's the best charging infrastructure for myself? Is that going to be at the house or is it going to be somewhere else?"
So throughout the whole process of purchasing the vehicle and purchasing any charging infrastructure, that they're informed about their decisions and that the dealers, the suppliers of infrastructure and the customers are all on the same page and have a good understanding of what they're doing and also making sure they have an idea of the kind of expectation of cost, for if they do have to upgrade their electrical service to the vehicle they get, that that doesn't come as an unpleasant surprise.
And then, finally, just kind of keeping in mind that there's some kind of training for the repair and maintenance of these vehicles and the batteries and the equipment is something that's going to have to be some kind of a new skill set to be developed. It's not necessarily all ready there. So additional training might have to be supplied for that.
And then finally, this last slide is a list of a lot of the resources that George and I have mentioned throughout the presentation. I really encourage you to kind of go through some of this information. It covers, obviously, a much broader realm of information than we could begin to get to today, especially, just for example, the Department of Energy, they have the Alternative Fuel Data Center, which has - part of it is just a list of all the different incentives that are available in all the state and Federal levels for electric vehicles and recharging infrastructure.
So, that's one of many wonderful resources that you can really dig into and hopefully answer a lot of the questions you might have.
Thank you, very much.
Curtis Framel: Great, thank you, George and Mike. Before we go to questions, I would like to again highlight the technical assistance program, TAP, and how to seek further information.
And here's you step, the Solution Center, which is where you all came in to log in today. And this is where you go for further questions.
I do want to encourage those that are interested to tap the blog and this is a growing element of the TAP program and one that is of specific interest to your particular area of involvement and, again, I wanted to remind everyone regarding Team 4, here are our organizations and the service territories that we have.
Several of these organizations have staff with expertise on transportation programs that, as you've heard from two of them today, they coincide with the respect of organizations here, the points of contacts, phone numbers and these folks will even enter the TAP request for you.
We try to keep this process as simple as possible and I think that's the bottom line.
So, now, with our remaining minutes, and I'm going to encourage, we've got a dozen questions, so we're not going to be able to take them all, but I'll start and probably just try to squeeze another five or ten minutes in, if we can. And if your question is not answered, I would encourage you to e-mail George, or e-mail Mike or myself, and we'll do our best to get back to you with an answer.
So, with that, let's go ahead to our first question.
Mike, this is to you: We are a company, Plug-in Vehicle Solutions; we represent several manufacturers of EV charging stations. The EV charging creates a monopoly for ECOtality, how can we help get the other manufacturers involved?
Mike Salisbury: Hmm, that's a very good question. I know ECOtality, I believe, is contracted specifically with Nissan. I know there's anotherâ€¦
I believe Coulomb Technologies has also contracted with some of the other auto manufacturers. I would think because there might be some potential out there, just because there are so many new vehicles coming on the market over the next couple years from all kinds of different car companies, that there might be a wider range than just the kind of principle vehicle manufacturers, to try to partner up with them.
And that would be my initial thought about that.
Curtis Framel: All right, thank you. And the next question is: Yes, the slides and audio will be available for review in three to five days. So after the session, then it will be three to five days on the Solution Center website.
Next question: Do you see the Tapeko protocol to be UL approved for the Level III charge for American made cars and not just Japanese models? And if so, when?
George Little: Curtis, this is George and I would offer that this definitely has been in the news and it really is a strong consortium based in Japan that has essentially taken this standard production model, adopted it and agreed on it among themselves. And I wish I could offer helpful information and will defer to Mike in a moment to see if he has more, but I don't have a timeline or a good understanding of what the North American politics and potential rollout adoption might be.
Mike Salisbury: Yeah, I'm sorry, and unfortunately, I don't know any further details than what George has all ready said about that.
Curtis Framel: Okay. The next question's probably a long a similar line, and it might just be your opinion, so with Congress, who knows. And the question is: When and will the EVSE tax credits get extended into 2011?
And I don't know if that's more a political question for us or, anyone want to take a stab?
Mike Salisbury: Yeah, this is Mike. I mean, it's definitely a political question. I know they have bills, in I think, both houses of Congress, but I don't know that, and I know at SWEEP we've kind of worked with some partners trying to move those forward but I don't know that there's going to be - we're hoping that we can get them approved so that they keep on going into 2011, but I just don't know. And politics, obviously, changed a lot last night too, so I don't know what kind of impact that's going to have on moving those tax credits forward.
Curtis Framel: Okay. Next question is from Keith: The DOE seems to only be focusing on EVSE on the coasts, what are the plans to focus on the mid-West, specifically, Kansas City?
We can't speak directly for DOE but what are you guys' thoughts?
George Little: Curtis, this is George. I know that the DOE's Clean Cities is hoping that there will be some supplemental round of Federal funding that will essentially take the EV and Coulomb coast build out that the question refers and try to fill in those very substantial gaps in the rest of the country.
And the model that they hope to use is one that Mike has clearly spoken to, and that is using the EV project, micro-climating model, in which the surgical precision, if you will, how many charging stations, where and when, will maximize whatever dollars become available and using the Clean City coalition expertise on the ground data, which in some areas may include access to national household travel behavior study data, that, what unfortunately, may in fact, be a not overly great amount of dollars, will be deployed to the best possible advantage.
And, once again, the challenge for everybody is, that while the LEAF and Volt are coming out this fall, if plans progress as advertised by the manufacturers, we're still just a year away from national rollout, so it's going to be a fairly frantic record.
Curtis Framel: Hello? Mike, are you on?
Mike Salisbury: Yeah, I'm here.
Curtis Framel: Okay, well, we're done pushing past 1:00 for just a couple of minutes, but a couple of other good questions. This one's from Bruce: Is there any reason that a Level I charger needs to be on a dedicated circuit?
Mike Salisbury: George, do you know the answer to that?
Curtis Framel: Are you there?
George Little: I am, and this would be an interesting point to check the National Electric Code. I'm not sure of what codes say but I would say that it would be prudent that when we take safety as the overriding concern, as we do any of this, that even Level I charging represents enough amperage and enough opportunity for something to go wrong. That, everything being equal, it would behoove taking the cautionary approach.
Curtis Framel: George? I think I just lost you.
Well, I think with that, I'm going to go ahead and I think the system's telling us that we're out of time, so, with that, let me go ahead and conclude with our last slide.
So, in conclusion, I'd like to thank both of our presenters and you, our audience, for today's webinar and draw your attention to the other webinars planned for this month. Go to the Solution Center to register, of course, and finally, as participants, you will be asked to respond to a few feedback questions on the quality, content and impact expected from the webinar. And, again, for those of you who didn't get your questions answered, go ahead and we encourage you to e-mail us and we'll do our best to get back to you.
So, thank you for participating today and thank you speakers. Have a good day.
Mike Salisbury: Thank you, very much.
George Little: Thank you.