The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has earmarked nearly $7 million to support research and development related to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, with the goal of cutting the devices' cost in half over the next three years.
‘Improving the functionality and affordability of electric vehicle chargers is an important step in supporting the deployment of electric vehicles that can help to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil,’ said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. ‘Developing smart electric vehicle chargers will provide more options to consumers and accelerate the build-out of charging infrastructure in ways that strengthen the electric grid.’
The projects include the following:
- Delta Products Corp.: DOE share, $1,997,450; Recipient share, $1,441,770. Delta will streamline the development of residential EV chargers that rely on wireless networks that can connect the chargers directly to electric utilities. The project will work to minimize the cost of communications between the charger and the electric utility and, at the same time, meet the local demand for smart charging.
- Siemens Corporate Research: DOE share, $1,617,619; Recipient share, $747,552. Siemens will redesign its current EV supply equipment system and charging stations in residential areas to enable flexible, intelligent control of charging, so that power quality and service reliability are maintained on the local distribution grid.
- GE Global Research: DOE share, $1,362,318; Recipient share, $819,365. GE will improve the design and infrastructure for commercial chargers for fleets of electric vehicles.
- Eaton Corp.: DOE share, $1,837,004; Recipient share, $991,418. Eaton will develop and demonstrate commercial electric vehicle chargers that can work with and support the smart grid, including providing two-way communications with the electric utility and coordinating with a community's smart meter network.