ECOtality, Inc. in many respects could be considered the tip of the spear in the fight to create alternative solutions to fossil fuels. This Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, a leader in electric transportation and storage, revealed today the first generation of new Internet-based software suites for advanced Electric Vehicle (EV) charging.
Developed by wholly-owned ETLE subsidiary Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation, or eTec, the new software will be shown later this week at the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference, which will be held in D.C. to coincide with the Washington Auto Show, and there is currently a demonstration of the software online at TheEVproject.com.
President and CEO of ETLE Jonathan Read highlighted some of the benefits of the new software platform, such as its ability to allow EV drivers to log in and check the status of their vehicle at any ECOtality charge station, where owners can “initiate and control the vehicle charging”. The system also allows EV owners to find the nearest charging station.
Read said this innovative move forward for the Company was huge and would further “cement our role as the leading EV solutions provider”.
Convenience and cost savings are the central design concept for the new software, which – because it allows owners to program the time of day the vehicle will be charged – provides the ability to choose cheap, “off-peak” intervals for charging at times favorable to owner’s individual schedules.
With constant real-time updating via email and text messages to remind the user to charge (or if there is a change in service), and with a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based solver to help drivers identify charger locations and availability, the software platform is custom-made to address the major concerns EV users have.
Read continued to explain the benefits of the new software by pointing out its function as a transition factor, helping to ease the move from “gas to electric powered vehicles”, by empowering the end user to determine when and where to charge, “and providing them peace of mind, knowing that a way to charge is always just around the corner”.
Read also noted that the data generated from the use of the software would help the Company to better understand the needs of EV consumers, helping to “develop economically viable business models for the industry”.
The software is being developed by eTec for The EV Project, the well-known EV infrastructure expansion program, with some funding from the $100M cooperative federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and awarded as part of The EV Project.
One main goal of The EV Project is to create roughly 11,210 EV charging stations in major markets throughout the U.S., including: Arizona, Washington, Oregon, California, and Tennessee, where the technology will be well-received.
The software will be freely provided to participants in The EV Project, and the data generated through its use will also help to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the project itself.