Editor’s Note: This is a guest contribution by Richard Lowenthal, CEO of electric vehicle ChargePoint manufacturer Coulomb Technologies. See his last post here: Being Smart About Your Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. This is part of our ongoing series on EV Charging Infrastructure, which was initiated by Mayors Gavin Newsom and Sam Adams.
Today at Santana Row, in the heart of Silicon Valley, The City of San Jose, Coulomb Technologies, Fisker Automotive and Fisker Silicon Valley have partnered on the Silicon Valley debut of Fisker vehicles. Come see these incredible vehicles, unveiled here today.
Early last year, on a tour of automakers, we met with Fisker Automotive, the developer of the Fisker Karma. The Karma is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle capable of traveling 50 miles purely on electricity before switching to gasoline for those times when you need the extended range. Since the average person drives less than 30 miles a day, you won’t need to use gasoline for the most part. But that’s not the whole story of Fisker’s vehicles. These cars are stunning in their beauty, performance, and comfort.
AUDIO FROM THIS EVENT:
- Richard Lowenthal: [audio:http://gas2.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/lowenthal1.mp3]
- Henrik Fisker: [audio:http://gas2.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/henrikfisker.mp3]
On hand for the Monday announcement will be world-renowned Danish-born auto designer Henrik Fisker, who was responsible for the design of the BMW Z8 roadster and the Aston Martin Vantage, and was formerly director of Ford’s Global Advanced Design Studio. Fisker is now focusing his design efforts on premium green sports cars. By showcasing their new vehicles and promoting their availability through Fisker Silicon Valley, the company is fulfilling demand for no-compromise alternative fuel transportation. In addition, civic leaders from the City of San Jose and the new General Manager of Fisker Silicon Valley, Adam Simms, will speak.
The Need: If you ask, automobile manufacturers including GM, Toyota, Ford, Mercedes, Nissan and newcomers like Fisker, Tesla, Phoenix, and BYD will tell you what the vehicles that they are developing need from a charging infrastructure in terms of connectors, voltage and current. They’ll also tell you their battery capacities and charge times.
The Result: Working closely with automobile manufactures, Coulomb developed a charging station that would fit any plug in vehicle. Coulomb also works with the automakers on the SAE committee specifying the standard interconnect systems for US Vehicles, to bring standardized interfaces to market.
The Need: The utilities said they needed an infrastructure that tied to the Smart Grid in order for them to support daytime charging.
The Result: Coulomb integrated Demand Response capability in every one of its stations to protect the grid during critical peak load times and schedule charging at times when there is plenty of energy available. Coulomb has several plans including: an “Off Peak Plan” that disables charging from 12-6 PM; a “Demand Response Plan” that disables charging when the grid nears capacity; and the “24/7 Plan” that disables charging only during grid crisis.
The Need: The City of San Jose committed to making their streetlight system carbon neutral.
The Result: In July 2008, San Jose became the first U.S. city to test electric-vehicle charging stations from Coulomb Technologies. The charging stations are outfitted in public, mounted on streetlight poles. A Coulomb charging station will enable someone to switch from gasoline to electricity as a fuel, which saves more greenhouse gases than what is needed to produce the power required for 9 streetlights
By working with other leaders in electric transportation, providing an inclusive open architecture and listening closely, Coulomb is providing infrastructure needed to fuel the electric vehicle industry of the 21st century.
Coulomb Technologies was founded in 2007 with the mission to ensure that anyone who is considering the choice to buy an electric vehicle will have adequate access to fuel for the cars. Visit www.coulombtech.com to learn more about Coulomb’s infrastructure plans and where you can find a local charging station. Follow Coulomb on Twitter @coulombevi.