Aussie firm unveiling EV charger that can talk to smart meters


By Jesse Berst


Australia-based Percepscion will unveil today what it says is the first certified smart grid integrated electric vehicle charger, according to a report in Electronics News. Using the Zigbee communications protocol, the Charge IQ system can accommodate load adjustments based on requests from utilities over the smart meter network.


We know of other companies that have back office systems to allow their EV charging units to integrate and interact with the grid. But we're not aware of any others that attempt what this new charger says it can do -- namely, to talk directly to a smart meter. (If you do, please use the Talk Back comment form to tell us about them.)


The Charge IQ system is also reportedly the first EV home charging unit certified to the Zigbee communications standard. That gives utilities a great deal of flexibility to send and receive signals from EV chargers. And it's when those chargers coordinate with the grid that we can start using EVs for demand response and to buffer renewables. When a peak arrives, simply do less charging for a while. By the same token, if the wind surges at night, simply crank up EV charging to the max to soak up the power.


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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.