Australian company set to supply electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Wednesday, 09 June, 2010

As New South Wales’ first public electric car charging station opens in Sydney this week and other states plan trials of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations soon, the dawn of electric vehicles seems to be approaching at a fast pace. Hence, infrastructure companies are jostling for their share of the market: ChargePoint Australia has announced it will supply charging equipment for public and private use across the country after the first installation in Sydney, using American Coulomb Technologies chargers and software; and California-based Better Place earlier this year announced plans to roll out charging points and battery-switching infrastructure throughout Australia.

Now, Australia has the option to install Australian-made technology as an alternative to imported charging stations: Sydney-based E-Green Technologies has developed the E-Charger, which is said to be the only locally designed, developed, manufactured and patented EV charging station and can be paid and enabled by mobile phone, requiring no network subscriptions.

The EC15A/32A EV charging stations are said to be the most feature-packed charging stations available in Australia and can be installed alone or in a network of smart charging infrastructure for EVs. E-Charger performs energy metering via a certified electronic meter. The client payment is done via an SMS generated message. This flexibility allows anyone with a mobile phone and sufficient funds to have access to E-Charger.

Any client with a mobile phone can access the charging station. The access for a charging session can be allowed by SMS to the same Australia-wide number. If a client has a compatible EV after the ‘handshake’ between the EV and E-Charger, data about the battery charge level can be transmitted via SMS back to the client. E-Charger can also monitor and collect battery temperature levels and automatically cut off power, if required.

If the E-Charger is to be used on roads or other council property, the station can perform a parking meter function, with payment also via SMS message.

In an E-Charger network, communication is managed by a master charging station and local communication via a radio frequency network. Clusters of stations can be managed by a single master station, which uses a GSM modem to communicate with telecom operator.

The network operating system is based on open and highly secure, industry standards-based platform and will provide communication between E-Chargers and telecom hosted servers. It provides monitoring and remote upgrades as well as local data collection from compatible EV through a standard (ZigBee) protocol.

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