Putting the Profit In Plugging In
A little device, tentatively priced under $250 could solve the electric vehicle infrastructure problem, opening up millions of outlets as charging points that cost businesses nothing and will even generate revenue.
Entrepreneur Dror Oved and Dr. Ted McIntyre believe they've come up with the solution for getting more electric vehicles onto America's roads, calling their latest endeavor InCharge Systems. Their technology combines a piece of electronics that attaches to an extension cord the EV owner carries in the vehicle, and a sophisticated banking transaction network that debits the car owner, called the Plug Holder (PH) in their patent, and credits the Outlet Owner (OO), i.e. the business providing the outlet. Their system effectively turns any 110V (Level 1) electrical outlet in America into a billable charging station. No additional hardware is required. Oved holds a 2008 patent for an electronic banking transaction system, so this is not new ground for them.
While the pair acknowledge that Level 1 charging provides only a minimal amount of electricity compared to Level 2, it can be enough to ease the minds of many current and future EV owners. A potential Volt buyer who drives 20 miles one way to work, which would press the EV-mode range of the plug-in hybrid on the drive home, would now find that they could, over the course of a typical 8-10 work hour day, recharge completely recharge the car's battery. Just as important, their employer would not have to invest in an expensive dedicated charging station. Instead, they would simply register their business with InCharge Systems. The network would take care of identifying both the OO and the PH and managing the transaction.
Beyond providing a way to monetize EV charging at virtually zero cost, Oved explains in this 30-minute EV World 'Future in Motion' podcast, that their system will also be able to monitor and manage market conditions, allowing pricing to be based, for example on Time of Use (TOU) rates, competitor pricing, etc. The company plans to roll out a pilot program in early 2012 and is looking for parties interested in participating.
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