Imagine a future where your electric car could talk to your home and chose the best time to charge itself based on use predictions, electricity costs and home energy demands.
Except it is no-longer the future.
Announced today as part of a joint venture between ECOtality, Inc., and Cisco Systems, Inc., ECOtality’s Blink electric car charging stations will be able to communicate with Cisco’s Home Energy Controller.
Part of the growing Smart Grid phenomenon, the Cisco Home Energy Controller (HEC) allows consumers to monitor and control their home energy use. Smart Grid systems use a two-way communication between the home and the utility company as well as between individual appliances in the home to create an intelligent network of devices.
ECOtality Blink Residential Charger
By integrating the Blink charging stations with Cisco’s HEC, electric car owners will be able to view and control their electric car charging from anywhere and ensure that their vehicle is charged at times when there is low demand on the electricity grid, reducing cost and carbon emissions.
It will also help to eliminate brownouts, by helping to moderate consumption at peak energy demand, favoring charging at low demand periods instead.
For those with solar panels or wind turbines on their property, the system can even detect when power is being generated and direct the car to start charging to make use of the available renewable energy, providing zero emissions motoring.
The Smart Grid has had to face criticism over the past few years as many consumers voice concern about personal data being available to the utility company, but as more and more devices become attached to the Smart Grid, expect the number of homes using Smart Grid technology to increase.