Plug into any power outlet with ELVIIS smart EV-charging system


February 27, 2012

A smart system for charging electric vehicles currently under development and known as ELVIIS would allow drivers to plug their EV into any power outlet, and identify the best energy deal

A smart system for charging electric vehicles currently under development and known as ELVIIS would allow drivers to plug their EV into any power outlet, and identify the best energy deal

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A smart system for charging electric vehicles known as ELVIIS may leave the electric car industry all shook up - and for the better. The ELVIIS cross-industry research project would not only enable EVs to be recharged from any available outlet, but also use mobile and smart grid technology to establish the best energy deal for the consumer.

Short for Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure, ELVIIS is a research consortium including Volvo Car Corporation and Ericsson that aims to overcome the practical shortcomings of EVs that may stand in the way of mass market uptake, looking beyond the car itself to the spheres of mobile and smart grid technology.

As part of the ELVIIS project, a Volvo C30 Electric has been fitted out with a 7-inch color touchscreen from which the company's "smooth charging" concept can be controlled. Having plugged in, the driver uses the touchscreen (or separate phone or tablet) to choose between various presets for charge duration or total energy drawn. It's at the stage the mobile technology kicks in to optimize the process, invisibly from the driver's point of view.

First, the charge point is identified using GPS technology. The car will then communicate with the electricity grid based on user settings to establish the best energy price. The grid coordinates between connected cars (as well as other energy uses) to optimize the work it has to do.

This should mean that drivers needing a brief but urgent charge will be prioritized over those parking up for a some time - similar to broader strategies being employed in smart grids that seek to even out the peaks and troughs in energy consumption over the course of the day. This increases grid efficiency, and increases the usefulness and viability of renewable energy sources that aren't guaranteed to contribute at all times.

There are one or two other neat user-centric touches. The driver will be notified of any interruptions to the charging via a message sent to their mobile phone. And drivers will be able to have the bill of the charge redirected and added to their utility bill, which should ease suspicious minds when house guests ask if they can plug in their new EV.

The system will be fitted to a total of five Volvo C30 Electric cars and tested over the course of a year. Energy company Göteborg Energi and IT researchers the Viktoria Institute are the remaining partners in the ELVIIS project.

The ELVIIS-fitted Volvo Electric C30 is currently on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so if you're in the area, it's now or never.

Sources: Volvo, Ericsson

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Waiting for 'ELVIIS to leave the building' !!!


Another under performing car designed to use a energy source that is increasingly unavailable while chemical fuels are universally available.


Why not also recharge on the road via permanent or electromagnets buried in the road bed?


re; SEAMUS100

Putting permanent magnets aside form being massively expensive would reduce the fuel efficiency of every vehicle that moved through the field with the exception of carefully selected down grades.

If the people foolish enough to buy electric cars want to instal electromagnets that only come on under an electric vehicle provided they pay for the installation, the electricity, the necessary additional generating capacity, and me and every other person affected for the inconvenience while the road is under construction.


Excellent idea. That means a filling station nearly anywhere and you can even specify your own environmentally friendly tariff. Let Slowburn continue to pay his extortionate cost of petrol and drive a noisy dinosaur of a car.

Martin Rayner

re; Martin Rayner

My fuel tank doesn't loose capacity with use and I can double the range by putting a few cans in the trunk. If I do run out of fuel I need a can of gas not a tow. my car weighs less and handles better as well. A full fill-up in five minutes doesn't hurt ether.


I can't imagine this is a very good idea. You plug int an available 120V outlet, the receptacle is rated at either 10 or 15 amps...depending on what the contractor who installed them purchased. That means the most you can draw at any one time is 1200-1800 watts. Go any more than that and you run the risk of the outlet catching on fire. According to electrical codes, the rating of the circuit breaker, outlets and the wire between them have to coordinate. That way, you don't cause a fire due to over loading any of those circuit elements. Of course, most circuit breakers that feed those outlets are rated at 15 amps. Good luck getting a "Quick" Charge out of "any" outlet. Truth be told, if you wanted to "top it off" you will be at a gas station for a considerable amount of time just trying to "refill" only 1/4 of a charge.

Chris Gallaway

@Slowburn Learn about the exponential growth curve. We are in the declining years of fossil fuels and there is no way around that fact. Get used to an electric future as we don't have any other options. It's all about damage control now. the longer you resist the more damage you inflict on the rest of us and the generations that follow.

Patrick Shirkey

re; Patrick Shirkey

There is more untapped oil in the USofA than know oil in the middle east. Africa also has huge deposits that have been untouched but for good or ill the oil companies have learned about dealing with third world dictatorships.

Of all the replacements for fossil fuel for road transport (cars and trucks) stored electricity is in the bottom three. If you get a storage medium with a high enough energy density to be practical you are better off using it as an explosive than a mobile energy source. The worlds electrical grids are all ready overstressed and the people pushing electric cars are also blocking the building of additional generating capacity including the kinds they pushed until until they began to look practical. Plus batteries are environmental disasters.

Chemical fuel is not synonymous for fossil fuel. While farm grown bio-fuel is at least as bad of an idea as stored electricity waste stream derived bio-fuels is quite practical. Just look at the potential methane if every sewage treatment plant was maximized for gas production add yard waste and other uneaten bio-material and the process becomes quite economical. Fats can be separated to produce bio-diesel.

If not for the terrorist threat nuclear batteries (heat tapped from natural decay in enriched fuel) would be viable power source for motor vehicles; heavy but producing life of the vehicle power in most cases and after the batteries have reduced in out put below viable in cars the can still provide decades of stationary power before recycling. But alas terrorist render it moot.

I would be good with using electrically derived liquid ammonia as a motor fuel, but storage battery powered electric vehicles are pieces of junk.


Perhaps, adopt Nikoli Tesla's idea where power can be transmitted wirelessly through the air, sort of like wi-fi connects wirelessly, why not have the electric cars charge wirelessly. We have what it takes to make better electric cars, the question is do the people thats too busy controlling the masses even have the right intentions for giving back to what's not rightfully theirs. Give and take is all it takes and not winner takes all attitude. Oh well, It may take many life times before humanity learns from its own mistakes.

Raff Gonzales
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