World’s first billing system for electric vehicle charging posts
By Mike Hanlon
May 14, 2009
May 14, 2009 A ground-breaking tool for monitoring and invoicing electricity drawn from vehicle charging stations was unveiled at the Norwegian zero-emissions exhibition, EVS 24, yesterday. The EBConnect from British company Elektromotive, will make it easy to identify energy consumption and bill customers accurately and will be installed in the 140+ Elektrobay charging stations across the UK.
The sophisticated EBConnect software manages a two-way exchange of data via GSM and the internet to track electricity usage and invoice accordingly. The system allows the possibility of a number of payment methods including a ‘pay-and-go’ service, where the user adds credits to their personalised Elektrobay keyfob. Alternatively, costs can be automatically added to the consumer’s household utility bill, or the balance can be settled remotely with the user paying via SMS text messages, interactive voice recordings and automatic registration number recognition.
While the cost of charging electric vehicles is minimal in comparison to refuelling petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles, advancements such as EBConnect are essential to the development of a charging network. The intelligent Elektrobay is the world’s only fully operational charging station that is compatible with all fully-electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Another world first to be unveiled at EVS 24 is Elektromotive’s Three-Phase ‘Fast Charge’ Elektrobay prototype. With a power supply of 32 amps, this charging station will reduce charging times, making it particularly suitable for heavier users of electricity and commercial vehicles.
The single unit is the first of its kind to provide two separate five-pin power sockets, both able to accommodate the all-new Mennekes plug, which is anticipated to become standardised on all electric commercial vehicles. Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director for Elektromotive commented, “We are working hard to increase our network of charging stations around the globe. By offering new technologies, such as EBConnect and the Three-Phase ‘Fast Charge’ Elektrobay, we are helping to facilitate the transition to electric-powered passenger and commercial vehicles.”
Founded is 2003, Elektromotive is the world’s leading provider of technology and engineering solutions for electric vehicle recharging stations. The company’s main product is the Elektrobay, a recharging station for on-street or multi-storey car park use. Elektrobay was first introduced in Westminster, London, in 2006, and by May 2009 there will be 100 Elektrobays located across the capital. A further 40 fully-operational Elektrobay charging stations have been installed in cities and shopping centres around the UK. The Brighton-based company also exports Elektrobays to Sweden, Holland, Germany and Ireland.
Elektrobays are typically situated next to parking bays, within easy reach of an electric vehicle’s charging point. The Elektrobay’s socket is located under a secure, weather-proof door, accessed using a personalised key fob. When charging is in progress, the door locks shut to prevent interference. With a power output of 240 volts AC and 13 amps in the UK, or 230 volts AC and 16 amps in Europe, Elektrobay is compatible with all fully-electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.