Charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles are now available for guest use, free of charge, at Smart Motors in Madison, Wisconsin. The new charge stations or “Smart Charge” as they are called, feature a ChargePoint-enabled Leviton CT-2021 public station that offers Level 2 (208/240 V @ 30 Amp) charging via a standard SAE J1772 connector and a fixed 18-foot cable. This is a two-head bollard charger capable of charging two cars at a time. The station is network-enabled and embedded with an on-board computer, a fluorescent display, a standards-based RFID reader and a utility-grade meter that provides precise, bi-directional energy measurement. It is located at the Toyota Showroom main entrance and sits on a space with two reserved parking stalls. At Smart Motors car-charging with be available free of charge day and night with a ChargePass card which will be available at the showroom desk. The Toyota Prius Plug-in, for example, can be fully charged in 90 minutes with Level 2 charging.
For EV drivers, GPS information on ChargePoint-enabled locations are included on all ChargePoint mobile phone apps for iPhone and Android. These ChargePoint mobile apps provide an easy way to locate stations near any specified address, get turn-by-turn directions, even start and stop a charging session directly from a smart phone. Additionally, these applications allow drivers to utilize ChargePoint’s station reservation feature. Drivers can locate reservable stations, and then make, view, and cancel a reservation directly from a smart phone.
A second wall-mounted electric vehicle charger is located just outside the entrance to the service bays at Smart Motors. This wall unit is a Leviton Evr-Green Electric Vehicle Charging Station and it provides the same quick charging of any SAE J1772 charger. Like the Smart Charge bollard charger it is available free of charge however, the wall unit does not require a ChargePass card and can be accessed anytime it is available.
“The electric vehicle infrastructure is in its early stages and we see an opportunity for Smart Toyota to help make a real difference by expanding the nascent car charging infrastructure that is already in place here in Madison,” said John Dolan, the network administrator for the charging stations. “At this stage, the goal for us is not merely to explore and understand the technology, but to expand it and in turn, support our guests who choose to go electric.”
Last year Toyota paired up with Leviton, selecting the in-home electrical giant as an approved Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) provider for Toyota’s customers and dealers. Toyota understood that Leviton with its high level of customer service would benefit both customers and dealers who were interested in setting up in-home or dealership charging stations for the Prius Plug-in and later on, the RAV4 EV. Leviton’s charger line, including some home chargers, are all network-enabled by the ChargePoint Network through an open interface architecture that provides Leviton customers advanced features similar to all charging stations on the ChargePoint network.
ChargePoint is the largest online network of independently owned EV charging stations operating in 14 countries. In a recent Pike Pulse report, Polk Resarch ranks ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) as an industry leader as a result of their range of charging products and services.
“As Plug-in Hybrids and electric vehicles become a more attractive alternative amid climbing gas prices, a city’s EV infrastructure has to be ready to accommodate growth in this area, and we believe Madison is a leader in this regard,” says Dolan. “A key goal of our business is to provide our customers and guests with the services they need and vehicle charging infrastructure choices is just one such need. With vehicles like the Prius Plug-in on the market today we have seen strong interest in the market for networked electric vehicle charging solutions. This emerging trend is just like we saw when hybrids first came to market over a decade ago, so we are excited to offer the ChargePoint product line to our customers. We believe that Smart Charge will provide added value to our guests seeking smart features in an EV charging solution.”
Sources: ChargePoint: http://www.chargepoint.com/home.php ChargePoint Station Finder Smart Phone Apps: http://www.chargepoint.com/chargepointnet/mobile-apps.php PlugShare EV Station Locator App: http://www.plugshare.com Leviton: http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=37668