Siemens, Eaton each win DOE grant for EV charging

Siemens announced it was recently awarded $1.6 million in
development funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to support research
aimed at significantly reducing the current costs of electrical vehicle (EV)
chargers and developing “smart” charging capabilities that support
power grid efficiency and consumer demand.

The grant, awarded to Siemens Corporation, Corporate
Research and Technology (SCR&T) will be supported by nearly $750,000 in
matching research funding–an investment shared with Siemens Low Voltage
Electronics, the group responsible for Residential Electric Vehicle Supply
Equipment and a business unit of Siemens Infrastructure and Cities.

The research funding is intended to provide manufacturers a
financial incentive to set aside ‘winner-take-all’ competitive imperatives and
set a clearer path to align commercial EV charging technology development that
supports integration with the power grid and ultimately provides substantial
benefits to consumers. Collaborating with Siemens in the overall development
effort are Duke Energy and Ford Motor Company who will focus its efforts on
validating concepts intended for their respective industries and markets.

The research is also intended to help utilities manage the
transition to a national EV charging infrastructure and the growing demand it
would place on the grid and generation capacity. In addition to validating
concepts, Duke Energy will provide input and help guide communications
development. This will ultimately provide ways for utilities to manage
increasing demand without having to add costly generation and distribution
capacity that would be passed on to consumers and increase carbon emissions.

According to the DOE, the intent of the research grants is
to improve the functionality and affordability of electric vehicle chargers. In
addition to supporting energy security, said U.S. Energy Secretary Steve Chu,
“Developing smart electric vehicle chargers will provide more options to
consumers and accelerate the build-out of the charging infrastructure in ways
that strengthen the grid.”

“The government’s investment will expedite collaboration,”
said Barry Contrael, director of Low Voltage Electronics for Siemens
Infrastructure and Cities. “If any company were to endeavor to go it
alone, they would have to create and let the market accept or reject solutions
for all the possible combinations of EV chargers, utility communication
protocols and networks that exist. The resources required to take on this task
would be prohibitive, even with companies like Siemens that have the necessary
scaling and infrastructure. By teaming up, the companies chosen by the DOE will
be able to develop standardized solutions faster and at a greatly reduced
overall cost.”

Information from Siemens news release

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation has received a $1.84 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development and demonstration of more efficient commercial electric vehicle (EV) chargers. The project will promote smart charging technology that better manages the efficiency, availability and reliability of power, especially during peak times and at popular charging locations.

Eaton’s grant is part of a larger federal research and development program to help reduce the current costs of EV chargers by 50 percent over the next three years and to support the adoption and deployment of EVs.

“Smart charging technology will provide more options to consumers and strengthen the charging infrastructure and the electric grid,” said John Wirtz, business unit manager, Eaton’s Electrical Transportation Infrastructure. “By providing real-time monitoring and reporting, Eaton’s participation in this project will help EV fleet managers, businesses and power companies to increase system uptime, reduce energy costs and maximize the reliability of their chargers.”

Two of the four selected projects receiving federal funding will focus on improving residential EV chargers. The other two selected projects, including Eaton’s, will focus on alternating current (AC) Level 2 charging stations used at commercial and public locations to charge large numbers of vehicles, such as commercial fleets of delivery vehicles.

Eaton is an industry leader in EV infrastructure and hybrid electric vehicle technologies. With a range of charging stations currently deployed in Ontario (Canada), Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Illinois, Eaton is working to advance the EV charging infrastructure throughout North America, with more than 2,000 charging stations already shipped or installed. Eaton has a wide range of expertise in other markets that use free-standing electrical charging, including truck-stop electrification, ports, marinas, recreational vehicles, government and major public-sector infrastructure. For more information, contact Eaton EVSE support at 855-ETN-EVSE (855-386-3873) or visit

Information from Eaton news release

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