California Offers Up To $4 Million In Funding For Smart Charging & V2G


California Energy Commission

California Energy Commission

Nissan LEAF V2G

Nissan LEAF V2G

“The California Energy Commission has issued a solicitation (PON-14-310, Driving the Integration of Electric Vehicles to Maximize Benefits to the Grid) to fund Applied Research and Development projects that will advance technologies and strategies for smart and efficient charging and vehicle-to-grid communication interfaces that will provide maximum benefits to both the electricity grid and the plug-in electric vehicle market.”

States Green Car Congress.

The state is offering up to $ million under PON-14-310.  Minimum funding is $500,000 per project and maximum is $1.5 million.

Green Car Congress adds:

To be considered for funding, projects must fall within the following project groups:

  • Group 1: Smart and efficient charging for integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the power grid.
  • Group 2: Grid communication interfaces for plug-in electric vehicle charging to support vehicle-to-grid services.

Source: Green Car Congress

Category: ChargingGeneral

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13 responses to "California Offers Up To $4 Million In Funding For Smart Charging & V2G"
  1. John F says:

    Hopefully one standard will emerge that will work with all vehicles and all the frequency stabilized grids like the ones in California and the USA. There will have to be another standard for voltage stabilized grids for places like Europe. What we don’t need is competing standards to slow things down like we see now with DC quick charging.

    1. Lensman says:

      EV makers are competing to offer faster charging and longer EV ranges, so with each new “generation”, EVs will be built to accept higher and higher levels of current. So long as that continues to be the case, it’s unfortunately going to be difficult if not completely impossible to establish any standard which will last longer than a year or two.

      Where will it end? I dunno, but I would guess that at a minimum we’ll get to the point that a 100 kWh pack can be 90% charged in 10 minutes. Note that the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of Tesla said they were aiming to eventually get down to a 5-to-10-minute charge time.

      Expect charging voltage to go up to 600v, too. Higher than 600v, the engineering and equipment get a lot more difficult and expensive, and the regulatory/safety requirements get much tougher for “high voltage” systems.

      1. Electric Ray says:

        Didn’t theNEC change the High Voltage threshold to 1,000v in 2014?

        [1] Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems: 690.80 (NEC 2014)
        [2] Wind Electric Systems (NEC 2014): 694.80 (NEC 2014)
        [3] Transformers and Transformer Vaults: 450.3 (NEC 2014)
        [4] Resistors and Reactors: 470 (NEC 2014)
        [5] NFPA Report on Proposals (2013)

  2. Better Solutions says:

    Why are all of the grants and incentives for EV charging initiatives only given for “GRID” based systems or to the monopolies that control the GRID? Shouldn’t public money (or ratepayer money in this case) be given fairly to all EV charging infrastructure solutions that can enable more diverse electric vehicles and promote wider use and faster adoption in an area (today and for the foreseeable future, the GRID is the limiting factor to the growth of the EV ecosystem)? There should be a State program that provides the same amount of grants and incentives for OFF-GRID solutions and providers. With an OFF-GRID source of high power electricity for public EV fast charge there is no need for V2G/smart charging or all the other monopoly control initiatives that ultimately do not work for the EV user and only tether EVs more to the GRID (What happens in the future when there is a substantial amount of EVs on the road and the GRID fails, then transportation shuts down also?).
    There are much better GRID independent solutions available that can provide unlimited 24/7 power to the EV ecosystem without the restrictions imposed to accommodate the inadequacies of the GRID. One such solution that would benefit all EV users is a network of public EV fast chargers powered by OFF-GRID 1MW or smaller distributed/dispersed natural gas, or natural gas combined with solar/wind generation systems in shopping centers. A high-density urban network of OFF-GRID public EV fast charge stations powered by natural gas-solar/wind is much less expensive to deploy/operate and much more efficient (both economically and with lower emissions) then pushing electrons (in most cases dirtier) across a fragile, aging, inadequate distribution system, which will take an unknown amount of time and expense to upgrade to support any large volume of more diverse electric vehicles that would stimulate wider use (200-400 mile batteries that charge in under 15 minutes at 480V/150+kW) and faster adoption…thus meeting the State’s mandate to have infrastructure in place that supports 1mm EVs by 2020 (
    Who decides at the Cal Energy Commission (CEC) to give away the public’s money? – (“The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) is funded by an electricity ratepayer surcharge established by the (CPUC) in 2011 • The purpose of EPIC is to benefit the ratepayers of three electric investor-owned utilities* • EPIC funds clean energy technology projects that promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety. • Funded projects must lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome the barriers that prevent the achievement of the state’s statutory energy goals. • Annual program funds total $162 million per year with 80% administered by the California Energy Commission. *Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison” So this is money sanctioned by the CPUC from ratepayers that is now being given back through the CEC to benefit the Electric companies that took it from the ratepayers in the first place (which is to benefit the ratepayer?). Sounds like stealing from Peter to pay Paul…the electric companies should be forced to compete like all other service providers and not allowed to build their businesses on ratepayer IOUs that ultimately really only benefit the electric company and stifle competition. Legal monopolies, benefit who?

    1. Just_chris says:

      I think u may have missed the point, what v2g is effectively doing (along with solar) is transitioning from grid to network. In a grid power is produced at a centralised point and distributed. In a network everyone chips in and the power is distributed from many different nodes. Networks only work if there is a benefit to each node and a way to control those nodes. It is the control that is important that is what they are asking people to develop. The benefit is easy, u want to use my battery or solar you pay. This is a far cheaper and more efficient way than everyone going off grid.

      1. Better Solutions says:

        Hate to say it but I think ur missing the point. The cost to develop, implement, and ultimately operate a V2G system on the GRID, that may or may not benefit the EV ecosystem, is astronomical and has an unknown time frame…all of which will drive the cost of electricity per kWh two or three fold across the ratepayer base by the time its done.

        1. przemo_li says:

          Also for countries with bad power source mix, GRID is already non-starter.

          (Poland – coal…..)

          But then solar,wind,what-not usually gets separate incentives, right?

          In my country there are some incentives for solar/wind. Non for EVs

    2. pjwood1 says:

      Thanks for connecting the dots. I thought CEC and CPUC didn’t overlap, but looks like they do. We can’t be too surprised that rate-payer funding ostensibly goes back to rate payers, and not to more general public support of EVs (like “V2DG” 😉 ).

      It’s “only” 4mm. We’re not talking about what hydrogen gets.

  3. I think this should be combined with a proper EV charging infrastructure.

    California Energy Commission
    Fuels and Transportation Division
    1516 Ninth Street, MS-27
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    16 February 2015


    Dear California Energy Commission Members,

    I was the first person to drive an all-electric vehicle (EV) from Mexico to Canada, and first to travel across both Oregon and Washington using only DC quick charging along the newly opened West Coast Electric Highway in June 2012. Since that time, travel along intra-state corridors within California is nearly as non-existent as it was then (except for Tesla cars).

    What follows are my suggestions for our state’s financing of a true “California West Coast Electric Highway” that should be BETTER than what Oregon and Washington state have already done now, almost three years previously, with great success. California has been a signatory partner to the venture since 2009, along with Oregon, Washington state, and the province of British Columbia.

    For the purposes of my discussion, an “electric vehicle” is one that is solely “refueled” with electricity that comes from a charging station into the vehicle. Vehicles that are primarily refueled with electricity, but can also be refueled from bio-fuel, alcohol, gasoline, diesel, natural gas or hydrogen are “hybrids” for my discussion. Because hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are considered by some to be “electric vehicles” too, I want to be clear that I am referring to the refueling infrastructure in the following comments, and therefore a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is not an electric vehicle for my discussion, but it may be a hybrid.

    I propose that our state fund a logical California West Coast Electric Highway system comprised of 40 multi-charger (2 minimum) “Plazas” that are powered by onsite batteries, and the batteries are replenished with solar, wind power where applicable, and “single” phase sub-20kW grid power to mitigate or eliminate “demand charges”. These sites would cost approximately $250,000 per site and be placed at 60-100 miles apart along the major corridors that already have freeways:

    1) Los Angeles to Sacramento, via 5 and 99
    2) Los Angeles to Las Vegas, via 15
    3) Los Angeles to Phoenix, via 10
    4) Los Angeles to San Francisco via 101
    5) San Francisco to Reno via 80
    6) San Francisco to Oregon via 101
    7) Sacramento to Oregon via 99 and 5
    8) San Diego to Yuma via 8

    These are the logical routes that Californians actually drive to already. With numerous 100-200 mile electric cars on the horizon from major auto manufacturers like General Motors and Nissan, and also premium auto makers like Tesla and Jaguar, these routes must be planned for the near future, but made capable with existing cars that have sub-100 miles ranges. For those cars, I recommend placing small 20kW DC chargers in between each Plaza site, which will not need batteries or infrastructure to eliminate demand charges.

    For just half the amount of money devoted to hydrogen cars for just one year (just $10 million) by our state, California could have the premier EV infrastructure that is the envy of any place outside of Japan (Japan is heavily promoting hydrogen, yet they also have a VERY robust EV quick charge infrastructure; literally THOUSANDS of DC quick chargers, and it’s growing by one thousand or more per year!). An addition $2.5 million would fund the 50 additional low powered (20kW) sites at $50,000 per site.

    People who live in small towns in California deserve the same proportional level of EV infrastructure as those in metro areas. All Californians need to be able to drive their EV’s anywhere along heavily traveled routes with high confidence, like they currently do in Japan, Washington, Oregon, and large parts of Europe. It’s embarrassing how far behind we are, and that we’re now debating whether it should be done properly (while also considering diverting those state resources to more at-work charging).

    Building that critical corridor EV charging infrastructure will not only allow mobility without CO2 emissions, but also gain confidence for the next wave of EV purchasers who have never had an EV, and might not own one were it were not capable of driving to Vegas / Reno / Tahoe / Yosemite / ski slope / etc.

    With the aforementioned 200 mile range cars from GM, plus our own California company Tesla and, of course, Nissan (it has been announced that GM is only 20 months away from production of their 200 mile Chevy Bolt, for instance, with plans for 25,000 – 30,000 annual production), BMW and VW are certainly likely to make their EVs longer range, sooner than later.

    The folks who want to travel in their EV (or any car) may not be those “rich” homeowners with multiple cars sitting around, one specific for each type of drive. A singular EV may be their only car. They may be retired, unemployed, student, traveling sales person, airline pilot, stay at home mom, and lots of other personal situations where more at-work charging doesn’t help them. 200-300 mile EV’s don’t need at-work charging anyway.

    Folks who currently own 75 mile range cars can still use this proposed EV highway. Just because one of the corridors might go from Sacramento to Ashland, Oregon (southern most build out of current West Coast Electric Highway) doesn’t mean that all people would drive that whole length (that seems to be a common thought… nobody will drive a 75 mile car that whole route, so don’t build it).

    One 75 mile range car may only want to go from Sacramento to Red Bluff (131 miles of flat terrain) and another 75 mile car may go from Redding to Yreka (99 miles in the mountains). A third may do the entire route to visit their family in Medford, Oregon for the holidays.

    Yes, a 75 mile EV is bit of a pain in comparison to those new 200-300 mile EV’s coming (or any gasoline car), but this might be the only option… drive the 75 mile EV, or don’t go. That corridor made all this possible.

    Without the corridor, even the driver of the 200 mile range car isn’t likely to want to make the trip to Medford. Heck, you wouldn’t drive your gasoline or hydrogen car there if there wasn’t infrastructure!

    Much like putting in Coke machines, California companies are fully capable of putting in low powered charging for their employees at the work place. If we want to promote at-work charging, give them a tax credit or state sponsored education promoting the virtues of EV charging at work. This view may not excite charging equipment companies (of which I am one) who are lobbying for state money, but it’s the tough love our industry needs.

    Our nation didn’t build its interstate highway system only to major metro areas and at work places. It is the same high quality roadway in eastern Nevada or Montana (where nobody lives), and even Yreka, California as it is in any major metro area.

    The California West Coast Electric Highway should be that same high standard everywhere in our state. It will help all people in California with an electric car, not just a select privileged few with employment in major metro areas. It brings jobs and business to rural areas.

    It promotes EV emission free driving and EV sales. It connects us to the existing West Coast Electric Highway that our state has been a signatory of since 2009. It entices neighboring Nevada and Arizona to build their infrastructure, at least connecting Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson to California, places that Californians drive to every day.

    It puts California on the forefront of demonstrating to other states and the world how it should be done. It will ensure we attain the millions of Zero Emission Vehicles that the governor wants on the road. Our infrastructure can be the gold plated standard and inspiration that our state’s Air Resources Board rules are to a multitude of states, including Washington and Oregon.

    Toyota, the world’s largest auto manufacturer and biggest proponent or hydrogen refueled cars (and public opponent to EV’s) has publically stated that they will only build “up to” 3000 hydrogen cars for California in the near term and “hope” to have as many as 6000 in Japan by the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

    Hydrogen cars won’t be the driving force that puts millions of cars in California displacing fossil fuel cars any time soon, and certainly not by 2020-2025.

    Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of Toyota’s research and development group, told Automotive News Europe said that, “fuel cell vehicles won’t be priced to compete with battery electrics before 2030.” If hydrogen cars are our state’s future, according to Toyota, we have at least 15 years to have the best EV infrastructure in the world.

    Then, if that hydrogen future doesn’t quite work out by 2030, we were not sitting on our hands just waiting for what has always been the “fuel of the future” while everybody burned gasoline to go to Las Vegas and Reno. I predict that 200-300 mile cars will be the norm by then, and refueling times will be double or triple the existing speed, adding 150 miles of range in 10-15 minutes or less while on the road.

    Hydrogen really has a significant number of hurdles to overcome, and EV’s really only have a few simple ones. Range, refueling time and refueling infrastructure. The first two will be smartly addressed in the coming decade, and the last one is something our state needs to bootstrap to make the first two worthwhile.

    We should never be falling behind in any technology, but our state is woefully being other states and countries in this venture, including those that are “sold” on hydrogen and have work place charging. Hopefully, today is the turning point.



    Tony Williams
    R&D Manager
    Quick Charge Power LLC

    1. wavelet says:


    2. Anon says:

      Wow. 🙂


  4. Fast charge for highway trips is happening, but the low hanging “more efficient and effective” fruit is workplace charhing. And there’s no need for a microwave in a crockpot situation. If they are non networked then the cost is so low each space or even every two can be installed. See this link with facts:
    Time for simple workplace charging!

    1. Yes, as described above, that “low hanging fruit” doesn’t need government handouts.

      Unfortunately, corridor chargers are NOT being built currently in California, and because it is low usage / high cost, it not something a private for-profit company will likely tackle any time soon.

      Only the state can get this moving.