Volta And eMotorWerks Launch 1st Smart-Grid, Ad-Supported Public Charging Station

3 months ago by Inside EVs Staff 17

We first ran into Volta’s unique EV charging stations in Honolulu, Hawaii several years ago.  We say unique because they have a business model unlike many others.

The public charging stations are free to use, because the cost of the machines and their operation is offset by offering branding and advertising space for businesses and organizations…as one often finds charging stations taking up the very best retail parking spaces.  AKA high value advertising space.

Think of it as sponsored charging and smart grid technology together!

Now eMotorWerks, best known for its strides into the smart-charging business, and more recently with its peer-to-peer app that allows EVSE owners to make money by offer their charging stations to others for a fee, has partnered with Volta to introduce the world’s first “Ad-Supported Smart-Grid Electric Vehicle Charging Stations”, or ASSGEVCS for short (not a real thing).

How does it work?  Via eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet service, daytime electrical loads can be coordinated with regional utilities, diversifying their resource portfolio and ensuring EV charging occurs with a cleaner energy mix.   eMotorWerks’ smart-charging technology will be deployed throughout Volta Charging’s nationwide network of stations.

eMotorWorks statement on the functionality:

The JuiceNet platform affords automated, multi-tiered control algorithms and load balancing that enables multiple charging stations to operate simultaneously under “peak load” settings that help avoid peak demand charges, excessive strain on local electrical circuits and the local grid as a whole. In addition, eMotorWerks market-leading JuiceBox charging station platform will be deployed in the Volta network, chosen for its robust networking capabilities, high-power performance, and proven reliability.

Volta Charging station at Whole Foods in California

And now…for the CEO quotes.

Volta’s Free-To-Use, Ad-Supported Charging Station

First up is Scott Mercer, CEO at Volta Industries:

“Electric car drivers across the U.S. are demanding broad access to EV charging infrastructure. With this demand, we want to ensure that our drivers are using only the cleanest energy on the grid, which is made possible through the eMotorWerks JuiceNet solution. 

We are on track to double our free EV charging networks through the calendar year and partnering with eMotorWerks enables us to deliver on not only needs of the driver for charging, but also utilities throughout our network who are actively looking to combat grid overload and promote clean energy usage.”

Val Miftakhov,  CEO of eMotorWerks:

“We are delighted to now offer our smart-grid enabled technology throughout Volta’s growing network of public EV charging stations.

After establishing ourselves as an industry leader and innovator in advanced residential charging solutions for electric vehicles, it’s a natural fit to provide our technology to public charging stations through partnerships such as this one with Volta. Additional daytime charging load will also help advance our long term mission of driving higher penetration of renewable generation via smart EV load control.”

In addition to the partnership, Volts says it we also co-locate JuiceNet-enabled level 2 charging stations, such as JuiceBox and JuiceStation, that “complement Volta’s existing fleet of free chargers to enable property owners and managers, to better support the growing number of EV drivers in their network locations.”

 

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17 responses to "Volta And eMotorWerks Launch 1st Smart-Grid, Ad-Supported Public Charging Station"

  1. SparkEV says:

    Free charging means it’ll probably be always occupied, unable to be relied upon when you actually need to charge. It’s like a business offering raffle ticket, and not very useful for EV community.

    1. Empire State says:

      Your comment implies that the entity(ies) making the station always occupied either get(s) no utility from the charging or is not a member of the EV community.
      I think, rather, that a Volta station such as this caters to one segment of the charging market while another segment exists, in which you might include yourself, wherein the cost of availability, which you perhaps call “ability to be relied upon,” might be recouped with a price. I say go for it. Be a different part of an “all of the above” charging infrastructure strategy.

      1. MikeM says:

        SparkEV’s comment puts me in mind of the old saying re. the formerly hot restaurant:

        “Nobody goes there any more – it’s always too crowded!”

        Sparky and I would probably be members of the same self-excluded sub group on this one; avoiding/getting-crowded-out-by the guzzlers at the free trough.

        P.S. On second thoughts, if one gets to meet hot babes with Teslas, well . . .

        1. Stimpacker says:

          SparkEV is 100% correct. Free leads to abuse.

          Near my place, there is a free L2 Clipper Creek for park-n-ride. Boy, is that thing always hogged 24/7. When the entire lot is empty, there’ll still be at 2 EV’s there.

          The article is right. Public EV stations are usually at prime parking spots. At my local mall, they are always hogged by those with free charge cards.

          Free is bad – period.

    2. menorman says:

      I know of two near enough to where I live and neither are perpetually clogged. Completely unused is not uncommon.

    3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Totally agree.

      Free chargers whether they are out in the open or included in the parking rates, they are almost always hogged up and nobody moves them when they are full.

      The problem I see in many EVSE’s in paid parking lots but free to charge is the EVSE’s are the dumb/unmanaged type. Many are clipper creeks not connected to a network so the EVSE’s have no mechanism to alert the drivers when they are full.
      There is also no enforcement of any time limits so many just camp there till it’s time to go home.

      Still a lot of work to fix this problem.
      Tesla has already taken steps to resolve these kinds of issues, the rest need to catch up.

    4. Devin Serpa says:

      Unless you incur fees if you don’t move after a charge.

  2. Paul K says:

    I don’t think free public charging is ever going to work unless a strict time limit is imposed on how long you can park there. Stay over the limit and a light starts flashing on the machine to alert parking control to issue a hefty ticket.

    1. SparkEV says:

      If you actually want to use it when needed, even time limit would be like winning the raffle, because there will always be other EV that will plug in even if they don’t need it.

      I have used free L2 at a mall only once, and that had 2 hour limit (I only charged an hour during lunch). After that, my luck would have it that it’s always occupied by other cars. You simply can’t rely on free charger, which is same as relying on luck.

    2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      That requires human intervention.

      An automatic billing method should be imposed with grotesquely escalating rates on the amount of time someone camps there.

      Even better is if they can remove the electrons out of the battery pack…..lol

  3. DJ says:

    So I plug in and watch the ads while my car charges? Seems to me like a more cost effective way would just be to put up a small billboard somewhere with an ad on it.

  4. ArthurX says:

    Hi Sparkev,

    When you have enough free chargers, they can’t clog them up all.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      That will never happen if it’s truly free.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        Yep, people will stop charging at home…especially in places like Hawaii.

  5. EV says:

    Put some paid charges along with free charges.
    Hopefully both groups r now satisfied.

    I stay in a funny place called CA , which says its clean , and gas is cheaper than electricity on most paid L2/L3

    Hybrids cars work wonders where you can top for free or use cheaper gas

    1. Val Miftakhov says:

      exactly the idea…

  6. peetah says:

    just have more chargers! our mall has 6+ DCFC chargers, 5+ Level 2 chargers and like 9 tesla chargers…all free. (and i’m in ohio!)

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