Coulomb Technologies' big news at EVS26 was a collaboration with Fuji Electric Corporation of America to add Fuji's 25-kW DC Quick Charging Stations into the ChargePoint Network. In fact, the very first such charger on the network was sitting there in the booth, and actual deployment in the U.S. is scheduled for later this year. Coulomb is already neck-deep in actual deployments of electric vehicle charging stations: more that 6,300 non-residential stations are online now and Coulomb says that about half of all EV drivers in the U.S. have a ChargePoint card. To get the latest, we spoke with Coulomb's Michael Jones about the Multicharge SF program and – yes – the SAE combo charger announcement.

It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary.

First, about Multicharge SF, which is a partnership with the City of San Francisco, Coulomb and PG&E and is funded by the California Energy Commission. The goal, perhaps unsurprisingly for San Francisco, where upwards of 60 percent of people live in multi-family units, is to find a way for apartment dwellers to recharge their EVs. Jones said the city government took the lead and identified places where chargers would be most useful, then reached out to the property owners to get them interested. In the end, about 70 different properties applied to be a part of the $900,000 program – and around 45-50 of them will be selected to actually get some of the total of about 100 chargers. "[The locations] represent all the different demographics: large properties and small properties, condos, co-ops, TICs [tenant in common, which means one mortgage for multiple units] and rental communities," Jones said. The variety extends to different income brackets as well as new and old properties. "One of the things we ran into early on is that there are some incredibly old power systems in San Francisco. Glass tubes in the fuse boxes. It's like the museum tour of electricity. It's really kind of scary."

The only way to get this many different groups involved was to start with a diverse set of partners. "It has to be a multi-stakeholder proposition to really work in the region," he said. "If I didn't have the city out with its resources, legal and building codes and everything else, it would be impossible for me to organize all those things. It really becomes a great template that other cities and public-private partnerships can use."

For example, Jones said, there's a rule in San Francisco that says that if you charge money for a parking space, you need to register as a parking operator. So, how does that apply to EVs? Does every building owner who installs a charger then need to go get a parking license? The city attorney is currently researching the answer to this question, he said, adding that the mayor standing by to quickly go to bat and get the rules changed if it is determined that the answer is "yes."

With its Chargepoint Network, Coulomb doesn't really care what connector people are using to get their cars on the grid. As long as the communication systems are there, Chargepoint can work with whatever kind of charging station is out there. But he did have a few things to say about the SAE combo charger. Specifically, that it doesn't encourage fast infrastructure deployment.

"Having that Level 2 standard [J1772] gives certainty to drivers," Jones said. "With fast charging, because you still have competing standards, I think that makes it a pilot proposition for a lot of communities as far as really getting behind a specific charger type. I think until the market coalesces around a technology, you're still just going to see a lot of uncertainty about what to deploy on any large scale."

As Coulomb works to solve some of the infrastructure problems, others arise. The trick is to not have partners hesitate too much, and so get as many chargers into use as makes sense.
Show full PR text
FUJI ELECTRIC ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH COULOMB TECHNOLOGIES
Manufacturer to Integrate ChargePoint Network into its DC Quick Chargers

Edison, N.J., and Campbell, Calif., May 1, 2012 – Fuji Electric Corporation of America announced today that it has collaborated with Coulomb Technologies to integrate Coulomb's ChargePoint® Network into its DC Quick Charging Stations. The ChargePoint Network is the largest network of independently owned charging stations in the world and Fuji Electric's 25kW chargers will be a valuable addition, providing a full charge to electric vehicles in approximately 60 minutes. The Fuji Electric charging stations are to be released in the US later this year, and will offer electric vehicle drivers and station owners alike the convenience of accessing all the advanced functionality of the ChargePoint Network. The ChargePoint Network-enabled Fuji station will be showcased at the EVS26 show in Los Angeles, May 6 – 8, 2012 in the Fuji Electric's Booth #823 and in the Coulomb Technologies' Booth #943.

"Fuji Electric has conducted extensive research to understand consumers' concerns, and we've tailored our product to address these needs," says Phil Charatz, president and CEO of Fuji Electric Corp. of America. "We look forward to providing users with a convenient and satisfying charging experience, and the integration of ChargePoint Network into our product will help to enhance that interaction."

ChargePoint-enabled Fuji Electric stations will be included on all ChargePoint mobile phone applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. These ChargePoint mobile apps provide an easy way to locate stations near any specified address and get turn-by-turn directions. Additionally, these applications allow drivers to utilize ChargePoint Network's station reservation feature. Drivers can locate stations, and then make, view and cancel a reservation time slot directly from a smart phone. EV drivers can access features including the ability to: help with trip planning, manage the cost of charging, and find and operate public ChargePoint-enabled stations.

"The collaboration with Fuji Electric is an important addition to the ChargePoint Network," said Pat Romano, president and CEO of, Coulomb Technologies. "EV drivers can look forward to state-of-the-art cloud-based EV charging solutions all available on Fuji stations, With more than 300 charging stations deployed in the overseas market, Fuji Electric brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the EV Charging industry here in the US, making their product a perfect fit for our network of users.".

"Fuji Electric has made its commitment to energy and the environment a top priority, and our goal of working toward a sustainable future is evident in the products we manufacture. Helping to develop the charging infrastructure is a critical step towards mass adoption of electric vehicles in the USA, and our 90-years of experience have proven our ability to manufacture reliable products complete with the latest technologies," said Charatz.

About Fuji Electric Corp. of America
Fuji Electric Corp. of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., and has been responsible for sales and distribution of the company's products since 1970. Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. has been developing power electronics equipment since 1923, and is a global leader in industrial products ranging from semiconductors, power supply, and power generation equipment to AC drives and electric vehicle charging stations. For more information please visit www.americas.fujielectric.com

About Coulomb Technologies
Coulomb Technologies is the leading electric vehicle charging solutions company. Coulomb¹s ChargePoint Network is the largest online global charging network connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. Coulomb also provides ChargePoint Network service plans and cloud-based solutions that handle all drivers billing and support. This provides organizations the control and flexibility they need to optimize performance of their electric vehicle charging operations. Open to all charging station manufacturers, stations on ChargePoint Network are currently dispensing over 437 Megawatt hours of energy each month, with drivers plugging in for more than 2400 charging sessions per day. For more information, visit www.coulombtech.com.