Is this "wireless" or "inductive" charging?
No, this is not "wireless" charging. This is "conductive" charging. In wireless charging (more technical terms being "inductive charging" or "resonant inductive coupling"), electrical energy is transferred (in this case to an EV) using oscillating magnetic fields. ConnectMyEV uses "conductive" transfer of energy, which means the electrical energy is transferred through a physical connection. Conductive energy transfer is inherently safe and efficient. Also due to its design simplicity, it costs an order of magnitude lower than an inductive charging system of comparable power.
Why is "conductive" charging better than inductive charging?
The conductive transfer has been the gold standard for transferring electricity from its source to load for over a century. In fact, the physics behind conduction and induction was discovered at about the same time near the turn of last century. With the lack of wires, the inductive transfer of electricity was expected to grow in popularity and the conductive transfer was expected to fade away. However, due to its inherent limitations and safety concerns, the induction could not be safely and efficiently scaled to the power levels required by the modern industrialized world. Some of the key disadvantages of inductive energy transfer are its poor efficiency and magnetic field safety. For example, at a relatively low power level EV charging (3.3KW), the magnetic field around the periphery of an inductively charging EV is three times greater than the recommended safety levels for pacemaker safety. At normal EV charging power levels, such magnetic fields can easily send a small animal into neurological shock.
I have already set up a delay-timer in my EV to charge when price is low. How is ConnectMyEV different?
What you are referring to is "time-of-the-day" pricing for energy. Today, many EV owners are subscribing to this type of pricing from their utilities. Such pricing, as the name suggests follows a fixed pricing schedule that is tied to the time of the day.
Going forward however, utilities will be offering what is called as "Residential Real Time Pricing" (RRTP). This means that your energy rates will change in real time, typically in response to the wholesale energy rates. If you can intelligently adjust your electricity usage in response, you will be able to save on your electricity bill. ConnectMyEV’s advanced charge management adjust the EV charging rate in response to real time pricing, to deliver these savings to you.
While trying to extract most of real time pricing, will my EV be left with incomplete charge?
Not true. You EV will be fully charged at the time you set to be fully charged. ConnectMyEV has a unique architecture that ensures that your EV is fully charged at the time you need it the next day. To be precise, you set up a default time when you need your EV to be fully charged, e.g. 7am on weekdays. You may override this default readiness time as necessary. In real-time, ConnectMyEV’s optimizing computer will take into account instantaneous and predicted energy prices, any "transactional energy" coupons you may have purchased and the constraints as to when the vehicle readiness is required. Then it will chart a course - and continually correct it, to charge your EV so that is ready when you want it, while minimizing the overall cost to charge.
What is "Transactional Energy" and does ConnectMyEV support it?
ConnectMyEV supports "transactional energy". Simplest way of explaining "transactional energy market" is that when such market become a reality, you will be able to purchase – for example, "10 KWh of electricity to be used on Memorial Day between 3am to 4am for a price of $1/-, offer valid for PG&E and SCE customers only". If you decide to purchase, you will get a code that you can put into ConnectMyEV charger (using your smartphone). Then, ConnectMyEV charger - when it's trying to figure out how to best charge your EV, it will take into account this previously paid for energy that is to be used during a certain time, and set the charging scheme appropriately to best use that energy in combination with that day's electricity rates.
Why stop at EV? why not use the "real-time-pricing" concept for my entire house?
Although some experts may say yes, you can try to take advantage of real time pricing with your entire home. However in reality EVs are uniquely suited to make most of real-time-pricing. Just to elaborate the point, let's say you are having dinner on a winter evening and just then the demand on the grid shoots up and your utility cranks up the electricity price (a likely scenario since most folks will be lighting up their houses and running the air blowers over their furnaces). At this point, it’s difficult for you to back off on electricity usage without inconveniencing yourself. On the other hand, EVs are a unique in the sense that they are typically connected to the grid about twice as long as they absolutely need to be. This flexibility allows smart EV chargers such as ConnectMyEV to slow down and speed up the charging as necessary and deliver you (and the utilities) the most benefit.
Why are utilities offering real time pricing?
By offering real time pricing, the utilities will be able to manage the grid load better. This can in turn save them money. Specifically, the utilities can raise prices of electricity when the demand is high. In response to this price increase, smart devices such as ConnectMyEV chargers will back off on using electricity. As a result, the utility may have chance to workthrough the peak demand without needing to fire up the expensive "peak generators". On the opposite end of the spectrum they will offer lower price for electricity to stimulate demand when the demand is otherwise low. This will allow the utilities to absorb the excess energy dumped onto the grid - for example by the solar panels, without stopping and re-starting their primary power plants.
This is all good, but I haven’t heard the same story from my utility. So, is the "real-time pricing" for real?
Yes. It’s for real, In fact a few utilities in the US have already started offering "RRTP" (residential real-time pricing). Governor of California recently mandated a million EVs in California by 2025 and as a consequence, all the utilities in California have become serious about how to sustain the load of all these future EVs. They see RRTP as a very promising schemes to entertain these future EV loads, without needing to make major upgrades to their grid infrastructure.
How much is the cost of ConnectMyEV technology, particularly compared with wireless charging system?
The system price (for a typical after-market end consumer) is $1500/- for the pair which includes ground unit + vehicle side unit. This price point is for a system rated for 13.2 KW (while operating under J-1772-DC-Level1 protocol). Depending the available power configuration, the unit is capable of operating under J-1772-DC-Level1 or J-1772- AC-Level2 protocol and supports vehicle-to-grid power transfer. On the other hand, wireless chargers – rated for one-third the power level as ConnectMyEV, cost as high as $3000/-. Please note that wireless chargers at power level comparable to ConnectMyEV don’t really exist for passenger cars but are expected to cost well above $10K ~ $20K per unit.
Can I install ConnectMyEV in my driveway?
Do I need to dig up the floor of my garage or driveway to install ConnectMyEV?
No. The ground unit of the charger has a low profile and can be placed on the surface of your garage or driveway.
How reliable is ConnectMyEV?
ConnectMyEV charger has been tested to perform for over 5000 cycles under salt and fog environment (ASTM B-117 testing protocol), which translates to somewhere between 6.8 to 9 years of operation. The consumable depth of the contacts is set for entire life of 5000 cycles or 6.8 years. This is achieved through a proprietary contactor design which minimizes the contact force (thus minimizing the wear), while delivering a high quality contact.