Electric Cars to Use 'Charge Anywhere' Plan

Dennis Faas's picture

A new generation of Volvo electric vehicles will allow users to recharge from any power outlet and pay for it through their home electricity bills.

Among other advantages, this new system will make it easier to take advantage of off-peak discounts.

The new billing system, called Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure, or ELVIIS, is the work of Volvo and mobile electronics firm Ericsson.

Unlike some older electric vehicles, newer models can recharge from any power outlet, even those at home. Charging is controlled from a touchscreen built into the vehicle, or through a smartphone or tablet app.

Power Charges Re-Routed to Driver

The smartest feature of ELVIIS may be that pressing one button can transfer the cost of charging the vehicle to the car owner's home bill, even when recharging at someone else's home or business.

The idea is that ELVIIS makes it possible to recharge a car while visiting others without having to worry about them getting hit with a higher than usual electricity bill. (Source: gizmag.com)

The same system can also use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to figure out which electricity provider and local grid is providing the recharging power.

With this information, the Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure can find out about any available discount schemes, such as reduced rates for night or off-peak electricity usage.

The system then offers the option to have the car charge immediately, or later, when electricity charges will be significantly lower.

Cars Communicate with Power Grids

When setting up a charging cycle, the car can also be told when it will be needed again. With some local electricity grids, the vehicle will then be able to signal how urgently it needs its power.

This will allow ELVIIS to slow down or stop recharging when demand from other electricity users is high, but nevertheless have the car fully charged when it's needed.

The car can also send alerts via text messaging if there is any unexpected interruption in recharging -- for example, if there's a local power outage or the car's plug is accidentally knocked loose.

It's also possible to use a smartphone app to update the car's charging schedule, should the driver discover he or she will need the car sooner than previously requested. (Source: engadget.com)

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