The history of e-Mobility began with the idea of electric cars and has greatly evolved over the years. Today, it comprises of not only electric vehicles (EV) but also other means and methods of transport involving the utilization of electricity. E-Mobility represents the concept of using electric powertrain technologies (e.g. EV, plug-in hybrids), communication technologies, in-vehicle information, and connected infrastructures to support the momentum behind electric vehicles and fleets.
Inspired and driven by the needs to address fuel efficiency and emission requirements, and the market demands for lower operational costs, the overall goal of e-Mobility is to have environment-friendly and efficient vehicles that abide by regulatory requirements, and to move away from the traditional use of fossil fuels and oils.
Sulzer US is a proud supporter of BMW of North America and BMW Technology Office USA with a wide variety of projects surrounding e-mobility including Smart Charging, Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR), fleet view with charging data comparison leveraging innovative and cutting edge technologies.
One of the e-mobility solutions developed and supported since 2015 by Sulzer US is the ChargeForward app for iOS and Android. BMW has partnered with the California Energy Commission to fund their research in finding new ways to ensure supply of electricity meets the demand for electricity — managing the EV charging was one way to help manage the energy source.
Sulzer US teamed up with BMW Group Technology Office in a pilot project managing the demand charging process of BMW i all electric cars (BMW i3 at the time) to demonstrate a theory that electric vehicles (EV), via smart charging and demand response, can support the energy grid and can be used as a flexible grid resource.
So how does it work? The idea behind the ChargeForward program is efficient management and optimization of all e-mobility charging based on energy prices and renewable energy content. Leveraging BMW’s intelligent software, the detail of the electricity grid is analyzed in determining a charging strategy while prioritizing the drivers’ mobility needs (to improve the environmental attributes of EVs and chances for EV owners to receive compensation from local Utility for providing valuable grid services).
The ChargeForward app serves a critical role in notifying the program participants of Demand Response (DR) events (a program that pays customers to reduce energy consumption during peak demand time), and allowing them to either opt-in (e.g. charge at another time) or opt-out (e.g. charge now) of the event, and view incentives accrued over time from the app.
Another e-mobility solution provided by Sulzer US is the Fleet View — a web-based portal for fleet operators to monitor fleet vehicles. A simple user interface coupled with real-time vehicle data, the portal provides the fleet operator an overview of all vehicles out in the field. All the data is stored and is available for access for data and trend analysis.
Sulzer US will soon be participating in the next phase of the ChargeForward initiative to develop a software that can optimize vehicle charging and home energy storage systems for a larger pool (approximately 400) of customer owned all electric (BMW i3, i8) and plug-in hybrid (BMW iPerformance) vehicles in California!
The system is to be integrated with the BMW software backend to enable optimized charging windows to be sent to vehicles and energy storage systems. New functionalities and features to be developed include but are not limited to: vehicle charging performance reporting, charging time translator, enhanced customer facing smart phone app, and a customer web portal.
We look forward to the challenge of providing solutions that improve the health and sustainability of the planet.