Electric vehicles meet the network – happening soon?

by Barry Gander

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have a desperate need for communications, to help them get over “range anxiety.”  At a recent Networked Vehicle Association (NVA) Executive Workshop, a few EV factoids leaped out:

  • The threat to the power supply of having a nation of EVs is overblown, at least in my mind: if all cars were suddenly converted to electric, they would put no more than a 10 per cent additional demand on the electrical system  –  and an EV would only cost me $200/year to run!
  • Data security is so good on mature systems like OnStar, that it is better than that in the banking system.
  • Putting EV charging stations in shopping malls would be worthwhile to the mall owners if the drivers spent only five minutes extra in the mall.

A list of presentations from the event is at the end of this blog; contact me if you want any.

Stratford-Waterloo Does Wireless Development MOU with U.S. Centre

Barry Gander
Barry Gander, chair, Networked Vehicle Association


Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore joint initiatives for research and development of next-generation vehicles.  Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and the city and region of Stratford, Ontario, have agreed to exchange information on research programs, share talent pools and facilities, and develop pilot programs, among other initiatives.  Stratford/Waterloo is home to some 30,000 IT developers.

First Responders Invited to Join Buyers Group

I would like to invite first responders to join an Advisory Board to assist us in the development of an Emergency Responder Buyers Group (ERBG).  We are seeking to hold a full-day planning session in Toronto on Wednesday, March 21 and it is hoped that you will be available to join a select group of 20 executives representing industry, first responder, public safety, and government organizations in the validation of and continued guidance in the development of this important initiative.

Through the leadership of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, the Canadian Police Research Centre, and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, a draft outline of the ERBG has been developed. A copy of a PowerPoint presentation is available which summarizes the main concepts behind this initiative, and I encourage you to listen to this MP3 recording of a recent webinar that was held discussing this proposed platform. Download the file here.

Presentations from NVA Executive Workshop

Wireless Wolfsburg – What e-Mobility Can Learn From A Wireless Testbed

Klauss Schaaf, Program Director, Volkswagen/Wolfsburg AG

  • Wireless Wolfsburg provides a city portal in the car, and interconnections for information sharing and fleet management…[but] a tsunami of data traffic caused by the smartphone will pose a real problem for eMobility.  Even LTE will not provide enough capacity.

Connected Electric Vehicles

Tom Taylor, Vice President, Advanced Strategies, Hughes Telematics

  • Connectivity to the driver is critical for EVs, as charging stations are few and drivers suffer from “range anxiety”.  Information like in-traffic alerts will be important, to avoid situations where the vehicle could run out of power.  Hughes is running tests on presentations of information such as vehicle diagnostics.  In Shenzen, China, telematics provides deep information on driving patterns and vehicle histories.

Trusted Mobile Data Services

Bennie Farmer, CEO, Telanon

  • “Telematics Anonymous” could be the sub-text for the service being developed, which provides usage-based information on driving habits to insurance companies.  The information is under the control of the driver, who can anonymously compare pricing plans before approaching a selected company.

Integration of Electric Vehicles and the Grid:  What Does This Mean?

Mike Rowland, Director, Advanced Customer Technologies, Duke Energy

  • Simplicity, low cost, and open standards are critical to the commercial success of EVs; 80% of the value can be provided by simple transactions.  In providing the power to the car, there will be a merger of elements from the Smart Car and the Smart Plug.  Multiple communications paths will be used: vehicle telematics, customer networks, and utility networks.

The Electric Vehicle and the Smart Grid

Paul Pebbles, Onstar Global Manager, Electric Vehicle and Smart Grid Services, Onstar

  • Onstar allows data sharing and vehicle control, enabling applications that:  allow utilities to be aware of the load on the grid due to EVs; provide owners with Time of Use information; control the charging to reduce grid loading; and aggregate demand response over a community or region.  Onstar also has a Smart Grid Development Network to facilitate EV application integration

Network Vehicles Innovation:  Integrated Large Scale Testbed Architecture for Next-Generation Wireless Spectrum Sharing Environment

Rangam Subramanian, Principal Wireless Technology & Business Strategy, DOE

  • There is little available spectrum, though at a maximum only 17% of owned spectrum is used at one time.  There is a proliferation of wireless devices, amounting to 24-billion by 2020, highlighting the need for the announced spectrum sharing testbed to support government, public safety, and industry vertical such as cellular, energy, transport and medical. .A case study of the Idaho national lab and its 4200 workers described activities in its 890-square mile range.

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