On Monday, October 12, 2015, CEO Al Choperena had the opportunity to present Electric Vehicle Charging Networks (and the IOT) to the University of California Irvine’s (UCI) California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology (Calit2).

Part of CalIt2’s Internet of Things Speaker Series, Al laid out the general landscape of Electric Vehicle Charging, pointing out that we are in the midst of rapid expansion.  He detailed the various charger types, explained the consumer, manufacturer, service provider, and host perspectives on the industry, and the challenges facing a niche market that started already fragmented.  Pointing out the opportunity for the Internet of Things when it comes to “Smart” (i.e. network connected and managed) chargers, Al noted a lack of a unified way to govern the interactions of chargers with their respective backends.

But according to Choperena, there is hope with emerging standards like the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), an application protocol that can help standardize the way charge points interact with back end management.  This cohesion minimizes risk for hosts, as they no longer have to fear being stuck with obsolete infrastructure as service providers come and go.  It also helps promote competition and innovation at the manufacturing level.  As a manufacturer with the first and only ZigBee certified Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE), Choperena noted that Smartenit welcomes this opportunity to innovate.  If companies like Smartenit can innovate to satisfy the consumer desire for simple and efficient charging, that can only be positive industry growth.

The IOT landscape is more robust than ever, with plenty of platforms from many large companies committed to allowing sensors and actuators to interact and do some good for mankind.  This, and the enthusiasm for EV charging spells great things for the sensor/ actuator system of the electric vehicle charging network.  Choperena ended by stressing that now is the time to make EV Charging a “thing” on the Internet of Things!

Al is grateful for the opportunity to speak at a highly regarded research center like CalIt2.  He will be taking part in CalIt2’s CalPlug Workshop on October 29th as an attendee and principal member on a panel discussing zero net energy homes!