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Electric cars: the grid can take it

car2.jpgGood news, all. It looks like the chicken licken ‘the sky is falling in’ type predictions that have dogged electric cars might not actually be about to come true: people can plug in and recharge their hybrid cars from a wall plug socket, without bringing down the electricity grid and thrusting us, worm-like, into a new darkness where we have no power to power our TVs and toasters. Imagine it: no entertainment and no way to cook a Pop Tart. Greenbang shuddered a little thinking about it.

Phew.

According to GridPoint, a company which makes products to manage and store electricity for power compaines, did a test with Duke Energy for the smart charging of hybrids, balancing out the time most people will plug in their cars (late afternoon) and when electricity is cheapest (late evening)

It went like this:

Duke Energy engineers tested GridPoint’s smart charging capability by plugging a PHEV into a garage wall outlet controlled by the GridPoint SmartGrid Platform in the late afternoon. Duke began charging the vehicle at 10 p.m. and completed charging prior to the morning peak, leaving the car fully charged for the driver’s morning commute. GridPoint’s platform successfully controlled, measured and verified the charging of an electric vehicle parked in a residential garage.

It’s a bit of a red letter day for GridPoint: it also got a $15 million funding injection Quercus Trust, which invests in alternative energy companies. GridPoint has so far raised $102 million in equity capital.

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