Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. 5 October, 2011 — Today at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe 2011, Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG) announced a partnership with Plug Smart to provide real-time rating, billing and data management support for electric vehicle charging stations. This partnership pairs Plug Smart’s patent-pending charging station technology, Zephyr, with Convergys’ Smart Revenue Solutions to bill for electric vehicle charging anytime, anywhere.
The Smart Utility Solutions support electric vehicle charging and are said to be flexible and scalable. Convergys enables utilities to solve and evolve challenges, including complex rate tariffs such as time-of-use and critical peak pricing. In addition, multi-party billing capabilities allow for revenue and cost settlement between multiple service providers, and the Ohio-based company’s real-time processing capability provides instant authentication of users, as well as the delivery of prices and balances in real-time.
Juice Technologies LLC doing business as Plug Smart is an energy services and technology company that helps commercial, industrial, non-profit, institutional, and utility companies implement a range of energy solutions on both sides of the utility meter. Plug Smart’s Zephyr platform is a suite of cloud-based services that offer open, standardised communication between charging stations and software products. Zephyr simplifies how utilities manage the growing number of charging stations within their service territory by establishing a standards-based middleware platform. Instead of integrating with every electric vehicle charging station vendor, Zephyr provides a single interface to the utility and handles communications with the charging station, charging network or directly to the electric vehicle. Zephyr is free for hardware vendors and provides real-time access to charging data.
“The billing challenges utilities face in the wake of smart grid technology and electric vehicles are not unlike those the telecommunications industry addressed in its early years. As a world leader in real-time transactional intelligence, with significant experience in rating and billing for telecommunications roaming, we are able to draw upon a wealth of expertise to help solve and evolve electric vehicle settlement,” said Eran Ofir (pictured above), General Manager of Global Utilities, Convergys.
Market research forecasts by Pike Research indicate that the global market for plug-in hybrid and electric passenger cars and light duty trucks will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106% between 2010 and 2015, resulting in sales of more than 3.24 million vehicles during that period. A report by the Center of Entrepreneurship & Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, on US sales indicates that electric cars could account for 64% of U.S. light-vehicle sales by 2030 and comprise 24% of the US light-vehicle fleet.
“The electric vehicle market is just starting to emerge. Only limited standards have been established and transaction models have yet to be defined,” said Richard Housh, Plug Smart President and CEO. “We are excited to partner with Convergys who, as a recognised leader with proven experience in real-time transaction processing at scale, provides technology that will keep pace with the needs of the market as it grows and evolves. Together we are shaping the future for the electric vehicle charging ecosystem.”
Zephyr will be deployed across the United States this fall with several large utilities, universities and corporations as part of a smart electric vehicle charging pilot. During the pilot, electric vehicle drivers will charge at 110 volt ‘smart sockets’ and Zephyr will aggregate the data, enabling billing settlement, demand response and real-time pricing.