US Gov’ launches initiatives to enhance charger reliability and UX

The US government is launching two new federal initiatives aligned with President Biden’s goal of establishing a national network of 500,000 public EV charging ports. This time around, it is all about reliability.

One of these initiatives is the Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity, with a budget of $51 million. It aims to support various initiatives such as testing and validating charging equipment, developing new business models for shared mobility and fleet-based services, and creating job and training opportunities in underserved communities.

The other initiatives is more hardware than service driven and revolves around a newly formed consortium which already includes most mayor players. To ensure reliable charging experiences together with other initiatives, a new Joint Office will be established, and the ChargeX Consortium will play a crucial role in this endeavour.

The National Charging Experience Consortium (ChargeX)

The ChargeX Consortium is led by the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The national labs will collaborate with industry organizations to address usability and accessibility challenges through multi-stakeholder cooperation.

The list already includes all leading industry players such as ABB E-mobility, Blink Charging, ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, or Flo, and carmakers such as Ford, General Motors, BMW of North America, Stellantis, Rivian and Tesla. The New York Power Authority, Plug-in America, SAE and Siemens also participate.

The ChargeX Consortium works alongside the minimum standards for EV charging infrastructure projects funded by the Federal Highway Administration and complements the Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity.

One such touch point will be creating a centralized data platform for EV charger data reporting to facilitate and maximize access to data and insights that could inform future charging reliability analysis.

“The national labs provide the independent expertise needed to fix the most challenging, systemic problems that can impact the customer charging experience,” said consortium director John Smart of Idaho National Lab.

The Joint Office has appointed Sarah Hipel as the standards and reliability program manager. Hipel emphasized the importance of collaboration across the industry to ensure a reliable and user-friendly national charging network. The ChargeX Consortium, in conjunction with other Joint Office initiatives, aims to enhance and protect public and private investments in the quality and growth of the nation’s public charging infrastructure.

The deadline for submitting concept papers for the Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity is June 16. Only applicants with eligible concept papers can submit complete applications until July 28.

Interested parties can still register their interest in participating in the ChargeX Consortium and its efforts to enhance charging reliability nationwide. (Ride and Drive Electric), (Charge X)


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