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U.S., Europe launch center for smart grids and plug-in vehicles

The interior of the Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center at Argonne National Laboratory in southwest suburban Lemont, Ill. is one of three in the world to develop and harmonize global standards for smart grid technology and the mass adoption of electrified vehicles. (Argonne National Laboratory)

By Robert Duffer, Chicago Tribune

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) launched a new facility designed to develop and harmonize interoperability between electric vehicles and the electric charging infrastructure.

Agreed to in November, 2011, the EV-Smart Grid Interoperability at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., works in concert with the two other interoperability facilities of its kind in Ispra, Italy and The Netherlands, to create global standards and develop technology from the source of the energy all the way down the line to the residential user.

“[Interoperability Centers] are a gateway to adopting standards and policies that will expand the use of EVs on the road,” said Eric Isaacs, Director of Argonne.

Interoperability means the electrification of vehicles, such as in hybrids, plug in hybrids, and straight evs, can be managed by the power grid without any inconvenience to the end user. The promotional literature states: “Interoperability supports the ideal of universal charging…any plug-in electric vehicle…any electric vehicle supply equipment…anywhere…anytime.”

The Centers establish and develop a system that is followed all through the product life cycle of an electrified vehicle, incorporating applications from auto manufacturers, parts suppliers, public and private charging equipment, power sources, government and consumers.


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