Richland, Washington – California electric vehicle company ZAP will use “smart” charging technology that will allow owners to recharge their vehicles during times of lowest cost and least stress on the power grid.

The company has entered into a non-exclusive license for Smart Charger Controller technology that was developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

Vehicle owners program the controller by setting the time they want the battery to be fully charged. The controller uses low-range wireless technology to communicate with the power grid, determining the best and cheapest time to recharge the vehicle for the hour the owner has selected.

“If millions of owners plug in their electric vehicles to recharge after work at the same time, it could cause stress on the grid,” said Michael Kintner-Meyer, engineer at PNNL. “The Smart Charge Controller will prevent those peaks in demand from plug-in vehicles and enable our existing grid to be used more efficiently.”

ZAP has also been granted the right to sub-license the technology to ZAP Hangzhou, a Chinese joint venture between ZAP and electric power meter producer Holley Group. ZAP also plans to distribute the new technology through its investor and distribution partner Samyang Optics of Korea.

Connect with