SOURCE: Con Edison Co. of NY, Inc.

February 19, 2015 14:20 ET

Con Edison and Partners Drive Electric Vehicle Research Forward

Work With FedEx, GE, Columbia Cuts Charging Costs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 19, 2015) - Charging big fleets of electric vehicles just became more energy efficient and less expensive thanks to a project conducted by Con Edison and three research partners.

Con Edison's engineers worked with experts from FedEx Express, General Electric and Columbia University's Engineering School to show how smart grid technology in charging stations can track and manage the power flow to electric vehicles.

The technology uses Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition smart grid technology to increase or reduce the power flow in a way that saves energy and reduces the vehicle owners' energy bill.

"The number of electric vehicles on the road is growing, and that's good for our customers and good for the environment," said John Shipman, who manages electric vehicle programs for Con Edison. "The technology in this project helps a fleet owner get the power its customers need while saving money on electricity. In today's competitive business world, companies that can reduce their energy costs have an edge."

Large utility customers pay "demand charges," which are charges based on the largest amount of power the customer used at any one time during the month.

By controlling its energy usage, a company can cut its peak usage and reduce its demand charges. That can mean considerable savings for a company with a large fleet.

Researchers placed 10 GE-manufactured smart charging stations at a FedEx Express facility in Lower Manhattan. FedEx has 10 zero-emission all-electric delivery vans with an 80-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack at the location.

The chargers communicate with a system designed by GE Global Research and Columbia Engineering's Center for Computational Learning Systems that uses algorithms to predict the building's electricity needs for the day and the juice it will take to power the vehicles. The system reaches its conclusions based on the time of year, day of the week, weather and other factors.

All this Big Data lets the chargers adjust the amount of power flow in a way that ensures the FedEx Express trucks will be ready for deliveries while reducing required power in a way that lowers the demand charges.

The partners applied knowledge they got from the Lower Manhattan project to chargers at another FedEx facility in Midtown Manhattan where there are six chargers.

The system in Midtown lets the utility monitor the amount of power the customer is using on charging. The utility can request conservation when overall energy demand is highest, helping to keep service reliable for Con Edison's customers.

Con Edison estimates that there are nearly 3,000 electric vehicles in New York City and Westchester County. The company is committed to maintaining its industry-leading reliability while providing EV drivers with the power they need.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $41 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, NY.

Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, founded in 1864, offers programs in nine departments to both undergraduate and graduate students. With facilities specifically designed and equipped to meet the laboratory and research needs of faculty and students, Columbia Engineering is home to NSF-NIH funded centers in genomic science, molecular nanostructures, materials science, and energy, as well as one of the world's leading programs in financial engineering. These interdisciplinary centers are leading the way in their respective fields while individual groups of engineers and scientists collaborate to solve some of modern society's more difficult challenges.

FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what's possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world's toughest problems. We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Detroit, Michigan; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; Tirat Carmel, Israel, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at Connect with our technologists at and

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