The cost of electric vehicle chargers could go down by as much as 50 percent over the next three years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The department has announced research and development funding totaling $7 million that will be spent to improve the design and function of the chargers, all while reducing their cost to consumers.
The funding is being split among four different projects across the nation. Delta Products in Fremont, Calif., will receive $1.9 million to develop residential electric vehicle charges that rely on low-cost wireless networks to connect the chargers directly to electric utilities. Siemens Corporate Research in New Jersey will get $1.6 million to redesign its electric supply equipment and charging stations in residential areas.
General Electric Global Research in New York has been awarded $1.3 million to improve the design and infrastructure for commercial chargers for fleets of electric vehicles. And Eaton, in Pennsylvania, will receive $1.8 million to show that comercial electric vehicle chargers can work with and support the smart grid.
“Improving the functionality and affordability of electric vehicle chargers is an important step in supporting the deployment of electric vehicles that can help to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. “Developing smart electric vehicle chargers will provide more options to consumers and accelerate the build-out of charging infrastructure in ways that strengthen the electric grid.”