EPIC Wins Federal Grant to Research Electrical Vehicle Charging

Monday, October 1, 2018
EPIC Wins Federal Grant to Research Electrical Vehicle Charging

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $942,000 to EPIC, UNC Charlotte’s energy engineering research center, to develop an innovative solution related to curbside charging of electric vehicles.

Lee College of Engineering faculty members who will be involved in the research include principle project managers Dr. Rob Cox and Dr. Mike Mazzola (who is also the director of EPIC), Dr. Madhav Manjrekar and Dr. David Young

“This project will pilot a solution for the emerging problem of providing owners of electric vehicles charging points at or near their home or work when roadside parking is the primary option,” Dr. Mazzola said. “Due to the abundance of emission-free energy from nuclear and solar resources, and state and local goals for decarbonizing transportation, Charlotte is an ideal location for this project.”

The federal grant awarded to EPIC (the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center) is part of an $80 million investment in advanced vehicle technologies research to enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of critical materials and enhance U.S. economic growth. This work supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal to invest in early-stage research of transportation technologies that can give families and businesses greater choice in how they meet their mobility needs.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, “Improving the affordability of transportation for American consumers and businesses keeps our economy moving. By investing in a broad range of technologies, DOE is ensuring America remains at the forefront of innovation.”

UNC Charlotte will be responsible for the project management and design of unique structural and electrical upgrades to the utility light poles selected to receive the curbside EV charging infrastructure made by Eaton Corporation. Researchers will perform testing and validation of the communications, electric and structural subsystems before delivery to Duke Energy’s Mount Holly research facility for full system testing and qualification. Centralina Council of Governments will manage the process of selecting the Charlotte area government to host the demonstration and assisting in community relations during the planning and execution of the demo.