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FLO is pleased to announce it is part of a team awarded a California Energy Commission (CEC) BESTFIT grant for an innovative electric vehicle (EV) charging pilot program titled Unlocking Existing Utility Assets for Curbside EV Charging. In collaboration with Arup, Southern California Edison (SCE), and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), and with the support of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), FLO will provide the EV charging equipment and operating network for this pilot project, which will focus on the deployment of full-scale, equitable public charging infrastructure in the Los Angeles metro area.
A common obstacle to the implementation of accessible, equitable EV charging infrastructure in many cities has been the cost of utility upgrades to install Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers. This project aims to develop the processes needed to unlock widespread existing infrastructure to provide light-duty EV charging at scale. The potential is very significant – in California, for instance, there are millions of street poles that could be quickly adapted to provide EV charging at low cost.
“FLO and the team are excited to be selected by the CEC and look forward to serving more communities with innovative solutions,” said Frank Fata, FLO’s Global Head of Utilities. “Our BESTFIT Team understands the challenges and intends to leverage our collective expertise to help accelerate EV adoption and make EV charging access more equitable for communities in California.”
“This pilot will allow us to demonstrate that it is possible to scale public charging infrastructure in a cost-efficient way while offering consistent uptime and reliability to EV owners,” Fata added. “Tapping into existing utility assets with sufficient capacity allows for EVSE integration with poles, streetlights, underground vaults and existing service transformers to power-up DC fast-charging stations. In doing so, we will create measurable reference cases showing how this approach can significantly reduce construction time and cost of deployment of curbside charging infrastructure while improving accessibility of EV charging in underserved communities.”
Following the successful deployment of 180 streetlight-mounted curbside chargers on the FLO Network in Los Angeles; multiple FLO chargers will be installed in Santa Monica and Southeast LA, featuring SmartTWO curbside units and a Smart DC Fast Charger as part of the pilot.
“Learnings from engineering to community outreach will be shared to ensure that best practices can be replicated on the state level to accelerate EV charging infrastructure deployment, reduce carbon emissions and considerably reduce the cost of implementation in California and across the U.S.” concluded Fata.