Ricardo and PEP Stations to Demonstrate ‘Pay at the Plug’ EV Charging Station at the New York Auto Show

Electric vehicles drivers who dream of roaming the country and "paying at the plug" for electricity can see a glimpse of the future at the 2010 New York International Auto Show’s EV Pavilion, where Ricardo Inc., in collaboration with PEP Stations LLC, will demonstrate its credit card-friendly electric vehicle charging station.

The PEP Station is the exclusive recharging station at the Green Car Journal EV Pavilion, a high-profile showcase of electric vehicles and green technologies, which will feature an indoor ride-and-drive test track. More than one million visitors are expected to visit the EV Pavilion over the course of the auto show, which is open to the general public April 3-11. A media preview will be held March 31 and April 1.

Two PEP Stations, which allow drivers of electric vehicles to access electricity via an access card or credit card just like today’s conventional fuel pumps, have been installed at the test track and will be used to charge the many electric vehicles being actively demonstrated. PEP Station team members will man three additional units, which will be available for display and demonstration purposes.

Although electric car owners can charge at home, in order for the driver to roam with total confidence, an infrastructure for out-of-home charging must be developed to make charging easy. The earliest adopters of the PEP station likely will be companies that offer access as an incentive for their employees to drive green vehicles. Longer term, commercial recharging will become common.

"The first question most people ask when they begin to toy with the idea of owning an electric vehicle is, ‘How much will I save in gas?’" says PEP Stations President James Blain. "Equally as important as the first question, the second question is, ‘Where will I charge my electric vehicle?’ That’s where we come in.

"As the electric vehicles market begins to flourish, consumers will need a convenient, reliable and easily accessible way to charge their vehicle outside of the home. It’s that simple," he added. "The PEP Station does just that in a safe, reliable, user-friendly, 220V charging station that can easily be installed at commercial destinations such as office buildings, restaurants, retail outlets, health clubs and more."

"With CO2 emissions reduction targets being adopted around the world, we expect to see steady growth in the market for electrified vehicles, such as hybrids, pure electric vehicles and range-extending plug-in hybrids," said Ricardo global director of controls and electronics Karina Morley.

"The creation of a commercially viable and effective recharging infrastructure will be a key enabler to the achievement of climate-change goals by allowing drivers of these electrified vehicles to maximize their zero-emission mileage."

The new PEP Stations, which allow two vehicles to be charged simultaneously, are aimed at building a solid charging infrastructure as the electric-vehicle market begins to grow. Each one features a reinforced concrete base, a touch-screen interface and a built-in point-of-sale terminal, which makes it the most durable and user-friendly charge station available. The units are engineered with auto-grade components, its dual connectors are SAE J1772 compliant and they will come with UL approval.

All stations will be centrally monitored and have communication capabilities to allow for diagnostic reporting, software updates and custom advertising/graphic display updates via the LCD screen. All of this is aesthetically captured in a highly identifiable design.

The PEP Station has been developed to complement the release of electric vehicles in the second half of 2010. Production units will include a wall-mount version and will be available at the beginning of the fourth quarter 2010.

Conceptualized, designed and sold by PEP Stations, LLC, PEP Stations are a joint collaboration of James Blain Associates and Ricardo. James Blain Associates is a Michigan-based design and architectural company with over thirty years of award-winning commercial design experience. 

Ricardo, the Eco-Innovation Technology Company, is a leading independent provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world’s automotive, military, transport and new-energy industries. The company’s skill base represents the state of the art in low emissions and fuel-efficient powertrain technology, and can be best summarized: "Ricardo is Fuel Economy." Ricardo offers TVFE(TM), its Total Vehicle Fuel Economy engineering service, to transportation manufacturers and related government agencies worldwide to provide objective evaluation of all available technologies to identify the most cost-effective strategies to accomplish fuel economy and CO2 goals.

With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, Ricardo provides engineering expertise ranging from vehicle systems integration, controls and electronics, hardware and software development, to the latest driveline and transmission systems and gasoline, diesel, hybrid and fuel-cell power train technologies. Ricardo’s customers include the world’s major automakers and suppliers, as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean-energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo’s U.S. operation, Ricardo Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Michigan. Ricardo plc posted sales of $296.6 million in financial year 2009 and is a constituent of the FTSE TechMark 100 index, a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.