SAN FRANCISCO - ECOtality Inc., a major provider of electric vehicle charging products, said it has developed a way to integrate the Blink Network charger interface with the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution (HEMS).

The Blink Network charger interface will now be accessible through the Cisco Home Energy Controller (HEC). As a result, ECOtality said, Blink EV Home Charging Station owners can access information about their EVs and optimize their charging and energy usage. Cisco's HEMS technology will be deployed as part of the EV Project, a major rollout of EV infrastructure. ECOtality is managing the EV Project.

"Energy management is one of the key smart features of Blink charging stations. By combining Cisco's Home Energy Management solution with our Blink Network charger interface, consumers will now be able to monitor and control their energy use -- including EV charging -- at home and on the road," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "The Blink interface communicates directly with utilities to determine off-peak and low-cost charging times, and allows consumers to maximize energy usage and reduce costs."

The Cisco Home Energy Controller (HEC) helps customers monitor and control their energy use. An optional set of Cisco-compatible, tested peripherals can be wirelessly connected to the HEC in order to provide monitoring and control of energy loads. The Cisco HEC can be easily controlled from a touch-screen display. From this controller, Blink Home Charging Station owners will now be able to control and monitor their EV charging.

The Blink Home Charging Station is classified as a Level 2 (240 volt AC input) charging station. It is equipped with a 7-inch touch-screen display where users can control the Blink Network charger interface. With the Cisco HEC, customers will be able to access the charger interface remotely. Users can access such information as charge status, statistics and history. The Blink interface will also determine which charging times are most cost-effective. The charger can be programmed to start and stop at any time.