Plug-In 2008: San Jose Partners With Coulomb's Smart Charging

Mayors these days never seem to miss a chance to promote their cities’ green jobs. This morning the mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed, gave a brief opening address at the Plug-In 2008 conference in which he promoted the California city’s cleantech business incentives. He also said that the city has reached an agreement with Campbell, Calif.-based smart charging startup Coulomb Technologies.

Reed said San Jose plans to deploy Coulomb’s smart-charging stations at various locations throughout the city. The “smartlets” will be attached to a street light set-up that will use LED lighting technology and could also collect other data like traffic conditions. (The city of San Francisco made a public call for companies to pitch their electric vehicle charging infrastructure yesterday as well.)

Coulomb just launched its smart-charging technology on Monday; it includes public charging stations, a consumer subscription plan and grid management software for utilities. The company’s charging stations use wireless networks to connect to a data center, while its software can help utilities manage the rate of energy flow.

So it’s not surprising that Coulomb, which was founded in 2007, is being led by several old-school telecom and networking execs that hail from Cisco, Lucent and 3Com. Though Coulomb isn’t the only startup working on this tech: Seattle-based smart charging startup V2Green has made strides with its smart-charging software and hardware, and smart grid startup GridPoint has also expressed interest in selling into this space as well.

If you want to see how Coulomb tech works, the company‘s president and founder, Praveen Mandal, demoed the charging station for us on a plug-in version of the Saturn Vue this morning. Hold tight, we’ve got some video footage of that coming soon.

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