Qmulus Wins Inaugural City of Fort Collins Innovation Challenge

The City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and Innosphere, Colorado’s leading technology incubator, have announced the winner of the first Innovate Fort Collins competition. This technology competition was focused on solving electric vehicle (EV) charging challenges because as more people buy electric vehicles, the pressure on charging loads can affect the reliability of the electric grid.

Qmulus, an emerging technology company with a solution for a plug-and-play adapter, was announced the winner on September 26th at Colorado State University’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium. The Qmulus adapter connects between the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). For this competition, applications were collected from companies and entrepreneurs that focused on data acquisition from vehicles, installed metering or monitoring, or advanced meter data.

“Innovate Fort Collins is specifically designed to help innovators bring relevant technologies to market that are going to help communities like Fort Collins meet its climate action goals,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. In future Innovate Fort Collins competitions, Innosphere will continue to help the City with technology scouting in order to find new innovation to meet their Road to 2020 goals concerning water, buildings, mobility solutions, energy and waste reduction.

As the competition winner, Qmulus will be able to test and demonstrate the technology solution within the Fort Collins Utilities electric grid. Qmulus’ adapter gives users with low-end charger stations the ability to network their charge sessions without going to the expense of upgrading their EVSE. “The adapter will allow conversion of a dumb station to a smart station at a substantially lower cost than replacing the EVSE,” said Matthew Raymond, co-founder of Qmulus. “The adapter will allow residents, communities, workplaces, fleets, multi-unit dwellings, retailers and utilities to gain more detailed information about PEV charging behavior. Utilities can also use the adapter for load control and metering.” Raymond accepted the award at the event and gave a presentation on why Qmulus’ emerging technology is ideal for a test and demonstration project with City of Fort Collins utilities.

The competition began with Innosphere collaborating with the City of Fort Collins to help implement the goals of the City of Fort Collins’ Road to 2020 plan. The Road to 2020 plan sets new goals to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and 80 percent by 2030, with a desire to be carbon neutral by 2050. The theme of this first competition was focused on electric vehicles because the City wanted to better understand and quantify future mass electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. “This will help us manage our core utilities distribution system while making progress toward a carbon-neutral City,” said Jackie Kozak Thiel, chief sustainability officer for the City of Fort Collins.

“We are excited to work with the City of Fort Collins and Innosphere on this challenge,” said Maury Dobbie, assistant director of CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy and symposium chair. “Our 6th annual symposium is all about finding solutions related to the energy transition of our country, and one of the ways we’re doing that is through collaboration with industry and government.”

For more information about the City of Fort Collins’ implementation of the Road to 2020, go to www.fcgov.com/climateaction.