The Houston Advanced Research Center collaborated with GRIDbot, Good Company Associates, and City of Houston to provide technical support for the demonstration of the GRIDbot charging station infrastructure. The electric vehicle charging infrastructure is important to meet the needs of Houston's expanding (PHEV's - Prius equipped with Hymotion battery systems) and dedicated electric vehilces (EVs-Nissan LEAFs). Houston has been recognized as the nation’s third-largest municipal hybrid fleet as a model of progression for the achievement of accumulating hybrid electric, electric vehicles, and charging stations. In the beginning of implementing electrical cars, environmental benefits was a major factor but saving $110,000 annually serves as a plus for the City of Houston. There is a projection of adding more to the 27 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles fleet.
The project is led by David Hitchcock, Senior Research Scientist in Sustainable Communities. HARC provided data analysis and evaluation for the electric vehicles fleet program. From September 2011 through April 2012, HARC was responsible for collecting data from the GRIDbot server, which reports vehicle activities. The system reported specific variables that were identified in designing the data system including basic vehicle identifiers, charging location, and charging characteristics.