Small electric vehicle charging company scores Navy pilot

The $60,000 project will see charging infrastructure installed at Navy facilities in Washington, D.C.; Indian Head, Md.; and San Diego.

Many of the companies focused on providing electric vehicle charging infrastructure are pretty big-name companies, but late last week, a small player from Portland, Ore., snagged a pilot deal with the Department of the Navy.

The $60,000 deal will see OpConnect dual Level I and Level II charging units stationed at Navy facilities in Washington, D.C.; Indian Head, Md.; and in San Diego.

The creator of the company, OpConnect, probably benefited from its status as a minority-owned business (a characteristic also shared by the distributor that made the sale to the Navy, Go EV).

But I am also intrigued by its focus on secure access and authentication, which is certain to be a growing consideration for public electric vehicle charging infrastructure. "Naval stations have some unique requirements for durability and network security, and I am glad that our charging stations met them," said Dexter Turner, OpConnect's president, in a statement about the deal.

OpConnect requires a custom, credit, fleet or debit card to be used. The technology can be updated remotely, which is a plus for those considering largescale deployments. The units can charge up to four vehicles simultaneously.