AeroVironment Begins Shipment and Completes First Installations of Residential Smart Charging Systems

February 14, 2011
  • Chargers wirelessly communicate with grid to create "smart refueling" hubs 
  • Open architecture ensures interoperability with utility systems nationwide

MONROVIA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2011 -- AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced that it has begun shipping and installing its UL-listed single-family and multi-unit residential Smart Charging Dock (model EVSE-RS+). Designed with an open architecture to ensure interoperability with the thousands of individual utilities nationwide, the grid-connected system charges electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by turning drivers' homes into convenient, smart refueling hubs.

"Our Smart Charging Dock is designed to flex with the needs of utilities and drivers," said Mike Bissonette, senior vice president and general manager of Efficient Energy Systems at AeroVironment. "The open architecture ensures that utilities will be able to incorporate it easily into their own monitoring systems. It also communicates wirelessly with the grid and provides feedback that helps determine the optimum charging times to effectively manage demand on the grid."

AeroVironment designed its Smart Charging Dock and supporting software to integrate easily with a utility's IT network over various communication methods, including GPRS (cellular), Ethernet, WiFi and ZigBee. The charging system enables communication with the utility to allow for easy monitoring of energy use, troubleshooting and data analysis to help optimize the grid. Utilities can then assess charging patterns and proactively manage the needs of electric vehicles on the utility's generation and distribution systems. Utilities will ultimately be able to aggregate collected data for a global view of EV energy usage and user habits.

The company recently announced that it would be providing and installing the charging systems and data network for the nation's first privately-funded EV charging "ecosystem" in Houston for New Jersey-based NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG), an example of how AeroVironment collaboratively supports an energy company and its EV-driving customer base. AeroVironment is working closely with NRG Energy to ensure that its charging hardware and software work seamlessly with the company's management system, allowing for grid optimization, CO2 footprint data, and energy consumption reports.

AeroVironment's Smart Charging Dock can charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car automatically or be pre-programmed by a utility or driver for optimal power draw so that the car charges when energy costs are lowest. EVSE-RS+ is designed to be compatible with all SAE J1772-compliant electric car models from major automakers.


About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)

AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides customers with more actionable intelligence so they can proceed with certainty. Based in California, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems and tactical missile systems, and serves defense, government and commercial customers. For more information visit www.avinc.com.


Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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Contact:
AeroVironment, Inc.
Steven Gitlin
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Mark Boyer
For AeroVironment, Inc.
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