The Challenge

When lots of people drive electric vehicles our collective emissions will be lower, and our air quality will improve. But what about everyone coming home at the same time and plugging in to recharge? Will the increased load on our energy infrastructure be able to handle this and how would we know? Is it true that everyone will charge at the end of their day? The City of Fort Collins, along with the Innosphere and Colorado State University, wanted to find out so they conducted a challenge to find a company that would be willing to solve that issue.

The Solution

This competition sought proposals to understand and quantify the actual electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. The objective was to quantify the scheduling, location and electric loads of EVs currently in operation on Fort Collins distribution system. Respondents based their study approach on data acquisition from vehicles, installed metering or monitoring or advanced meter data.

The Prize

Finalists for the competition was presented at the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium.  The 2 day symposium was hosted on September 28-29, 2016 on the Colorado State University campus.  The winner, Qmulus, was announced on Wednesday, September 28th, at 4:30pm MT at the symposium held at the Lory Student Center ballroom.  A public reception followed from 5:00-6:00pm and an evening keynote from 6:00-7:00pm.  The symposium was free of charge to attend in person or to watch the live stream.

The winner of the competition was afforded the opportunity to test their technology in a real world environment with support from City of Fort Collins Utilities to demonstrate a proof of concept and market adoption readiness.

The Requirements

The proposed approach must:

— Be quantitative in nature
— Be able to report on the accuracy and precision of the results
— Be based on vehicles based in Fort Collins (homes and/or businesses)
— Be representative of the population of EVs in Fort Collins
— Provide information for different levels of the distribution system, from individual transformers to substations

Electric Vehicle Charging Challenge:  Road to 2020: Forging Our Efficient Future  —  Awardee announced at 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium on Sept 28, 2016 (4:30-5:00pm)  

Fort Collins’ residents are deeply committed to the high quality of life the community has to offer, and sustainability, including clean air and a healthy, walkable environment, is a core aspect of our community’s identity. To preserve and protect these important attributes, Fort Collins has adopted aspirational carbon reduction goals with a focus on achieving a 20% reductions in our carbon emissions below our 2005 levels by 2020. These goals are supported by a key vision of the City’s Economic Health Strategic Plan, to partner with businesses by encouraging them to develop new products and services that assist in meeting our community goals. To achieve these goals, the City must seek new innovations to meet its goals around energy efficiency, clean energy, mobility, waste reduction, and water.  With these objectives in mind, Fort Collins partners are promoting a first of its kind competition to engage the business community in helping solve some of our toughest challenges.

4:30pm: Be the first to hear what innovative technology will win the “Innovate Fort Collins: EV Charging Challenge!”

We heard from the winning company, Qmulus, of this competition as they present how their technology plans to help us better understand and quantify the electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. This competition is a partnership through Colorado State University, the City of Fort Collins, and Colorado’s leading technology incubator, Innosphere, which aims to scout technology necessary for implementing community goals. Companies were motivated to apply for this competition because the winning solution gets to demonstrate their technology by using the City as a platform, which is great for companies seeking to demonstrate a proof-of-concept and market adoption readiness.

The Winning Company Announced on Sept 28, 2016

Innosphere, City of Fort Collins, CSU Announce Winner of the Innovate Fort Collins Electric Vehicle Charging Challenge

Qmulus Selected as Competition Winner during CSU’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium

Fort Collins, CO – 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 adapter that Qmulus has developed 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 the community 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 the climate action plan 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 grid. Qmulus’ smart charge adapter (SCA) gives users with low-end chargers the ability to network their charge sessions without going to the expense of upgrading their EVSE. “The $300 SCA 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 SCA 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’ Climate Action Plan. The theme of this first competition was focused on electric vehicles because the City wanted to better understand and quantify actual 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, chief sustainability officer for the City of Fort Collins. In March 2015, City Council set 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.

“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’ Climate Action Plan, go to

For more information on Innosphere, or how Innosphere’s program can support your high-impact science or technology startup, please visit and apply to be a part of the next cohort of client companies.

CSU’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium event continues through today, September 29th, and live streaming is available for all panels and sessions at

About Innosphere:

Innosphere is a non-profit technology incubator accelerating the success of high-impact science and technology startups. Innosphere has two physical locations in Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado to support entrepreneurs building potential, high-growth companies in the industries of health innovations, life sciences, software, hardware, energy, and advanced materials. Innosphere’s incubation program focuses on ensuring companies are investor ready, connecting them with experienced advisors, and making introductions to corporate partners. Once accepted into the program, companies receive customized development plans and ongoing support to ensure they’re getting the know-how to raise the right kind of capital, and all the resources to grow –– exponentially.