Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Research Scientist Yanzhi “Ann” Xu is the co-founder of ElectroTempo, Inc., a start-up company for electric vehicle charging demand software technology. The company was incorporated Nov. 19, 2020. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents granted approval at its board meeting May 20, 2021, for Xu, as a TTI employee, to be an officer and member of the board of directors of ElectroTempo, Inc.
“Vehicle electrification means jobs, economic opportunities and cleaner air. An affordable and scalable software solution in the market is key to accelerating this trend,” says Xu. “The solution’s massive economic and societal impact is what motivated us to start a company to commercialize our technology.”
The technology’s co-inventors along with Xu include TTI Research Scientist Alexander Meitiv and TTI Assistant Agency Director Joe Zietsman. The technology, Electro Tempo Charging Demand Simulator, uses a software algorithm to predict light-duty electric vehicle charging demand. The technology tests electric vehicle charging strategies using a variety of market, price, technological and seasonal factors. It also tracks electric vehicle charging demand estimates at street block and regional levels.
Xu is the assistant director of technology for TTI’s Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CARTEEH), a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)–funded University Transportation Center. Xu’s research focuses on the energy and emissions modeling of transportation systems, providing a research-based perspective to the ElectroTempo technology. Prior to working at TTI, Xu served as senior technical advisor of impact and assessment with the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
Xu’s technology can assist staff working in electric utilities, departments of transportation and communities. It can serve as a tool as staff members plan their light-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure in an efficient, equitable and cost-effective way. EVolve Houston, a Houston non-profit focusing on electric vehicles, currently uses this technology to plan Houston’s Regional Infrastructure Strategy for Electrification. Seeing a need in this area, Xu took the initiative to become an entrepreneur and established ElectroTempo, Inc., following a history of start-ups based on technologies from members of The Texas A&M University System.
“USDOT has a very strong emphasis on technology transfer. At CARTEEH, we saw the need for developing implementable research products,” notes Zietsman. “This technology licensed to ElectroTempo, Inc., is a perfect example of how research can be made available to a broad range of stakeholders.”