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USA: Electric Car Charging Stations En Route

With all the electric vehicles on deck, I wonder how recharging them all on the road will actually go. Fast and easy, or like searching an old airport terminal for a place to charge a laptop? New stations could settle it.

In California, several companies have big plans. Electric systems tech company AeroVironment announced a partnership with EV-maker Think to make fast-charging stations. Coulomb Technologies announced a similar deal with Aker Wade Power Technologies to produce stations this fall. Better Place envisions a complete charging network that includes battery switch stations for drivers on long trips. (Todd Woody wrote a Green Inc. post today about lingering regulatory questions over charging stations in California.) Meanwhile utilities around the country, including Pepco in D.C., are racing to study how different charging stations will affect the grid.

Last year the DOE announced a massive grant to the Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. to install 2,500 charging stations in each of five markets: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. The EV Project calls for several hundred of these stations to be fast-charging systems that can charge the vehicle 80 percent in a mere 15 minutes. No one is sure about the pricing for any of this yet, though. We’ll have to see what happens when the project gets under way this summer.




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