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To Sell Electric Cars In Northeast, Is More Charging Needed? Some Thoughts

California is a largely temperate state with a longstanding history of working to curb vehicle emissions.

That makes it a perfect place for plug-in electric cars.

The Northeastern states, on the other hand, are in the Snow Belt, meaning electric cars can lose as much as one third of their battery range in the coldest winter months.

So what will it take to boost plug-in sales in the Northeast, where less than 10 percent of last year’s 53,000 plug-in electric cars were sold?

According to a report cited in The New York Times, the answer is more prevalent public charging infrastructure.

Only 1,000 NE charging stations

The report, Siting and Design Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, was prepared last November for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

It notes that at the time, almost 1,000 public charging stations existed among the Northeast states, but that only three-quarters of them were publicly accessible.

And some were only 110-Volt Level 1 stations, which can take 20 hours or more to refill a completely depleted battery pack in a Nissan Leaf, for example.

The report offers a sort of blueprint for rolling out more charging stations, including siting guidelines, policy changes, and many other parts of the process.

Such reports are a necessary part of the gradual increase in plug-in cars that will take place over the next couple of decades.

But two issues need to be kept in mind while pushing for vast increases in charging stations before the cars are actually on the roads.

Charging needed, but not used

First is what many analysts call “the TEPCO Paradox,” named after the Tokyo Electric Power Company (now better known as the operator of the failed Fukushima nuclear reactor).



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