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Published on November 17th, 2009 | by Beth Graddon-Hodgson

42

Car Manufacturers Might be Getting Ahead of Themselves in Electric Vehicle Production

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November 17th, 2009 by  

As various countires and cities around the world are rolling out policies with regards to the integration of charging stations that would allow for greater use of electric and hybrid vehicles, it’s becoming more apparent that perhaps the development of vehicular technology is moving substantially faster than might be realistic.

The issue will not be with the charging stations installed in North American and European cities that are adapting to the use of greener personal transportation methods, but with access to home charging stations. As policies and availability of charging stations away from home are becoming more prevalent, making it more realistic for your average driver to more towards the clean technology, it looks as though more people jumping on the bandwagon could create a bigger problem.

The electrical systems in houses just aren’t equipped to provide adequate charging power for electric vehicles. While households with one electric vehicle might have adequate power, charging two at a time, particularly when time is of the essence, might not be supported according to some environmental authorities, like the Tenessee Valley Authority’s VP of Environmental Policy, Joe Hoagland. While it might be possible to provide trickle charging from homes, which would provide small amounts of power at a time to electric vehicle, charging at faster paces would likely blow a home’s transformer. In some cities, additional issues will need to be addressed, like payment structures for charging when people are out visiting friends or family in their electric vehicles and need a boost. In this regard, there is some talk of a meter technology that would allow visitors to charge for a cost.

With every major car manufacturer looking to release their own hybrid/electric vehicle in the upcoming years, until these issues are addressed, there may be more vehicles available on the market than there is a demand for.

Via: Environmental News Network

Image Via: Flickr Use GWizz with a Creative Commons License

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  • Andreea

    I searched on google lots of electronic cars but ppl don’t seem to be interested in these kind of cars, why is that? For me, it would be the perfect gift for xmas to be honest, I believe in a better world and I do hope that the end of the world is not coming soon – so no more global warming!!

  • Andreea

    I searched on google lots of electronic cars but ppl don’t seem to be interested in these kind of cars, why is that? For me, it would be the perfect gift for xmas to be honest, I believe in a better world and I do hope that the end of the world is not coming soon – so no more global warming!!

  • Andreea

    I searched on google lots of electronic cars but ppl don’t seem to be interested in these kind of cars, why is that? For me, it would be the perfect gift for xmas to be honest, I believe in a better world and I do hope that the end of the world is not coming soon – so no more global warming!!

  • JJ

    I suspect the issue the utilities have in mind is the transformer that serves groups of homes might overheat.

    My annual electric avg is 5700KWh. If I drive 7K miles in a Leaf (100 miles for 24KWh battery) I would add about 1700KWh. On that basis the grid and nearby transformer will be fine. If I don’t get off peak rates and smart metering, I’d charge during the day so the utility will work this out soon to prevent added peaking.

    I doubt that entire neighborhoods will be driving electric for another 20 years. The fast flip will occur when batteries cross a threshold for capacity and cost OR gas prices go to hell!

    The utilities already upgraded recently to handle the higher loads that flat TVs add, they just have to stay on their toes. The smart metering will let the utilities ration out power to prevent equipment failure.

  • JJ

    I suspect the issue the utilities have in mind is the transformer that serves groups of homes might overheat.

    My annual electric avg is 5700KWh. If I drive 7K miles in a Leaf (100 miles for 24KWh battery) I would add about 1700KWh. On that basis the grid and nearby transformer will be fine. If I don’t get off peak rates and smart metering, I’d charge during the day so the utility will work this out soon to prevent added peaking.

    I doubt that entire neighborhoods will be driving electric for another 20 years. The fast flip will occur when batteries cross a threshold for capacity and cost OR gas prices go to hell!

    The utilities already upgraded recently to handle the higher loads that flat TVs add, they just have to stay on their toes. The smart metering will let the utilities ration out power to prevent equipment failure.

  • inpencil

    Dear Beth,

    How about you try checking your spelling and punctuation before giving out misinformation on the internet. This blog entry is crap. haha

  • inpencil

    Dear Beth,

    How about you try checking your spelling and punctuation before giving out misinformation on the internet. This blog entry is crap. haha

  • inpencil

    Dear Beth,

    How about you try checking your spelling and punctuation before giving out misinformation on the internet. This blog entry is crap. haha

  • Lucas

    I don’t think the inability to fast-charge at home will be that much of an issue. Today, if we run out of fuel at home, we’re stuck–most of us don’t have a gas (ethanol/petrol) pump at home. Still, for regular charging, it may be a challenge for people living in apartment complexes–I don’t think my landlords would appreciate an extension cord running out of my kitchen window on a regular basis to charge a car. I’m sure a system could be developed to allow even slow charging, though, with swipe cards. Probably somebody already has a design up for patent.

    I think the main obstacle for EVs is cost. I would be driving a hybrid now, but the price has put them out of my reach. The Tesla isn’t even a dream for me with its astronomical price! Will EVs be produced at prices comparable to internal combustion autos? If not, that will probably be the biggest challenge.

  • Lucas

    I don’t think the inability to fast-charge at home will be that much of an issue. Today, if we run out of fuel at home, we’re stuck–most of us don’t have a gas (ethanol/petrol) pump at home. Still, for regular charging, it may be a challenge for people living in apartment complexes–I don’t think my landlords would appreciate an extension cord running out of my kitchen window on a regular basis to charge a car. I’m sure a system could be developed to allow even slow charging, though, with swipe cards. Probably somebody already has a design up for patent.

    I think the main obstacle for EVs is cost. I would be driving a hybrid now, but the price has put them out of my reach. The Tesla isn’t even a dream for me with its astronomical price! Will EVs be produced at prices comparable to internal combustion autos? If not, that will probably be the biggest challenge.

  • Lucas

    I don’t think the inability to fast-charge at home will be that much of an issue. Today, if we run out of fuel at home, we’re stuck–most of us don’t have a gas (ethanol/petrol) pump at home. Still, for regular charging, it may be a challenge for people living in apartment complexes–I don’t think my landlords would appreciate an extension cord running out of my kitchen window on a regular basis to charge a car. I’m sure a system could be developed to allow even slow charging, though, with swipe cards. Probably somebody already has a design up for patent.

    I think the main obstacle for EVs is cost. I would be driving a hybrid now, but the price has put them out of my reach. The Tesla isn’t even a dream for me with its astronomical price! Will EVs be produced at prices comparable to internal combustion autos? If not, that will probably be the biggest challenge.

  • Beth Hodgson

    Thanks for the comments – interesting viewpoints!

    Vincent – I agree, it’s a question of ensuring that the public understands capabilities, and that if expectations vary from what’s supported, that grids are available to support it..which are issues that are being addressed.

    Nate – good point, and that just might be the inspirtation for another article as it is an area of concern for some. Although, I guess it depends on your frequency of visitors and the prospective increase in bills

    Steven – agreed, and this is an example of how this need is at least starting to be recognized to accomodate the increasing availability of vehicles

    Elektruk – this isn’t a question of my knowledge on the issue, these are concerns that some have and are trying to address. And this is based on a belief, presumably, that some home owners will expect to use fast-charging at home whether or not that is the intended use.

    read this statement that outlines that this is not my opinion, but a belief that’s out there – “While households with one electric vehicle might have adequate power, charging two at a time, particularly when time is of the essence, might not be supported according to some environmental authorities, like the Tenessee Valley Authority’s VP of Environmental Policy, Joe Hoagland.”

  • Beth Hodgson

    Thanks for the comments – interesting viewpoints!

    Vincent – I agree, it’s a question of ensuring that the public understands capabilities, and that if expectations vary from what’s supported, that grids are available to support it..which are issues that are being addressed.

    Nate – good point, and that just might be the inspirtation for another article as it is an area of concern for some. Although, I guess it depends on your frequency of visitors and the prospective increase in bills

    Steven – agreed, and this is an example of how this need is at least starting to be recognized to accomodate the increasing availability of vehicles

    Elektruk – this isn’t a question of my knowledge on the issue, these are concerns that some have and are trying to address. And this is based on a belief, presumably, that some home owners will expect to use fast-charging at home whether or not that is the intended use.

    read this statement that outlines that this is not my opinion, but a belief that’s out there – “While households with one electric vehicle might have adequate power, charging two at a time, particularly when time is of the essence, might not be supported according to some environmental authorities, like the Tenessee Valley Authority’s VP of Environmental Policy, Joe Hoagland.”

  • Eletruk

    Nobody currently with an EV (well, OK Maybe some Tesla owners) install fast charge for their EVs, nor should they expect to. The idea is to charge it overnight, while it sits in the garage/carport/driveway. Fast charge would be a thing you would install at service stations/rest stops. Do you drive home to fill up your gas tank? No, (unless you have your own biodiesel setup) so why would you expect to do the same thing at home? Fast charge is for fast charge stations, and they will charge moeny for it. People will much rather slow charge at home overnight where it will cost them about $8 a month (that’s what it costs me). As usual, you don’t get what having a EV is about.

  • Eletruk

    Nobody currently with an EV (well, OK Maybe some Tesla owners) install fast charge for their EVs, nor should they expect to. The idea is to charge it overnight, while it sits in the garage/carport/driveway. Fast charge would be a thing you would install at service stations/rest stops. Do you drive home to fill up your gas tank? No, (unless you have your own biodiesel setup) so why would you expect to do the same thing at home? Fast charge is for fast charge stations, and they will charge moeny for it. People will much rather slow charge at home overnight where it will cost them about $8 a month (that’s what it costs me). As usual, you don’t get what having a EV is about.

  • Eletruk

    Nobody currently with an EV (well, OK Maybe some Tesla owners) install fast charge for their EVs, nor should they expect to. The idea is to charge it overnight, while it sits in the garage/carport/driveway. Fast charge would be a thing you would install at service stations/rest stops. Do you drive home to fill up your gas tank? No, (unless you have your own biodiesel setup) so why would you expect to do the same thing at home? Fast charge is for fast charge stations, and they will charge moeny for it. People will much rather slow charge at home overnight where it will cost them about $8 a month (that’s what it costs me). As usual, you don’t get what having a EV is about.

  • Steven Bigatti

    Electrification of autos and adaptation of the grid which will support it go hand in hand.

    Nearly all European forums on Plug-in now include topics on the impact to, and transformation of power supply and delivery networks.

    Our hybrid and electric cars and charging systems will be quite different, slower and less efficient than that of our grandchildren’s, and the long term changes being planned for the grid will be the biggest enabler of that.

  • Steven Bigatti

    Electrification of autos and adaptation of the grid which will support it go hand in hand.

    Nearly all European forums on Plug-in now include topics on the impact to, and transformation of power supply and delivery networks.

    Our hybrid and electric cars and charging systems will be quite different, slower and less efficient than that of our grandchildren’s, and the long term changes being planned for the grid will be the biggest enabler of that.

  • Steven Bigatti

    Electrification of autos and adaptation of the grid which will support it go hand in hand.

    Nearly all European forums on Plug-in now include topics on the impact to, and transformation of power supply and delivery networks.

    Our hybrid and electric cars and charging systems will be quite different, slower and less efficient than that of our grandchildren’s, and the long term changes being planned for the grid will be the biggest enabler of that.

  • http://www.epower-cars.com/index.files/page0002.html EPOWER CARS LTD

    The solution in the future is swapping batteries, you don’t need to charge it. There will be a lot of new business for electric car in the future.

  • http://www.epower-cars.com/index.files/page0002.html EPOWER CARS LTD

    The solution in the future is swapping batteries, you don’t need to charge it. There will be a lot of new business for electric car in the future.

  • http://www.epower-cars.com/index.files/page0002.html EPOWER CARS LTD

    The solution in the future is swapping batteries, you don’t need to charge it. There will be a lot of new business for electric car in the future.

  • http://thegreenbend.blogspot.com/2009/11/hocus-of-hybrid-vehicle.html Stoned [Why Hybrid]

    Lets see are we sure we wish to talk about hybrid vehicle, is adopting hybrid vehicle really a solution and if the era of hybrid vehicle would only be a transiently phase then do we really need to invest into a temporary solution….and why alternate & better solutions being delayed…plug-in electric cars are a far better solution compared to Hybrid from Honda or Toyota that still have fossil emissions…..

  • http://thegreenbend.blogspot.com/2009/11/hocus-of-hybrid-vehicle.html Stoned [Why Hybrid]

    Lets see are we sure we wish to talk about hybrid vehicle, is adopting hybrid vehicle really a solution and if the era of hybrid vehicle would only be a transiently phase then do we really need to invest into a temporary solution….and why alternate & better solutions being delayed…plug-in electric cars are a far better solution compared to Hybrid from Honda or Toyota that still have fossil emissions…..

  • http://thegreenbend.blogspot.com/2009/11/hocus-of-hybrid-vehicle.html Stoned [Why Hybrid]

    Lets see are we sure we wish to talk about hybrid vehicle, is adopting hybrid vehicle really a solution and if the era of hybrid vehicle would only be a transiently phase then do we really need to invest into a temporary solution….and why alternate & better solutions being delayed…plug-in electric cars are a far better solution compared to Hybrid from Honda or Toyota that still have fossil emissions…..

  • Nate

    Do you charge people to take a shower or eat at your house when they stay? Why would you make them pay to charge their car at your house?

  • Nate

    Do you charge people to take a shower or eat at your house when they stay? Why would you make them pay to charge their car at your house?

  • Nate

    Do you charge people to take a shower or eat at your house when they stay? Why would you make them pay to charge their car at your house?

  • Susan Kraemer

    Paul are you maligning our God-given US of A electricity?

    We Americans do have 240-volt circuits for clothes dryers and electric stoves in our houses routinely. Charging our EVs is not a problem!

  • Susan Kraemer

    Paul are you maligning our God-given US of A electricity?

    We Americans do have 240-volt circuits for clothes dryers and electric stoves in our houses routinely. Charging our EVs is not a problem!

  • Vincent Volk

    Thanks Beth for publicly raise this point which I never realise it can become a problem. May be some few figures will help everybody to understand, just as given typical Wats hours and Amp needed to charge an EV at home. Indeed what I find a bit weak and can be elaborate a bit more is your position regarding Fast-Charging mode and multi-vehicle charging. My opinion is to say that 99% of the time people will not use the fast charging mode (as more energy consuming and batery in general don’t like this mode for long lasting) and if so either only one vehicle will be charging at a time or you can just drive to the next corner where hopefully there is a brand new charging station.

    I am rather confident in the charging technology and if the political will is there, the near future shall bring this home in the US.

    This is just one more point of view from a French guy in Singapore.

  • Vincent Volk

    Thanks Beth for publicly raise this point which I never realise it can become a problem. May be some few figures will help everybody to understand, just as given typical Wats hours and Amp needed to charge an EV at home. Indeed what I find a bit weak and can be elaborate a bit more is your position regarding Fast-Charging mode and multi-vehicle charging. My opinion is to say that 99% of the time people will not use the fast charging mode (as more energy consuming and batery in general don’t like this mode for long lasting) and if so either only one vehicle will be charging at a time or you can just drive to the next corner where hopefully there is a brand new charging station.

    I am rather confident in the charging technology and if the political will is there, the near future shall bring this home in the US.

    This is just one more point of view from a French guy in Singapore.

  • Vincent Volk

    Thanks Beth for publicly raise this point which I never realise it can become a problem. May be some few figures will help everybody to understand, just as given typical Wats hours and Amp needed to charge an EV at home. Indeed what I find a bit weak and can be elaborate a bit more is your position regarding Fast-Charging mode and multi-vehicle charging. My opinion is to say that 99% of the time people will not use the fast charging mode (as more energy consuming and batery in general don’t like this mode for long lasting) and if so either only one vehicle will be charging at a time or you can just drive to the next corner where hopefully there is a brand new charging station.

    I am rather confident in the charging technology and if the political will is there, the near future shall bring this home in the US.

    This is just one more point of view from a French guy in Singapore.

  • Susan Kraemer

    “The electrical systems in houses just aren’t equipped to provide adequate charging power for electric vehicles.”

    They work fine. I know many people who own EV conversions who have no problems charging at home. They just charge them at home for 6-8 hours overnight.

    The super highpowered Fastcharging is not intended for homes, that’s not an issue.

  • Susan Kraemer

    “The electrical systems in houses just aren’t equipped to provide adequate charging power for electric vehicles.”

    They work fine. I know many people who own EV conversions who have no problems charging at home. They just charge them at home for 6-8 hours overnight.

    The super highpowered Fastcharging is not intended for homes, that’s not an issue.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Paul are you maligning our God-given US of A electricity?

    We Americans do have 240-volt circuits for clothes dryers and electric stoves in our houses routinely. Charging our EVs is not a problem!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    Thanks Susan, exactly, the issue that has some worried is the ability to support fast charging, whether or not homes are intended to do so! There’s little data available about multi-vehicle charging – have you received any feedback on this. Would be interesting to know if there is some justification in this concerns.

    Paul – it’s not a question of lack of knowledge, this is being put out there as food for thought on a perspective that others are voicing – the idea is to get people talking, so thanks for sharing your opinion!

  • http://www.writesourcing.com Beth Graddon-Hodgson

    Thanks Susan, exactly, the issue that has some worried is the ability to support fast charging, whether or not homes are intended to do so! There’s little data available about multi-vehicle charging – have you received any feedback on this. Would be interesting to know if there is some justification in this concerns.

    Paul – it’s not a question of lack of knowledge, this is being put out there as food for thought on a perspective that others are voicing – the idea is to get people talking, so thanks for sharing your opinion!

  • Paul

    The reporter has read the BMW E-Mini report and concluded the EV is doomed. The truth is the US is one of the very few places in the world that runs households off 110 volts… the rest of the world runs 240v and charging EVs is simply not a problem.

    “charging at faster paces would likely blow a home’s transformer.” Which household transformer would that be?

    I don’t mean to be cruel but you shouldn’t be writing tech articles about technology you simply don’t comprehend.

  • Paul

    The reporter has read the BMW E-Mini report and concluded the EV is doomed. The truth is the US is one of the very few places in the world that runs households off 110 volts… the rest of the world runs 240v and charging EVs is simply not a problem.

    “charging at faster paces would likely blow a home’s transformer.” Which household transformer would that be?

    I don’t mean to be cruel but you shouldn’t be writing tech articles about technology you simply don’t comprehend.

  • Paul

    The reporter has read the BMW E-Mini report and concluded the EV is doomed. The truth is the US is one of the very few places in the world that runs households off 110 volts… the rest of the world runs 240v and charging EVs is simply not a problem.

    “charging at faster paces would likely blow a home’s transformer.” Which household transformer would that be?

    I don’t mean to be cruel but you shouldn’t be writing tech articles about technology you simply don’t comprehend.

  • Susan Kraemer

    “The electrical systems in houses just aren’t equipped to provide adequate charging power for electric vehicles.”

    They work fine. I know many people who own EV conversions who have no problems charging at home. They just charge them at home for 6-8 hours overnight.

    The super highpowered Fastcharging is not intended for homes, that’s not an issue.

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