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Published on October 20th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to a City Near You?

October 20th, 2010 by  

We all know that a big issue for large-scale deployment of electric cars is large-scale deployment of electric car charging stations.

A couple of recent news stories I’ve read indicate that we may not have to wait too much longer to see this happen.

As Susan Kramer beautifully covered here on Cleantechnica yesterday, Envision Solar is debuting electric vehicle solar charging stations for the Chevy Volt today in San Diego.

Additionally, Chris Keenan of Green Building Elements, writing on GE’s upcoming electric car charging stations, recently wrote:

The GE WattStation will start appearing in cities in 2011, and can recharge an electric vehicle completely in 4 to 8 hours. You can effectively recharge your car while you are at work, running errands, out on lunch, or doing anything else you do while your car is parked.

While devices like the WattStation are still in early production stages, the possibilities for these devices are endless. To begin with, small efficient solar panels could eventually be utilized to provide power to the charging station, making for a truly off the grid automobile. What a difference this future image of “refueling” is compared to our current day greasy and noisy gas stations.

I also just read that Ecotality will be installing electric vehicle charging stations at 12 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, and Washington in 2011.

Looks like there’s good progress on electric car charging stations and though I normally don’t really get excited about cars of any sort (I’m more of a high-speed rail and bicycle guy), this is all exciting news to me.

Have more news on electric car charging stations to share (especially solar-powered ones)? Drop a comment or a link (or a comment plus a link) below.

Related Stories:
1) 1st Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station in NYC
2) Chicago Gets First Solar Powered EV Charging Station

Photo Credit: Todd Mecklem via flickr under a CC license

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • hsr0601

    The yellow and purple Audi A2 car took around seven hours to complete the 600-kilometre (372-mile) stretch, even had the heating on.

    Driver Mirko Hannemann, the chief of DBM Energy, drove the distance at 90 km/h (55 miles per hour) on average, had the heat on and was able to whisk around a few more miles in the city. When the A2 electric finished, it still had 18% of the initial electric charge in the battery.
    It has a lithium-metal-polymer battery. DBM Energy, the company that built the battery and electric motors into the Audi A2, said the battery would function for 500,000 kilometres.
    A representative of the car said the Audi still featured all the usual creature comforts such as power steering, air-conditioning and even heated seats as well, so it was not like the car was especially made for long distance record attempts
    The German engineers said their car was special because the battery was not installed inside the luggage area, but under the luggage area, meaning the full interior space of the car was still available
    The battery, based on what DBM Energy calls the KOLIBRI AlphaPolymer Technology, comes with 97 percent efficiency and can be charged at virtually every socket. Plugged into a high-voltage direct-current source, the battery can be fully loaded within 6 minutes

    The young inventor couldn’t give an exact price for his battery — he said that was dependent on scaling effects — but vowed it wouldn’t just be more powerful, but in the end also cheaper than conventional lithium ion batteries.

    What’s more important, the technology which made the trip possible is available today.
    German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle, who subsidized the drive, said it showed electric cars are not utopian but really work.

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