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New company Chargefox is planning to bring superfast electric car charging to the highways between major Australian cities. In Germany, regulators have approved a vehicle to grid proposal by Nissan that is scheduled to begin next year.


Electric Car Charging News: Super Fast In Australia, V2G In Germany

New company Chargefox is planning to bring superfast electric car charging to the highways between major Australian cities. In Germany, regulators have approved a vehicle to grid proposal by Nissan that is scheduled to begin next year.

The pace of change in the electric car universe is gaining momentum. It seems every day brings news that brings the transition to zero emissions vehicles closer. Here at the posh CleanTechnica global headquarters, we make every effort to keep you up to date with happenings in the EV universe, but our inbox is always overflowing. Here are two tidbits that arrived overnight.

Super Fast Charging In Australia

electric car fast chargerIf you have never been to the Land Down Under, you might be surprised to learn how far it is between major cities. The first time I visited Sydney, I thought I would pop down to Melbourne for the Formula One race and then scout out Brisbane as long as I was in the area. I was shocked to find both were about 10 hours away by car.

Tesla has installed a number of Supercharger locations along major highways, but for other electric car drivers, getting from one city to another has involved long stopovers at the few charging stations available to recharge their batteries. Chargefox is a new startup that intends to change that situation. It says it will construct a network of chargers along major transportation routes that will allow drivers to add another 400 kilometers of range and be back on the road in 15 minutes.

Chargefox plans to install 21 sites on highways between Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane soon. Interestingly, all of them will be powered entirely by renewable energy, according to The Guardian.  It also plans to build charging stations in Western Australia. I don’t want to say Perth on Australia’s west coast is far away, but if you drive there from Sydney, you could easily have a birthday along the way. Maybe two.

Chargefox has raised $15 million to begin its charging infrastructure project, including $6 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Darren Miller, head of ARENA, said this week that the Chargefox system is a “game changing” project that will help calm the fears of Australian EV drivers about driving between cities. “This network will help alleviate that concern by giving motorists comfort they can travel long distances.”

Australia currently lags far behind other nations in the number of electric vehicles on its roads. Access to fast charging on the routes between major cities could alter that situation dramatically.

Nissan Gets V2G Approval In Germany

Nissan LEAF fast chargerNissan has gotten permission from regulators in Germany to begin offering vehicle to grid services to its LEAF customers. “We strongly believe in an emission-free future,” Guillaume Pelletreau, vice president of  Nissan Europe tells Automotive News. “LEAF batteries could make an important contribution to energy transition in Germany and a sustainable future.”

Nissan says it will begin the new service for corporate clients with fleets of more than 60 electric vehicles next year. The initiative is supported The Mobility House — a Daimler backed company, local utility Enervie, and German transmission system operator Amprion. The later is partly owned by RWE, the energy company that wants to obliterate the Hambach Forest in order to access the lignite buried beneath it. The electric car business makes for strange bedfellows.

Selling electricity back to the grid can put some serious cash in the pockets of electric car owners. In an experiment in Denmark last year, the average payout to owners was over $1,500. That’s nothing to sneeze at and could drive down the total cost of ownership of an electric car dramatically.

There is a debate about whether allowing EVs to have a two way conversation with the grid is good for batteries. Many people believe V2G shortens battery life. Tesla CTO JB Strauble has said his company is not a strong supporter of V2G because the battery chemistry for EV battery cells and grid storage cells are different. But a study from last year suggests V2G technology may actually extend battery life.

The biggest issue for Nissan is that it is wedded to the CHAdeMO charging standard preferred by most Japanese manufacturers. CCS is also capable of V2G operation. “Nissan is ahead for now but other technologies, including Tesla’s Supercharger can theoretically do the same thing,” said Thomas Raffeiner, CEO of The Mobility House.

If the electric car revolution is actually going to succeed, the world needs fewer charging standards. Someday, the parallel tracks of CHAdeMO, CCS, and Tesla Supercharger technology have to merge into one main line that carries us all into the future.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


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