Next year the number of electric cars and plug-in hybrids in America will increase by an order of magnitude, and all of those cars will be able to draw electricity from any 120-volt wall outlet. Just not very quickly. Charging from the wall can take longer than 16 hours. A faster fill-up involves installing a dedicated 240-volt "Level II" home charging dock, and to combat range anxiety—the fear of being stranded with no electrons and nowhere to plug in—automakers want to see these same charging docks installed for public use across the country. So far, the Department of Energy and state and local governments have announced plans to install more than 11,000 public chargers in 19 states. Here's what's coming.
Thanks to standards set earlier this year by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), charging docks like the GE WattStation—which arrives next year in both home and public versions—can connect to any new EV or plug-in hybrid. Designed by Yves Béhar, known for his work on the One Laptop Per Child computer, the WattStation delivers a 24-kilowatt-hour charge, good for approximately 100 miles' worth of driving range, in four to eight hours, for about $3. (You'd spend $12 to cover the same distance in a 25-mpg car using $3-a-gallon gas.) On public versions, you can pay with a credit card. A commercial unit will cost $3,000 to $7,000, with wall-mounted home chargers closer to $1,500, a blow softened by the federal tax credit covering half the cost.
Chargepoint Level 3 Fast Charger
Level III "fast chargers," industrial-strength electron pumps that can fill a battery in 30 minutes or less, will be essential for taking electric cars mainstream. AeroVironment has said that covering a metro area will require an array of public fast-charging stations 10 to 30 percent the size of the local gas-station market—250 to 750 chargers in Los Angeles, for example. The SAE hasn't agreed on standards for Level III chargers, and fast chargers are still several months away. But Coulomb Technology's prototype 480-volt DC ChargePoint station, which the company developed with Aker Wade Power Technologies, is a vision of what's to come. These chargers handle voltages so high that they might require a trained attendant to ensure safe fill-ups. Such speedy charging could finally free EVs from mere commuter-car duty.
Nissan Home Charging Dock
Nissan knows how frustrating it will be to fill the Leaf's hefty 24 kilowatt-hour battery from a 120-volt outlet, so it's encouraging Leaf buyers to install Level II home charging docks built by AeroVironment, the company known for its work on GM's EV1. AeroVironment is training electricians to inspect drivers' homes, obtain local permits, and install the 240-volt AC docks, whose 3.3-kilowatt rate can fill the Leaf's 24-kilowatt-hour battery in four to eight hours. Together, the dock and installation cost roughly $2,200; half of that is offset by a federal tax credit.
Question your economics. How many metered KWH are required to get a 24 KWH charge in the battery. I live in California and my incremental KWH costs 40 cents vs the approx 10 cents you used. Not all users will be reimbursed with a tax credit for buying a home charger. If the acceptable 480v fast charge requires a trained attendant how much will that add to the cost of a recharge. You neglect the cost of replacing the very expensive batteries every two years. You neglect the purchase price differential between an EV and a conventional gasoline powered vehicle. You neglect the taxes. Many states are considering a miles driven road tax to compensate for taxes lost to EV, alternative energy and increased mileage. If they do not implement a miles tax the hiway trust fund loss will have to be made up from other taxes. Why do you even attempt to make a statement on economics when your statements are so misleading.
GE is always going to be over priced. Why didn't you mention that super charge station Japan developed that can charge your car in 15 minutes and cost only $2,000.00 - when mass produced, a fraction of that $2,000.00. Japan said that when the super charge station is mass produced, it will cost about as much as the acid lead batteries we use in our fossil fuel cars now. Auto manufacturers can throw one of those super charge stations in the trunk of your electric as a 'thank you' for buying their car. If you use a solar panel to charge the super charge station, you driving of course would be free and you can take that charging station with you and when you need a charge...plug in, it will be right there in your trunk.
Finally someone started to build an infrastructure for electric vehicles. Even with couple of flaws in it, it still is a great start. It will be perfected on the way, so GE, don't listen to the pessimism of "realists". Just make this happen already! I'm even thinking to buy more GE shares on the stock market.
It's about time. I have bought a fleet of Mini-coopers for my company because there simply wasn't an EV out there that has enough range. Now that we are finally putting charging stations out and about the range will not be such a concern. I will be adding EV's to the fleet as soon as the infrastructure is there. Let's go charging docks...