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Plug-in Range Anxiety No More? - Charging Station Trends in the United States

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Plug-in Range Anxiety No More - Charging Station Trends in the United States

Though some of the most accessible and first fully electric cars just now arrived in the United States, the turn to hybrid vehicles has created the need for a system of charging station access. If you don’t know a lot about electric vehicles, or EVs, it helps to know that they have what is known as a “range”. This is a figure that indicates the number of miles that the EV can operate in between full charges. Hybrid vehicles also have their electric capabilities or ranges too, and this is the reason behind the need for charging station access around the country.

What is so interesting is that it is retail stores that are really moving things forward by opting to install EV charging stations for consumers to use as they do their shopping or errands. The average charging station is going to be able to supply power to electric cars, plug-in hybrids and EV bikes that require batteries, but they will vary in terms of fees or prices.

For example, the world-famous Mall of America in Minnesota has a charging station system that asks for a few dollars per hour in order to charge the batteries while other stations ask for nothing in return. The owners of the fee-less stations usually understand that a customer is not going to be in their store or shop long enough to take the full charge and they believe that this is simply a service to clients and the environment.

Industry experts feel that the days of free charging station access are numbered simply because the shift to hybrid and fully electric vehicles is inevitable. With changing efficiency standards being required by the United States government (capped at more than 50 MPG by 2025) it is going to be impossible for most manufacturers to avoid the use of battery systems. This means that increasing demands for charging stations will begin to arise very quickly, and the option for free charges will disappear just as quickly.

For now, there are literally hundreds of stations popping up all over the country. The most unique of them was unveiled in Bethesda, MD in 2011. This is a totally green station that uses solar panels, GPS tracking of the sun, and clean supplies to provide drivers with free charges. The owner is a real estate developer who decided to his “bit” for the environment by making the green solar charging station available in a heavy commuting region.

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND – PLUGGING IN A THING OF THE PAST

If you’re looking for the Future of EV Charging here it is:

PLUGLESS POWER by Evatran

As we move forward with the improvements of charging and charging station and you’re looking for the future of EV charging here it is; Plugless Power solutions, manufactured by Evatran. Evatran has been working on just the solution that all most all EV’res say “charging made easy”. Plugless Power has made plugging in – the thing of the past with their “No Cords Attached” philosophy, its changing we way people think about driving a plug-in electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

If you’re a strong believer in electric vehicles or plug-in vehicles; take a look at their product. It’s truly a game changer in the way you charge you next car. http://www.pluglesspower.com/

Opting for an At Home Charging Station for your Electric Vehicle

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

How much would it cost you to run your clothes dryer (over night) for around six to eight hours? If you have it on the mandatory 220 volt line and you choose to use the energy during the evening hours it is likely that it would cost you no more than the price of an average gallon of gas – meaning between three and four and a half dollars. This is also what it would cost to give a fully electric car’s battery a full charge too, and the great thing is that you can actually get a charging station installed in your own home.

Whether you have a garage or just a basic driveway, you can now get a safe and efficient charging station installed at your home. There are some Federal tax credits available to those who make this choice; and the pump and cords would cost less than three thousand dollars for the entire job. This would give you the optimal method for owning and operating your electric car (EV) in the current era, but you wouldn’t have to worry for very long about where to get charges when far from home.

For instance, though many say that the production of the EVs has jumped far ahead of the actual infrastructure necessary for them, it is easy to look in any metropolitan or suburban area and find plans for the development of charging station locations. Consider a city like Austin, Texas which is already home to 103 public electrical charging station facilities or the ClipperCreek firm that has worked in the Sacramento, California area since 2009 and which has installed more than 3,000 charging stations since that time.

There are also groups like Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, California which has received $15 million in federal stimulus funding to develop 4,600 charging stations. This will be done through its ChargePoint network in nine different regions across the United States.

The ability to have an at home charging station and the massive expansion of public charging stations could not come at a better time. This is because the first wave of fully electric vehicles is due to arrive in the United States in late 2011 or early 2012. This is the Ford Focus, but it will not be the only vehicle of its kind on American roads for very long. With efficiency standards changing and the price of gas escalating, more and more people are happy to consider such options as totally electric cars.

A Close Look at ECOtality INC

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

A Close Look at ECOtality INC Nasdaq: ECTY

Have you heard of ECOtality, INC? With the interesting headlines about the company it would be surprising if you were unaware of them, but you may not actually know them as ECOtality, INC at all. Instead, you might have heard about them as one of their “solutions” or partnerships.

For example, in July 2011 it was announced that the company had recently partnered with the famous car2go N.A. firm that offers networks for those interested in car sharing. Their partnership with ECOtality, INC created an incredibly impressive union that would establish the first 100% electric car sharing fleet along with the infrastructure necessary to support it.

ECOtality Charging Station Blink

What does that mean? It means that the two firms bring together two key names in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. The partnership will use roughly 300 of the “smart fortwo” electric cars along with the charging stations and gear that are part of every “Blink” charging station installed by ECOtality, INC.

The test market for this partnership is San Diego, California and the goal is to demonstrate that a fleet of shared electric cars can easily and successfully meet the demands of commuters and regular drivers. This is because the traffic conditions that the fleet of vehicles will experience will range from standard highway commuting trips to longer drives by those running errands or making lengthier journeys.

Of course, you may know the company from the Blink charging stations that appear in thousands of homes and businesses, including every IKEA store in the country. The two groups came together in 2011 and decided that at least two charging stations should be available for hybrid and EV drivers who frequent this global chain store. They have already installed the gear to support the growing hybrid and EV driving market.

The company also is known for their fast charging gear that is meant for use by airport ground equipment, marine and transit vehicles, and traditional electric cars among other on-road electric vehicles. Consider what a viable solution this would become when someone wakes in the morning or arrives at work and realizes that they have forgotten to charge the vehicle. Because a four hour wait is not feasible, the firm designed their “Minit-Charger” that is capable of doing a full charge at four to six times faster speeds than the traditional approach.

ECOtality is really striving to provide comprehensive solutions, and create clean energy solutions that everyone can use.

14,000 EV Charging Station promised before the end of 2011

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The Electric Vehicle Project is a $230 million program half funded by the U.S. Federal Stimulus Package and under the direction of ECOTALITY (NASDAQ: ECTY), has snared another retail partner as it looks to expand the roughly 1,200 charging stations currently in place to the 14,000 units promised before the end of 2011.

IKEA announced it will join the likes of Macy’s (NYSE: M), BP (NYSE: BP), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) in hosting EV charging stations at select locations as part of the infrastructure program rolling out in specified regions of the United States.

At least 10 stores in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington are being considered to host the EV chargers. Participating stores must agree to maintain the installations and report data use and those selected will get charging stations equipped to power at least two vehicles. Continue reading “14,000 EV Charging Station promised before the end of 2011” »

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