Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Early Days

These are definitely early days with respect to electric vehicles. Level 2 (240v) and Level 3 (480v) public chargers are few and far between. For the most part, EV owners are charging at home and limiting their trips in order to make it back home before running out of stored energy.

Within a few years, the situation will be quite different. Two federally-funded programs (The EV Project and ChargePoint America) are busy installing public charging stations in major metropolitan areas. Electron stations will soon be nearly as ubiquitous as gas stations.

Remember, the automobile existed before gas stations. Back then, you bought your fuel from a druggist or grocer. If you didn't plan your trips carefully, you hired a horse to tow you to the next town, accompanied by the usual comments of "Only a fool would buy an automobile." "A horse never runs out of fuel, there's grass everywhere."

The difference this time is there already exists a nationwide distribution network for EV fuel. It's called the grid. Electricity is everywhere. So although filling up at a high power charging station is more convenient, it's not required. Simply pull out your 110v trickle charger and ask the nearest homeowner if you can borrow a cup of electrons.

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