The first Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Smart EDs were delivered in December, but in the annals of history 2011 will be remembered as the year that electric vehicles (EVs) arrived. EVs for sale to consumers will dominate the headlines throughout the year as average Americans begin to recognize EVs as the roll down the road.
General Motors is prepping for the year-end release of the Chevrolet Volt by supporting the rollout of charging infrastructure. The company selected automotive supplier SPX Service Solutions as its partner for residential EV charging equipment (known as EVSE). The charger is priced at $490, or less than half of what most competitors will offer.
The local and federal governments of Canada, along with significant prompting from Electric Mobility Canada, are determined that the nation will keep pace with the United States, Europe and Asia in electrifying its transportation industry.
That sentiment was echoed throughout the EV 2010 VE conference, which featured
Getting dozens of different plug-in vehicles to seamlessly connect and talk to dozens of various chargers is no easy feat. For several years now, a handful of national and global standards organizations, led by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), have been developing standards for plugs and vehicle charging equipment. Despite the herculean efforts of those involved,
Nissan is on tour promoting its upcoming electric vehicle, the Leaf, in select cities across the U.S. The 5-passenger EV will become available in December 2010, and faces many challenges in fostering a supporting vehicle charging infrastructure and creating consumer-friendly financing options, but thus far they seem to have a well-conceived plan. During an event in Portland this week I spoke with Nissan senior manager for corporate planning Brian Verprauskus about the Leaf launch plans.
Ensuring that consumers will be ready to charge on the day that they bring the vehicle home is a new challenge for Nissan and the other EV manufacturers. Nissan plans to partner with a nationally known company to provide the wall box for plugging in the vehicle and to manage matching vehicle owners with electricians. Nissan will choose a company that has experience going into consumers’ homes, and will likely announce the partner in early 2010. Consumers will need to connect the box to a dedicated circuit for EV charging, which requires carefully managing the process to reduce risk of a customer improperly plugging in a vehicle and causing damage to the vehicle or property. Nissan’s plan is smart because many consumers will need hand holding to understand the issues of EV charging, and a company with adept at customer relations will be key.
The IEC forum meets in Israel to standardize electric car charging stations so electric car owners can fuel up and road trip around the world.
So you bought a new electric car and think you can go on a road trip with it from the UK to Spain, then over to France, Eastern Europe and Turkey? Well, think again because it won’t be even as easy a trying to drive a right-hand drive car from the UK in Europe or America.
In fact, it could be downright difficult as not only the electric current may be different, the “codes” for recharging a car battery and the charging infrastructures may vary from country to country – even those who all claim to have a “standardized” 220 Volt 50 cycle electric current network.