Print 31 comment(s) - last by The0ne.. on Jun 16 at 7:51 PM

Leaf is one of the most popular EVs  (Source: Nissan)

Some EV owners will get free home chargers
Charging will be free to start

The thing that is keeping most drivers from seriously considering an EV is range anxiety. Many drivers fear being stranded on the side of the road if their batteries run dead unexpectedly. Early reports of inaccurate range readings from some EV owners did nothing to help alleviate range worries of many people that might otherwise be interested in an EV.

Many larger cities are moving towards making EVs a more compelling option by installing a range of charging stations around the city. One of the latest cities to do so is Seattle, Washington. Seattle is the third largest EV market behind San Francisco and LA.

The first of the stations will be installed in public areas like the parking lot at Qwest Field. These are the first of 1,000 commercial chargers to be installed around the Puget Sound area by the end of 2011.

All of the chargers are being funded by the federal EV Project.

Half of those chargers will be installed in the homes of EV owners and the remainder will be public chargers. Washington is one of six states that are participating in the EV Project that will see 14,000 new chargers installed across the country.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGuinn said, "The need to drive and the demand for driving is going to remain, but we need to give people more efficient options and better options for clean energy. We'll do all we can to make sure Seattle is eco-ready."

Seattle will also be installing chargers along Interstate 5. The chargers in the Qwest Stadium parking lot take an hour to charge the batteries enough for 15-22 miles of driving. Other locations will get more powerful chargers that can supply enough juice for the same driving range in a 20-minute charge. The EV Project will cover the $3,000 price of the charger and most of the installation fees for all of the chargers around the country placed in driver homes.

8,300 chargers will be installed in nationwide in homes with the remainder of the 14,000 chargers going into public locations. Most of the chargers will be installed on the west coast. Charging at the stations to start with will initially be free. After the free period, the chargers will sell charge time for "a few dollars."

The federal government is also working with major technology firms like Google to expand the number of charging stations for EVs around the country. Google added the location of charging stations to Google Maps in April to help drivers find places to charge near them. While the EV industry and many other people hope the charging stations catch on and help lure drivers to EVs, a report published in February found that it was impossible to reach Obama's stated goal of getting a million EVs on the road by 2015.

As it is today, the most common EVs using the public charging stations are the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, and the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf has had its share of problems so far with the latest issue being confirmed in April. The issue according to Nissan is that the Leaf will not start at times. The Volt isn't a pure EV it is an extended range electric vehicle. It has a gasoline engine to provide power when the batteries run out, but the Volt can plug into charging stations as well. GM recently announced that it was boosting Volt production to meet the demand.

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By Dr of crap on 6/14/2011 1:54:12 PM , Rating: 4
While this may be true -
"The thing that is keeping most drivers from seriously considering an EV is range anxiety. Many drivers fear being stranded on the side of the road if their batteries run dead unexpectedly."

The thing that is keeping most from EV's isn't running out of battery power - it's cost.
EV's cost too much.

And what is with adding chargers along a freeway. Will people pull over for 20 plus minutes of recharging on the way home??? Yea that'll go over big when YOU need a charge and they are all being used.

RE: Nope
By Schrag4 on 6/14/2011 2:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you truly are stranded (meaning the car is out of juice and won't move), will you be able to bring some small battery to your car to get it 5 or 10 miles down the road to a charger? I know, I know, this should never happen. Responsible drivers don't let their fuel run out. Not everyone on the road is a responsible driver though...

RE: Nope
By kattanna on 6/14/2011 4:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
no, what you will do is to carry in the trunk a gas powered generator to recharge your car


RE: Nope
By Souka on 6/14/2011 6:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'll just tow a gas powered generator and a 50gal barrel of fuel behind my EV.
When battery gets below %25 I'll fire it up to keep driving and charge my batteries.

I'll even setup a the generator can keep charging my batts after I've parked.

Makes perfect sense.


RE: Nope
By kattanna on 6/15/2011 10:48:21 AM , Rating: 2

i'd love to see that driving down the road one day

RE: Nope
By Solandri on 6/14/2011 6:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, the Leaf has a built-in reserve. They limit your battery use to the middle 80% of full capacity, shutting off before you can run the battery completely flat. This is done to preserve the longevity of the battery (those of you with laptop batteries which last 15 minutes have experienced what happens if you don't do this).

So even with the EV out of juice, if you were able to bypass the car's programming, you could eek out another 12% or so of range. Not something you want to do frequently, but it could do in an emergency.

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