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Japan To Standardize Electric Vehicle Chargers

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the twist-of-lemon-please dept.

Transportation 240

JoshuaInNippon writes "Four major Japanese car manufacturers and one power company (Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Tokyo Electric) have teamed up with over 150 business and government entities in Japan to form a group to promote standardization in electric vehicle chargers and charging stations. The group hopes to leverage current Japanese electric vehicle technology and spread standardization throughout the country, as well as aim towards worldwide acceptance of their standardized charger model. In a very Japanese manner, the group has decided to call themselves 'CHAdeMO,' a play on the English words 'charge' and 'move,' as well as a Japanese pun that encourages tea-drinking while waiting the 15+ minutes it will take to charge one's vehicle battery."

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240 comments

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Quick (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500648)

We Americans need to come up with our own, incompatible, standard for charging vehicles.

Re:Quick (5, Funny)

Evelas (1531407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500668)

and puns, we can't let the Japanese be beating us on puns.

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500756)

Chargedonaygo. You've got charge, go, and chardonay, one of many alcoholic beverages you'll be able to drink and then sober up before your car is done charging since I have a hunch that our friendly oil industry lobbyist friends might make sure we're safe by limiting the amount of power that can be transferred.

Also because it will probably take much more time to charge the latest electric assault vehicle. Just because we're going to go electric doesn't mean we're going to lose our love of ridiculously huge and overpowered cars for the 20 minute commute on the freeway. After all, one of these days, we might have to drive over a mountain. We'll definitely want the eCanyonaro for that day.

Re:Quick (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500972)

"Just because we're going to go electric doesn't mean we're going to lose our love of ridiculously huge and overpowered cars for the 20 minute commute on the freeway. "

I dunno about "huge", but I gotta say...a corvette or turbo porsche sure has a way of making even a 10 minute drive a LOT of fun.

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500994)

20 minute commute? What metropolitan area to you live in? Everyone I know drives for at least an hour, sometimes up to 2 hours each way in traffic.

And all for cheap housing. If we could somehow migrate away from suburban and exurban sprawl and actually create large, comfortable urban lodging for families close to work, it'd be no problem to own big landlubber vehicles so you can have your weekend fun out in West Virginia... you'd probably save more gas by living closer to work than by buying extra fuel efficient cars for every family member.

But this is America... we're more in love with our cars than the place where we live, I guess.

/ moved next to a subway station and got rid of the 2nd car // then found another nice job close to home and didn't even need the subway station anymore

Re:Quick (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501120)

>>>create large, comfortable urban lodging for families close to work

Live in the concrete hell that is a modern American city? No. I'd probably have an attack of claustrophobia. Also your concept of "large" is incompatible with having to squeeze those ~15 million ex-suburbanites into the small area a city occupies. You'd be left with homes about the size of one dorm per family (like in Asimov's Caves of Steel).

Now maybe if you moved the workplaces to the suburbs, rather than concentrating them all inside the city, you could find a solution. I've never understood why all companies want to locate themselves in Baltimore when there's plenty of room in nearby Frederick or Bel Air or Annapolis.

I'd be willing to live in any of those towns.

Re:Quick (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501174)

The average commute in Rochester NY is 20 minutes for 750 thousand people. Mine is 15 minutes without snow. I work inside city limits, and live in a relative country setting. Once you get outside the major cities commutes fall pretty quickly.

Re:Quick (2, Interesting)

Curien (267780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501270)

>20 minute commute? What metropolitan area to you live in?

I live in a city with 1 million people, and my commute is under 20 minutes. Ten of those minutes are spent driving through the campus at 20 mph.

I used to live in a city with a metro population of 2 million (and huge traffic problems, due to it being on a peninsula with two bridges -- no, not San Francisco, but the traffic patterns were similar), and I had a 15 minute commute.

Living far from work is a choice, one which I choose not to make. You can, too.

Re:Quick (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501312)

>>>you'll be able to drink and then sober up before your car is done charging since I have a hunch that our friendly oil industry lobbyist friends might make sure we're safe by limiting the amount of power
>>>

Power is usually limited so that the battery does not blowup. Batteries like to be slow-charged at 1/10th C over several hours. Faster charging will work, but it typically damages the internal components and causes premature death, while the "15 minute" charging suggested by the article would make most batteries explode.

Which makes me wonder - How on earth did the Japanese develop 15 minute charging? That's a LOT of energy to dump into a car.

Re:Quick (1, Interesting)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500760)

We need better education systems for our children to foster American puns so that we can compete with European and Asian puns.

Re:Quick (2, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500784)

I have a great one for you:

"WITNESS"

or

"Where Is The Nearest Electronics Super Store" on the basis you will need to buy some kind of adapter so the charger fits your car.

Re:Quick (2, Funny)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500804)

Not a chance.

Japanese has many homynyms making puns a breeze.

A family on a TV show had a pet turtle that liked to chase their dachsund around the house.

Turtle in Japanese is "Kame" (pronounced "ka-meh").

The turtle's name was "Diji".

So they had "Diji Kame". (=Digital Camera)

Re:Quick (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500864)

I know it takes all types to make a world but, I'm sorry, you Japanese are just plain "weird"... and, yes, I am referring to Takeshi's Castle [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Quick (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500934)

I see your Takeshi's Castle and raise you Wipeout [wikipedia.org] and Minute to Win It [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Quick (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501028)

Yep, they've done Wipeout here in the UK also - I should have figured it was Japanese-inspired all on my own.

Re:Quick (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501266)

and puns, we can't let the Japanese be beating us on puns.

You mean Acronyms?

reading this I can't help but think of JAMMA [wikipedia.org] which is the standard interface for arcade main boards. It was decided upon by a group of Japanese arcade manufacturers and quickly became the world wide standard. Though it really only lasted until the standard upright arcade machine was replaced by ridiculous simulators that didn't fit into the JAMMA design anymore.

it's nice though, I can turn my Mortal Kombat arcade machine into Double Dragon without having to re-wire anything, it's all plug and play.

Re:Quick (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500704)

USB

Re:Quick (4, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500782)

So I can charge my car from my laptop, then? Brilliant!

Re:Quick (5, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500948)

And then charge your laptop from the car's 12v outlet!

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500978)

You've discovered the preposterous motion machine!

Re:Quick (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501090)

Not at all. We hook up a generator and use the motion of Galileo and Liebniz spinning in their graves for power.

Re:Quick (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501168)

My dad thinks an electric car could be powered by tying a generator to the wheels, and therefore never need to charge the battery, because the spinning wheels would keep it charged.

I wasted about a half hour of my life explaining why this won't work (because more energy is used moving the car than recovered by the wheel-generators), but when he started getting angry and insisting it's a conspiracy by the oil companies, I decided I'd had enough. Let the idiot continue to believe stupid stuff. Or put another way: Let sleeping dragons lie.

Re:Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500964)

So I can charge my car from my laptop, then? Brilliant!

Especially since I power my laptop from my car's 12-volt outlet! Perpetual motion, here I come!

Re:Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500722)

We will sponsor a new standard with our Chinese allies. We shall dub it, "CHAD" Chinese hatred, American domination.

Re:Quick (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500762)

How many cars are driven in both Japan and the USA, it's not a big problem, If Japan can handle half the country at 50hz and half the country at 60hz I'm sure the 3 or 4 cars made for the US standard will be able to get an adapter to handle Japanese recharging stations.

Re:Quick (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500834)

You sickening, worthless, un-American, communist. America should let the free market come up with at least 3 competing, mutually incompatible charging standards. Each with its own DRM system to prevent nimbler third parties from offering cheaper alternatives! Ideally, chargers shouldn't even be interoperable between vehicle lines produced by the same company.

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500952)

You're pretty un-American yourself. You forgot to mention that the incompatible plugs must be heavily patented to avoid the possibility of adapters and covered with safety stickers saying stuff like "DO NOT PUT IN BABY'S MOUTH".

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500970)

You should patent this idea and sell it to the North American auto makers. You are probably too late though.

Re:Quick (2, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501026)

America should let the free market come up with at least 3 competing, mutually incompatible charging standards.

After all, as Grace Hopper would say, the wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.

Re:Quick (1, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501218)

>>>America should let the free market come up with at least 3 competing, mutually incompatible charging standards

How do you think America came-up with standardized electric plugs today? Or firehose connections? Or timezones? It wasn't via government mandate, but by voluntary association between companies to make their systems compatible.

Re:Quick (4, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501282)

The communist way would be much better people waiting in long lines to use the only recharge station because nobody is motivated to innovate except for the threat of the trips to the gulag, I mean reeducation camp, wait no work camp.

Re:Quick (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500914)

Why would they even need to bother? Our voltages aren't even the same.

Re:Quick (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500930)

Actually, you already have one: SAE J1772 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772 [wikipedia.org] ).

Which is going to be used in GM Volt and Nissan Leaf.

Re:Quick (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501012)

We Americans need to come up with our own, incompatible, standard for charging vehicles.

No problem dude we already have at least two incompatible charger standards.

SAE J1772 and IEC 62196

The SAE standard is supported by all the domestic manufacturers, AND THE JAPANESE whom supposedly, according to the article, want yet another standard. Probably SONY wants a battery charger with a root kit or something like that.

The IEC standard, which apparently no one wants to use, is basically the SAE on steroids with a bunch more control/DRM pins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Quick (2, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501064)

We Americans need to come up with our own, incompatible, standard for charging vehicles.

No problem dude we already have at least two incompatible charger standards.

SAE J1772 and IEC 62196

For every standard there is an equal, and opposite, standard?

Re:Quick (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501056)

We Americans need to come up with our own, incompatible, standard for charging vehicles.

i'm sure apple and sony are already on it

Re:Quick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501432)

Not sure why this is modded funny, I imagine we'll do exactly that.

Not international? (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500672)

It should be an international standard. All standard AC power systems offer a voltage around 220V, and the 50Hz/60Hz difference is routinely dealt with today.

Re:Not international? (1)

s122604 (1018036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500820)

Its not the voltage and cycle, its the physical dimensions/characteristics of the plug itself.

Designing plugins on the style of the North American and European 220v (respectively based on the car's destination) socket would seem to be fine. Cars sold in Europe don't usually end up in America, and vice-versa...

There are other considerations though: security for one, I suppose some kind of locking/threading mechanism so the local kid (on accident) or local hoodlum (on purpose) can't just stroll by and yank the plug out. I suppose that would be nice if it were standardized, allowing one charging station to charge different makes and models.

It just seems like one of those engineering problems that has probably been already solved by someone, somewhere

too weak for charging (2, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500988)

E-vehicle companies are looking at commercial charging: 400-some volts, 60 AMPs. You can recharge during a meal instead of overnight then. You wont have these in houses, but at workplaces and businesses.

Re:too weak for charging (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501322)

My electric oven and washing machine used 380+ Volt for 30 years like most of Europe, the washing machine can be operated on both 240 and 380V.

Tea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500682)

In a very Japanese manner, the group has decided to call themselves 'CHAdeMO,' a play on the English words 'charge' and 'move,' as well as a Japanese pun that encourages tea-drinking while waiting the 15+ minutes it will take to charge one's vehicle battery.

In other news, as the result of a national pride-fueled engineering session, Great Britain has just announced a new car that runs entirely on raw fish and seaweed. There are also unconfirmed reports of a team of people from said country planning an invasion of Japan to, as an anonymous source put it, "take our tea back from those bloody Pocky-eating gits". More on this as it develops.

Re:Tea? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501410)

This just in, an east Asian tea consortium responds to activity in Great Britain with a package of prepared C. sinensis leaves and a message reading, "Kindly stop calling this 'your' tea, we've been drinking it for centuries before you started stealing from us."

We Have A Similar Phrase Here In The UK... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500686)

"WaHaBLo".

It's short for "Waving your Hands like a Bloody Loony" at the bored student in the petrol station kiosk in order to divert his attention away from his "Media Studies" course book so he can turn the fuel pump on.

Re:We Have A Similar Phrase Here In The UK... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501236)

and i suppose walking up to the kiosk and tapping the window with a one pounds coin would not work??

how about cellphones first? (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500728)

It sure would be nice if all the cellphone manufacturers would get together and come up with a standard charger. I typically have to replace my phone every 2-3 years, and I like having at least 2 chargers (one at home and one at work), and it really irks me that I have to buy new chargers each time, because the new phones are never compatible with the old chargers, even though they're all from the same manufacturer. And even more annoying is that my wife's phone uses a different charger than mine, so we can't even consolidate there.

Re:how about cellphones first? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500750)

Ummm, actually microUSB has emerged as the "standard"... IIRC, it's actually law in the EU now (I could be wrong here, but I thought I remembered reading about that).

They already did. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500832)

It's USB.
 

Re:how about cellphones first? (4, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501032)

I went through this for a long time. I'm done.

Many newer phones use a USB-mini or USB-micro port for charging. Not all of them, of course, but you could shop for phones that have it, and vote with your dollars.

My Blackberry uses a USB-mini, which means I can charge it off my laptop, and car chargers are just a few bucks. USB charging capability was also one of the major criteria when we shopped for a new phone for my wife (one of the disqualifying points for an iPhone). Her phone also uses USB-mini. My bluetooth headset uses USB-micro, so I keep an adapter near the charging shelf so I can charge that when I need to off the same adapter. The only oddball device is my wife's iPod Touch.

As a bonus, the USB-mini port allows us to:
  - Connect the phone to computers at the same time the phone is charging, on the same cable. This is both for Internet access (tethering) and for copying music, pictures, etc to and from the phones (USB mass media support on the SD chips we put into the phones).
  - Plug the phone into her car stereo (which has a standard USB port) and, since both phones support mass media (like a USB thumb drive), listen to music from our phones. Also while the phone is charging.

Overall, I'd say next time you shop for a phone, make sure it has a standard connector that can be used for simultaneous power and data. USB's about the only game in that particular town right now, though if you want to go all-Apple the "Apple Connector" might be your chosen standard.

Re:how about cellphones first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501360)

They've already settled on Micro-USB as the new standard. Even Apple is on board.

Re:how about cellphones first? (-1, Flamebait)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501376)

The iPhone charges off of USB. I guess you're stupid, ignorant or a bigot. Not that those are mutually exclusive.

Break the shrinking USB standard (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500810)

enough of the USB -> miniUSB -> microUSB.. time to go GojiraUSB. Really shove it to those japanese!

Wrong Solution! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500882)

Why wait around for the batteries to charge when you could have standard interchangeable battery packs?

You could drive up to a machine that swaps out your spent battery with a recharged one in a matter of seconds.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500976)

Because its a lot easier to get companies to agree upon a certain plug to use than it is to get them to agree upon what kind of battery and where to put said battery.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501060)

I can buy Duracell, Energiser, Panasonic, Phillips, el cheapo AA, AAA etc. batteries and they'll all work in my camera or TV remote. I have Energiser and Sony rechargeables. You can buy replacement laptop batteries. Why the heck would it be difficult to do the same for electric vehicles?

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501154)

I can buy Duracell, Energiser, Panasonic, Phillips, el cheapo AA, AAA etc. batteries and they'll all work in my camera or TV remote. I have Energiser and Sony rechargeables. You can buy replacement laptop batteries. Why the heck would it be difficult to do the same for electric vehicles?

Maybe because the battery packs on electric vehicles weigh in excess of 500 lbs?

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501176)

Maybe because the battery packs on electric vehicles weigh in excess of 500 lbs?

Which is why they'd be replaced by a machine! A machine can wash my car, so a machine should be able to find the battery compartment, unlock it, open it, remove the old battery pack, insert the new one, close the door and lock it again.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501344)

Cause a forklift with 500lbs of batteries in it is never going to be misaligned and damage a car.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501404)

In over 100 years of the modern automobile, auto manufactures have not standardized on a location for the gas tank opening. You don't even have consistency between different models of the same manufacturer.

I'll leave extrapolation to battery packs to the reader.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501248)

Next time you're in the grocery store, count how many different sizes of batteries they stock. Now imagine the floor space required to do the same with batteries big enough to power a car. We're early enough in this game that battery design is still changing fairly frequently - power output and size requirements. Seems to me that standardizing the plug is the first step, once the battery tech stabilizes, maybe swapping will be more feasible.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500990)

With a standard format for the entire battery pack, you could also replace it with ANY power source that fit the dimensions and connector.

charged battery!=new battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501010)

as I'm sure you are well aware, the more charges you run through a battery the lower its ability to hold a charge... bet people would be mighty pissed turning in their brand new battery from their new car for one that has seen hundreds or thousands of charges and will barely get them to work before konking out.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501024)

You and what crane? The batteries make up a significant percentage of the weight of the car. Plus the question of physical access and high-current electrical connections.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501050)

For the same reason we don't swap tires out instead of getting a flat fixed. I don't want the tire you have abused for 30k miles, I want my much newer tire, which has never been run low on air or bounced off a curb, back on my car.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501070)

I've heard a lot of people talk about swappable batteries as a solution to the charging time problem, but I really don't see how it can work. The problem is, batteries are VERY expensive, and they have a finite lifetime. A new battery would then be much more costly than an old one. The result is that after the swap, you could be left with a battery that is either (a) much more valuable, or (b) much less valuable than the one you started with. Neither of these scenarios would be appealing to all parties concerned. I can see people making a business of constantly trading in old, worthless batteries for new ones and selling them for a huge profit. Refueling stations could do something similar, replacing all batteries with ones which are nearing the end of their lifetime. Someone gets stuck with the bill. Has anyone proposed a solution to this problem?

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

SlothDead (1251206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501350)

Simple, the people don't own the batteries. And when you recharge you pay a little extra fee instead of having to buy a battery later. That fee covers the production of new batteries and the recycling of old ones.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501080)

I've said this before, in order for this to work, interchangeable batteries need a standardized exchange like a 20 lb propane tank.

They need to be so dead simple that people who do not understand electronics and can't connect jumper cables now, won't mind unhooking and reattaching the connector to Multi-Hundred AmpHour batteries IN THE RAIN.

Re:Wrong Solution! (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501152)

"Why wait around for the batteries to charge when you could have standard interchangeable battery packs?"

This comes up every time rechargeable cars comes up, and it is still just as wrong now as the first time.

First of all, not all batteries will be the same. Most of the battery chemistries in use for electric cars have a finite cycle life. So, you pull into the station with your brand-spanking-new, only one charge/discharge cycle battery, and you get it swapped out for the battery I left there with 10000 cycles on it, that has a quarter the capacity. True, you could have the pack record and report its charge cycle history, but that doesn't stop the fact that the only "charged" battery the station has right now is my hammered to death pack, and you are getting screwed on the deal.

Second of all, these packs are HEAVY. Not just the 40 kg your gas tank is, but more like several HUNDRED kilograms. They have to be an integral part of the car's frame, or else in a collision they are going to play Hulk and "HULK SMASH!" their way through the rest of the car (and likely you!). Making something that is BOTH well attached to the car's frame AND easily removable is like making a pocket sized 52" display.

Third of all is the machinery to pull that pack out of your car. It has to be automated, or it has to be operated by a trained operator. When was the last time you had somebody else pump your gas? OK, so skip the trained operator, it has to be automated such that a) BillyBob can "run" it, b) it can handle the car being parked at any number of weird angles to the system, c) it won't crush Little Billy who gets in the way, and d) it POSITIVELY CANNOT have ANY chance of scratching the paint, because BillyBob *WILL* accuse the station of just that, even when the "scratch" has doe fur and hoofprints!

Fourth of all is the issue of what happens if you run out of power out on the road. Right now it is no big deal for [AAA|The Highway Patrol|a passing motorist|A tow truck] to get you a gallon or two of gas so you can make it to a gas station. Good luck with swapping the battery pack in the road. OR you have to have a charging port + a special portable charging system to get you the equivalent of that "couple of gallons" of gas.

I see you are a fan of mine, and I hope my pointing this out won't change that, but - there are good reasons swapping batteries, while great for your phone, doesn't scale to your car.

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501250)

I see you are a fan of mine, and I hope my pointing this out won't change that, but - there are good reasons swapping batteries, while great for your phone, doesn't scale to your car.

I was trying to think of something witty to say regarding having a disagreement with someone you know or learning stuff and all that. Should I take umbridge now?

Re:Wrong Solution! (2, Funny)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501372)

"Ask your doctor if umbridge is right for you. Side effects include elevated blood pressure, agitation, sweating, swearing, reddened vision, frothing at the mouth, and in some cases, death."

Re:Wrong Solution! (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501302)

You forgot dealing with tolerances.

Its difficult to design a system that, WHEN ITS NEW, will fit any battery from any manufacturer without jamming in place or falling out on the road.

Whats worse is after BillyBob jumps curbs, offroads a bit, gets towed, smashes thru potholes, NOW will all batteries and slots freely interchange yet fit perfectly.

And when BillyBob bends, stretches or smooshs a battery the last 0.001 out of tolerance, and tries to exchange it, who eats the cost, BillyBob? You know he's going to blame the automated machinery for the damage.

Finally any electric problem that ever occurs will of course be blamed on someone elses battery pack. Ditto for accidents.

SAE J1772 Standard exists for North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31500894)

There is an IEC standard I believe as well. I don't know what the Japanese are going to do different...I imagine the interface and handshaking between the automobile and the charger will be similar. You need 240 VAC, 80A max type of connection to charge a fully electric car in any sort of reasonable timeframe in any case....

Replacable batteries? (1)

certron (57841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500918)

Why not just develop a design to swap out batteries through an automated crane? Pull in, the robot arm removes your empty battery and replaces it with a full one. The empty battery charges at whatever pace the 'gas' station deems necessary (maybe overnight when prices are lower) and the driver has a full charge within seconds. I'm almost certain I saw this idea put forth on /. in the past.

Re:Replacable batteries? (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501074)

"Why not just develop a design to swap out batteries through an automated crane? Pull in, the robot arm removes your empty battery and replaces it with a full one. The empty battery charges at whatever pace the 'gas' station deems necessary (maybe overnight when prices are lower) and the driver has a full charge within seconds. I'm almost certain I saw this idea put forth on /. in the past."

How's that going to help you at home? What if your car runs outta power at home after sitting for awhile, etc...?

Frankly, I don't think it should only be one or the other...how about both? You can charge from an outlet when available, and swap out at a station while on the road?

Re:Replacable batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501102)

a brand new battery that holds a larger charge is worth more than an old battery. Plus I'm assuming that there would be batteries that could hold lots of electricity and some that hold very little, your idea would require there to be only a few types of battery.

Re:Replacable batteries? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501280)

Yes, and there are a number of problems with it.

First, have you SEEN the line at fuel stations? How many batteries do you need to stock to "refuel" all of the cars in a given day? Even if you have a one-hour charging system, you'll need a lot of batteries just to get through rush hour. Miles-per-charge is lower than miles-per-fuel-tank, so you'll need to change batteries more often, so those lines will be longer (hence the need for more batteries). Battery swaps are going to take at least 10 minutes, as opposed to a 5-minute fillup like we have today.

Second, a removable battery needs to be accessed, but protected, meaning the overall weight of the car increases. With a built-in battery, you can install it right in the middle of the car, down low, where it keeps your center of gravity nice and low and is protected against most impacts. The car frame can hold it in place. With a removable, you need to move it to the edge somewhere, and you need the battery in a frame designed for easy slide-out.

Third, batteries lose capacity over time. So you buy your brand-new car with a battery that can handle 150 miles, then end up with a battery that can handle 75, then one that can do 85, then 120, then 40 - you'd never know how long a battery would take you. And who decommissions the old batteries? Who pays for all that?

Finally, different vehicles will require different battery standards. An SUV is going to differ from a 4-seat sedan which will differ from a 1-seat commuter car. Even if all the companies got together and decided on 4-5 standards for batteries (similar to the AAA/AA/C/D standards we have today), that's still a lot of batteries for a fuel station to store.

I'm not saying these are insurmountable, but they are the reason why you won't see a plethora of battery swap stations for electric cars in the next decade, at least.

Connector style? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500958)

So, what does the connector look like? I bet it's a tentacle of some sort.

Re:Connector style? (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501172)

And the vehicle's receptacle looks like...never mind.

Re:Connector style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501204)

I'm more interested in what the receptacle looks like. It would be great if it had two receptacles, so two chargers could be inserted into one car.

Re:Connector style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501426)

I think you meant three receptacles.

confused.. (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500960)

Does this mean I should take a sip of tea every time the regenerative brakes are used? These electric cars are much more trouble than anticipated.

Should have a drop-down and identification (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500962)

I think chargers where you have to hook it up manually everytime would be laborious. It would be cool if in middle of the engine compartment would drop down some type of charging unit, perhaps working by induction (if that can deliver), everytime you park. There would be some type of identification so that if the car isn't authorized, the mat wouldn't charge it.

Morever, public parking spots could use the identification to bill the appropriate party and everytime you park, you could be recharged. Or something with those benefits.

Re:Should have a drop-down and identification (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501052)

thats far too orwellian. what else do you want? some DRM that can make the car refuse to drive until a fine is paid? mandatory GPS speed limiter?

Re:Should have a drop-down and identification (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501366)

Interesting possibility. Of course, the inductive charging system would weigh half what the batteries would, so your effective range is dropped, but as long as you have a valid recharge station within range of where you are going that day, you're good.

An expansion on that idea would be inductive charging on the highway. Solves the range problem right there. If you are going any distance, your car is charged along the way, so "100 miles per charge" would only count if you wanted to drive that 100 miles off-highway. You could drive from Maine to California on a single "charge". More rural areas could have inductive or direct-hookup charging systems at stations.

Aw, Japan.... (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31500974)

Japan is the world's weird uncle!

You know, the one that always tries too make jokes.

a sad day (2, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501072)

It's a sad day when it rates a news article when someone uses common sense. *sigh*

Re:a sad day (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501388)

You must die a little inside every day.

Scary (1)

Jeff-reyy (1768222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501078)

If the Japanese know what's good for them they will take to the streets to protest this heavy handed government intrusion into private industry. Charger standards will emerge for cars when the market is ready, just like with cell phones. Ask the Russians how they like their centrally planned economy and then ask yourself if you really want big gubbermint bureaucrats legislating charger standards for cars, or USB chargers for cell phones.

Server power supply of the future? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501100)

Something no one has ever mentioned on Slashdot, I think, is that the SAE J1772 electric car charger standard is designed for drunken morons to transfer well in excess of 15 KW, more or less continuously.

Frankly, I would not be surprised to see it become the new standard high power AC electric plug... think about it, one plug, worldwide, for very large server racks, SANs, electric clothes dryers, arc welders, big UPSes, generators, etc...

Its going to be in mass production weather we use it or not, it seems fairly idiot proof, it seems like it would be a great idea to standardize our worldwide electrical infrastructure on this new connector...

whats the point? (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501112)

This is a little off topic, sure, but i have a question that maybe someone reading this will clear up for me. What is the point of switching to electric cars if the source still puts out emissions? I find it funny that these "golf carts" where i work proudly boast "GREEN" and "EMISSION FREE" however, we're still getting our power from coal plants, and i doubt they are very clean burning anyways.

Re:whats the point? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501188)

this has been done to death

*Its still more efficient than burning fuel directly

*Solar, wind all that shit are getting much more common, and reduce the amount that comes from coal

*You can use your own solar panels/turbine to generate 100% coal/oil-free electricity

*Other stuff I forgot goes here

Re:whats the point? (1)

iksbob (947407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501332)

It's a lot easier to put big, heavy, expensive emissions reducing and filtering equipment on a stationary power plant than it is to equip every single car on the roads. Further, more efficient engines can be built when they aren't restricted to weighing a ton or less, and when they don't have to stand up to the pounding and harsh environmental conditions that car engines experience.

I need a Powermat for my Prius (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501202)

Plugging stuff in takes way too long. Park it on your Powermat for a bit and you're done. Or better yet, build roads out of Powermats! How I'm not a billionaire yet I can't understand...

15 minutes? (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501222)

I'm sorry but 15 minutes? That is complete and utter crap. It takes hours to fully recharge. In fact it takes "about 3.5 hours" http://www.teslamotors.com/performance/perf_specs.php [teslamotors.com] to recharge a tesla motors roadster.

But I just noticed that the article says nothing about that... DAMN YOU EDITORS!

Re:15 minutes? (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501382)

Even if 15 minutes is realistic, just imagine waiting in line at a power station knowing that each customer ahead of you means 15 minutes waiting time before you can even begin. They'd better have some really good tea.

Wait Until The Blue Screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31501284)

of the Waldac [microsoft.com] botnet starts to electrocute drivers.

Yours In Perm,
Kilgore Trout

I have that problem all the time (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501292)

I'm glad they're finally solving the problem of incompatible car chargers. Just about all my friends have had that problem with their electric vehicles. It's a huge problem. It makes sense for them to attack this, considering how they already solved the problem of incompatible cellphone chargers long ago.

"Karekuro No Anime" .... KaNoMe (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31501438)

wouldnt this one be better ? i mean, for most of us 'the internet' japan is 'tech gadgets', 'cars' and 'anime'.

dont ask me what it is. i made it out of my ass from some words i saw on a japanese website. its as good as any abbreviation any government makes.

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