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EV Fast-Charging Standards In Flux

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the throw-electrons-at-it-and-see-what-sticks dept.

Power 122

savuporo writes "With the first battery electric vehicles becoming available on markets worldwide, there is an increased push to establish standards for fast-charging plugs. Unfortunately, the story is far from simple. The US hopes to establish its own DC fast-charging standard by 2012, and Europe cannot come to an agreement about their version. Meanwhile, the CHAdeMO fast-charge standard developed and widely deployed in Japan, used on both the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV, is gaining momentum with deployments underway both in the US and Europe. CHAdeMO is limited to a 62kW charge rate, able to charge smaller battery packs to 80% SoC in 15-30 minutes."

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For those of you playing at home (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916600)

For those of you playing at home, SoC stands for 'State of Charge'.

Re:For those of you playing at home (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916832)

My balls are amazing!

Give them a lick. They taste just like balls!

Re:For those of you playing at home (0)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916842)

But how do i convert it to LoCs?

Re:For those of you playing at home (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916862)

By bridging the two terminals with your tongue.

Re:For those of you playing at home (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916900)

Would't giving tongue to the terminals still be State of Charge?

Multiple standards can coexist (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916642)

There's no reason why an EV refueling station can't support multiple charge standards (as long as there are only a handful versus dozens).

One of the biggest expenses in setting up a charging station is in getting the high-power high-voltage power feed from the power company. Supporting a different connector or voltage adds a relatively small incremental cost to the charging station.

After all, gas stations already support diesel and 3 grades of gasoline (ok, technically it's just 2 grades and they blend them at the pump).

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916768)

Yes and how many have put petrol into desiel engines? Can you imagine the KABOOM when you do this with CHEMICAL ELECTRICITY BATTERIES?

Big bada boom :)

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916882)

> Yes and how many have put petrol into desiel engines? Can you imagine the KABOOM when you do this with CHEMICAL ELECTRICITY BATTERIES?

Why not just use different shaped plugs for different standards? (We could do that with fuel too, if it weren't such a de minimis problem with such an infrastructure already in place.)

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917020)

Why not just use different shaped plugs for different standards? (We could do that with fuel too, if it weren't such a de minimis problem with such an infrastructure already in place.)

AFAIK, they do: I think petrol nozzles are somewhat larger then diesel ones. Of course this only helps if the car was made with a filling point too small to accommodate the former.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917172)

IIRC it's the other way around, making it harder to mis-fuel a petrol vehicle than a diesel one.

This doesn't make much sense considering the other way around is substantially more expensive, but there you go...

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917210)

I see, but I assumed that it was done the way I described because it's easier to drain off diesel from a petrol tank than vice-versa (due to density differences).

But thanks, have a +1 and a nice day.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917900)

You have to do a LOT more than just drain off the diesel. Most of the time you will want to have your entire fuel system flushed.

Preventing use of diesel makes more sense ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917238)

IIRC it's the other way around, making it harder to mis-fuel a petrol vehicle than a diesel one. This doesn't make much sense considering the other way around is substantially more expensive, but there you go...

I am going to guess that mis-fueling a petrol vehicle is the more common error. Diesel owners, well at least in the US, are more likely to be carefully reading labels. Their pumps are not as common and they have to look around to locate their pumps.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917246)

On the other hand, there's a lot more petrol vehicles than diesels ones, so by making it hard to mis-fuel a petrol vehicle you're protecting more vehicles.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (1)

jbenwell (318892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918406)

The diesel ones are bigger because the fuel flow is usually faster. It takes a long time to fill up 200 liters (big truck or snowplow) at the gas pump rate.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919728)

In the UK about half of all consumer cars are diesel, right down to tiny little hatchbacks with 7 gallon tanks.

Truck pumps are also usually separate, since it allows them easier access and exit from the station, and often with no overhead cover so no worry about height issues.

Certainly if it *was* a flow rate issue it has just been grandfathered in here.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (1)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920322)

Misfueling a gasoline car with diesel and attempting to start it is probably an even worse idea than the opposite, totally fucking up the engine.
After all, diesel engines run on stuff like biodiesel, which is pretty different from regular diesel.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917202)

EV charge connectors are *far* more intelligent than gas nozzles. Ever see an EV charge connector and wondered why there are so many pins? There's sense pins, data pins, etc; there's a bidirectional communication which makes sure the connector is fully secure and that the type of power being delivered is compatible with the vehicle before it is actually delivered.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (2, Informative)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916840)

As long as you have a Max1KV connector, a Max3KV connector etc you can mix standards. If you have identical connectors you lead to the Petrol in a Diesel tank problem where connecting a substantially higher voltage to a car that can not transform or handle safely, potentially damaging the car's electrical infrastructure.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35919334)

All DC fast charging standards involve some communication between the charger and the car, since the car's Battery Management Unit (BMU) must control the charging sequence (or risk destroying the battery very quickly).

Also the connectors are generally not energized with high voltage until handshaking has occured.

The main issue is well regulated connections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917294)

When I was an expat in Thailand, a news story involved a Volvo station wagon that was converted to use LPG (propane) fuel, but the work was unregulated and had a gas fitting that allowed the driver to connect to a CNG (compressed natural gas) refueling station. These two fuels are stored at vastly different pressures, and the result was an immediate over-pressure and explosive rupture of the car's fuel tank, which ripped not only the car, but also the people nearby, into many pieces.

For electric hookups, you really need to control things like AC versus DC, max charge differential between terminals, max current, max surge, grounding, floating circuit potentials to ground, etc.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (2)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917482)

This would be a much bigger problem for a home or perhaps a business that wants to have an EV charging station. Just putting one in would be a large expense for a home or say a small local co-op that wants to do something green. Having an EV charging station should help with your home's value (assuming EVs start to take off), but if it's the wrong kind it's just a hassle. It's something that you'd have to replace at a large cost. Or what if I have a Ford EV and my friend comes over and asks if he could charge his VW EV? He can't, because of a standard issue. No quick charge, just the 6 hour trickle from a standard outlet. That won't do him much good, he's not going to be here very long.

If there was one dominant standard, it would be more reassuring and easier for drivers. It's just one more thing drivers have to think about.

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (1)

dubdays (410710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918918)

First of all, I haven't kept up on EV technology as much as I probably should (ergo, please bear that in mind if I write something completely stupid...and please correct me). That said, to me, it doesn't seem that the connector should even be the real issue. What I think would be more meaningful would be for auto manufacturers to decide on some kind of standard to tell the charger how it wants its electricity. What comes to mind is possibly some kind of autonegotion mechansim between the charger and vehicle to determine voltage/amps/phase or whatever (I'm certainly no EE). The plug itself would seem to be less important, and, as someone mentioned below, various adapters could even be used (I'd think manufacturers would WANT a connector standard...at least if they had any foresight whatsoever). I think this way manufacturers could use whatever batteries they want (and even use totally different battery technologies in future vehicles as they become available)...just be able to talk to the "pump" to tell it what the specs are in regard to charging any given vehicle. Yeah, the stations would cost a bit more with the additional electronic components, but if EVs took off, the price drop for these devices would be insane (think of the number of gas (petrol) pumps you pass every day). Economies of scale would kick in almost immediately. And I really think some kind of auto-negotiating standard would be a huge step in the right direction, because the the startup costs of charging stations will be high (at first, anyway), but I think more station owners would be willing to make the investment if they knew they wouldn't have to rip and replace when the next generation of EV battery technology came along. The whole plug type thing just seems silly...the cost of dealing with varying plugs would seem to be absolutely minuscule compared to everything else. But, leave it to world governments to create issues out of the little stuff while ignoring the bigger issues (and lets be honest, many/most politicians only understand technology as far as their mobile phones and accompanying wall warts will allow).

Re:Multiple standards can coexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920048)

What you say makes too much sense, and for this reason alone it will be ignored by anyone in the industry.

Why don't you just (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916656)

Why don't you just shove the Japanese plug up your arse and turn it on full current. Why would we want foreign plugs?

Re:Why don't you just (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916720)

Why don't you just shove the Japanese plug up your arse and turn it on full current. Why would we want foreign plugs?

Because they work well with our foreign cars?

Re:Why don't you just (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916732)

Why don't you just shove the Japanese plug up your arse and turn it on full current. Why would we want foreign plugs?

Because they work well with our foreign cars?

Which are built in the U.S.?

Re:Why don't you just (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916782)

Which are built in the U.S.?

Well, I think assembled is more accurate - most cars are assembled from pieces built all over the world.

Re:Why don't you just (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916794)

IIRC, the Nissan Leaf is actually being assembled in Japan, since they aren't making enough of them yet for a U.S. factory to be worth it.

Re:Why don't you just (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917206)

False. Most of the Leafs will be produced in Smyrna, TN, and the factory is under construction. But it wont be online until 2012, so for now, the low-volume Japanese production is all that's available.

Re:Why don't you just (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918410)

So I was right that the present supply is a small amount imported from Japan, but wrong about the reason. Thanks.

Switch Batteries? (2, Interesting)

rusl (1255318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916664)

Obviously a fast switch of batteries is a better idea. I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge. Then they can have fast chargers dedicated and efficient to re supply the batteries. I know batteries are expensive so the biggest obstacle is just figuring out a credit/ID system so that people can be trusted to trade $1000 batteries quickly.

Re:Switch Batteries? (2)

exploder (196936) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916700)

That's great if the batteries are standard and easily accessible. Aren't many (even most?) batteries either built-in or specially shaped for the specific vehicle?

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916740)

I would imagine they're like the heater matrix: often the car is practically built around them!

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916984)

No, there is also a standard development process for fast-switch of the entire battery pack. The reason you don't hear anything about it is that it is another nail in the coffin of gasoline engines and a lot of people want to keep the fact that electrics are for real and coming very soon a secret, so they can make a lot of money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_station#Battery_swapping [wikipedia.org]

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

MJMullinII (1232636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919264)

Que the conspiracy theories.

Re:Switch Batteries? (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916770)

Obviously a fast switch of batteries is a better idea. I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge. Then they can have fast chargers dedicated and efficient to re supply the batteries. I know batteries are expensive so the biggest obstacle is just figuring out a credit/ID system so that people can be trusted to trade $1000 batteries quickly.

I don't think the cost of the battery pack is a factor, nor is verifying credit/ID a difficult problem...I can rent a $25,000 car from a car rental agency in a few minutes -- if I'm in the right car rental membership program, my reserved car is waiting for me in the lot so I just hop in and drive to the gate, then show my driver's license to leave the lot.

I think a bigger obstacle is that people would have to agree to battery leasing programs instead of ownership. If you own the battery, you're not going to want to swap out your brand new battery with some old worn out battery that happened to be on the shelf at the service station.

Coupled with the fact that it's even harder to standardize on battery design/voltage than on charging connector/voltage. Physical dimensions of battery packs can vary widely depending on the design of the car.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917040)

I don't think the cost of the battery pack is a factor, nor is verifying credit/ID a difficult problem...I can rent a $25,000 car from a car rental agency in a few minutes -- if I'm in the right car rental membership program, my reserved car is waiting for me in the lot so I just hop in and drive to the gate, then show my driver's license to leave the lot.

And so all the people that can't get that line of credit do what? I'm seriously asking this question. I believe such an approach would slow adoption.

Answer: You leave a battery, you get a battery.

Now the problem is how how to account for the variances in battery quality due to age, usage, etc.

Perhaps we could design a battery where the cost of converting an extremely used battery to a perfectly good one is minimal. Not as likely.

That or create the ability to easily calculate the difference between the two and charge for the difference. Those that don't have money, today, don't drive as much as they might if they did and this creates the same scenario. Don't drive as much and subject your battery to charge/recharge issues, should they still exist at some point in the future. More likely.

Or, create a battery that can be used indefinitely without depreciating in usability. Not as likely.

Widespread adoption, at the quickest possible rate, is the goal here. Of course, I'm old enough to remember the gas lines of yore and the ability to only buy gas on certain days depending on the last number in your license plate (U.S.) Widespread research and promotion/adoption should have occurred then. I'll leave it to reader to surmise why that might not have happened.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917178)

I don't really think the battery itself is important, but the power stored in it is. You pay for X amount of power, you get X amount of power, it's the responsability of the provider to ensure the batter is good enough to still contain that amount of power, so older ones will be thrown away.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917500)

Right. The battery cost would be priced into the electricity 'fill up' cost, and it would be up to the stations to maintain the batteries and replace them as necessary, not unlike they have to maintain their underground tanks and pumps.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917626)

The way Better Place plans to do it - if you need to swap batteries more than 50 times a year (ie. More often than once a week, similar to refilling a petrol car) they will credit your account. So that gives them an incentive to take the "old" crappy batteries out of rotation.

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918448)

Swapping batteries has a couple other major flaws.

First, battery performance and capacity vary depending on charging history. So you might swap out a new battery with 240 miles of charge capacity and receive one with 180 miles. (the Leaf warranty for example, says a 5% decrease in charge capacity per year is normal use). Do you want to lay the same for such a variable capacity? Especially if you need to plan trip range.

Second, battery performance is critically dependent on temperature. The Leaf experience has shown this dramatically. Leaf does not heat or cool the batter, unlike Tesla or Volt, so cold weather performance has been a problem. Most EVs are going to need to be able to heat and cool the battery. Thus, there will be fluid connections to complicate the swap process.

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918784)

Leaf does not heat or cool the batter, unlike Tesla or Volt....

Ii remember, quite a few years ago, reading a Popular Mechanics magazine where they cooked the food on their trip by heating it on the exhaust manifold or other part of the engine. I don't think they considered pancakes or other baked goods so it seems like we're progressing way beyond my expectations!

Re:Switch Batteries? (4, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916788)

You don't want to wait 5 minutes for a recharge? It takes longer than that to fuel a gas car. If it were such a big problem they would have invented swappable gas tanks long ago.

Besides, it's far easier to standardize a plug than an entire battery pack. Car manufacturers would hate the constraint of standardized battery packs--it's much easier to design a usable car if you can shove batteries wherever you want. But it's relatively easy to put any kind of plug on any kind of car.

It's also one thing for a gas station to have three different plugs at each booth; another thing to stock 10 different kinds of batteries for trucks, SUVs, sport cars, family cars, mini cars, etc etc etc. Not to mention the huge investment in robotic battery changers at all the gas stations--that costs way more than plugs on a rack.

Don't worry, by the time EVs are common enough for battery swapping to make any sense at all, the batteries themselves will be so advanced they will charge in a reasonable amount of time and it will be unnecessary. In the meantime, we have to put up with the practicalities of boot-strapping an entire market in the face of subsidized competition (petroleum industry).

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917894)

Switching batteries will be a big fail the first time there is a large hurricane evacuation.

Re:Switch Batteries? (2)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918140)

By the same token, pumping gas from an underground reservoir will be a big fail the first time there is a large hurricane evacuation. Because a gas station can run out of gas in the same way that a battery filling station can run out of charged battery. The difference is that, as long as its (very heavy duty) power lines don't go down, the battery filling station can gradually restore its capacity without taking delivery of more batteries. The gas station, once it's out of gas, is empty until a tanker truck arrives. Both the gas filling station and the battery filling station can be refilled by taking delivery from a truck, however.

It should be noted that, in the case of the battery filling station, the delivery truck has to take away the uncharged batteries as well as delivering fresh, charged ones, and that the batteries will almost certainly be heavier than the equivalent gasoline, so a delivery of batteries will waste a lot more energy than a delivery of gasoline. Except in emergency situations, however, the battery filling station will not need frequent deliveries/pickups, whereas the gas station will. We are talking about an emergency situation here, however, in which case the performance of the battery exchange station doesn't seem to be worse than the gasoline station.

Also, I think you're misunderstanding the logistics of the situation. Most of the people using a battery filling station are going to be people who are in the middle of a long trip, or who are making a number of shorter trips closer together. Everyone sitting at home or at work (employers might provide it as a perquisite, or they might meter it and charge employees, either way, if electric cars catch on, pretty much every long-term parking spot will have a car charger) is going to have their car charging where it's parked. The default state of an electric car most of the time will be charged. Certainly nearly everyone who needs to go to a filling station is going to be well on their way to their destination rather than near their source. People being evacuated will be near their source and will therefore most likely be fully charged unless it's an area where everyone has a long commute to and from work and the evacuation order is given right around the time everyone is getting home from work. There could also be a problem if there's just one super-long stretch of highway to get out of the evacuation zone that everyone will follow rather than just spreading out in all directions. In that case, the filling stations along that route could get swamped. Once again, this applies equally to gas stations and battery stations. In cases like that, it's the responsibility of emergency agencies to work with the companies behind the filling stations and make sure they're prepared for the extra load. It's a logical part of basic emergency planning. Not that I actually believe that those agencies will actually do this. It will actually take several days of a hundred thousand people sleeping in their cars on the side of the highway for a few days before they'll actually do anything, but that will be true whether the cars are gas or electric.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918534)

I was thinking about troubles with evacuation from some place like the Florida Keys with a long highway. All lanes are switched to North so it would be difficult to get extra batteries. Even a seasonal thing like lots of people going South for Spring break would cause inventory problems.

It's probably hard to compete with the cost of piping fuel to storage tanks near distribution centers vs. the investment in battery packs.

I sure hope we can get charging stations everywhere. I'm not very hopeful since utilities are slow at upgrading major transmission lines no less what would be needed for fast charging in homes. I think we are on the edge of major problems without EVs. During hot weather I see 105 V and last night I saw 130 V. The regulation won't get better without lots of investment. We probably need rules that require higher power capacity for new construction (fiber too).

Re:Switch Batteries? (2)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919024)

Hmm, yeah I guess the Florida keys and Florida itself is a worst case scenario type of situation for that sort of problem. Rather than being able to fan out roughly 180 degrees and get away from a limited evacuation area, you have pretty much one direction to go and, since in some cases the evacuation area could potentially be pretty much the whole state, you have a long way to go so you need to stop to fuel up even if you started with a full charge.

On the other hand, an emergency situation is a government concern, not one necessarily for the free market to resolve. The government already puts a lot of effort and money into making sure that oil keeps flowing and is available (federal oil reserve, current ongoing wars, and a lot of more mundane infrastructure expenditures). In theory, if an electric and battery distribution infrastructure becomes vital due to electric cars taking over, the government will spend less on supporting the oil infrastructure and more on the electric infrastructure. So, either the government subsidizes greater battery storage and charging capacity and a larger number of batteries than is needed 99.9% of the time or makes sure that they can be delivered when needed. You mentioned a pipeline for delivering fuel to storage tanks. The thing is, with a big enough pipeline and batteries packed in cylinders you could deliver fuel along a pipeline. You don't have to actually do that, of course, but the point is that, once you're treating charged batteries the same way you treat units of liquid fuel, you can set up infrastructure to make batteries just as available as liquid fuels.

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920726)

You are absolutely correct, I have seen vehicles run out of gas trying to evacuate a hurricane.

Re:Switch Batteries? (2)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917974)

5 minutes? The article summary says that it can charge smaller battery packs to 80% in 15-30 minutes, which we all know actually means at least 30 minutes, probably more, and that's only to 80%, the remaining 20% would probably then take another 30 minutes. As for a regular gas station fillup taking longer than five minutes, that seems a bit of an overestimate (if we assume that we're talking about just the filling time and not also the payment process) considering that typical US gas pumps are up to 10 gallons per minute. Also, considering that gas has about 130 megajoules per gallon, that means that the gas pump pumps up to 1.3 gigajoules of energy in a minute. Divide by 60 and get about 21.7 megajoules per second, which is 21.7 megawatts. As stated in the summary, CHAdeMO is limited to a 62kW, so it's about 1/349th the potential energy transfer rate of a gas pump. There's all sorts of arguments about the actual equivalence of those figures, but the bottom line is that there's still about two orders of magnitude difference between the current and upcoming fast charging standards and what an existing gas pump can deliver. Also, improvements in fast charging are difficult, whereas the design changes to pump gas 10X faster would be relatively trivial.

The big problem is that we're talking about a lot of energy in a short amount of time. A two minute gas fill up transfers enough stored chemical energy to propel a two ton vehicle at high speed for 500 miles. That's over a period of time about 500 times longer than the fill up took. Add to that, car engines are far, far from 100% efficient, so they produce a lot of waste heat. Compress the time that heat is released in by a factor of 500 and the car doesn't just melt, it partially vaporizes (I think it takes around 4 gigajoules to vaporize two tons of steel starting from room temperature, so not quite enough in a full tank to completely vaporize the car). Batteries are a chemical energy storage mechanism, as is gasoline in an automotive system. When transferring gasoline to a car, the gasoline is kept inert, and no chemical reaction takes place. When batteries recharge, a chemical reaction is taking place inside the batteries. Like the cars gasoline-powered engine, it's far from 100% efficient. Without some unheard of level of charging efficiency, or some amazing heat transfer technology, we're back into vaporize the car (or at least the batteries) territory if the energy is transferred in the same kind of time frame you can fill a gas tank. At the very least, any non-superconducting power cable would certainly vaporize or you'd have to pump the voltage so high it would just arc through the air.

So, if you can physically transfer your energy in a chemically inert way, there's a clear advantage that battery charging won't be able to overcome unless we develop some really amazing technologies such as room temperature superconductors and superconducting capacitors. Maybe someone can come up with an efficient fuel-able battery that can be recharged by pumping in charged fluid(s). For example sticking with traditional lead-acid batteries, you could pump out lead sulfate nanoparticles (suspended in a conductive liquid medium) and pump in fresh lead oxide and lead nanoparticle suspensions into cathode and anode chambers soaked in sulfuric acid solution and separated with a membrane that lets sulfuric acid and sulfate ions through but not the nanoparticles or the conductive medium. The lead sulfate nano-particles would then go into a similar set of chambers to be charged (converted back to lead and lead oxide through the application of electrical charge while in similar anode and cathode chambers) and later once they're no longer lead sulfate (probably there's a good way to separate lead and lead sulfate as well as lead oxide and lead sulfate nanoparticles chemically or based on density or magnetic/diamagnetic properties or optical properties otherwise, you can just charge the chambers until they're certain to have some particular small percentage of lead sulfate left. Also, the filling station can filter out old/chemically worn out/damaged nanoparticles and store them to be shipped out for reprocessing. That way you get your batteries chemically refreshed to a charged state in minutes without any chemical reactions taking place in the batteries at the time of filling, so no heat. The batteries themselves would wear out when the membranes wear out and could be replaced at that time. Possibly traded in so that new membranes could be installed in the battery cases.

If something like the above can be made to work, then it can probably be done with battery technologies other than lead-acid. The problem is that, of course, it's stupid. Sure, it would be a neat technological achievement, and it could probably be made workable. It's also guaranteed to be an environmental disaster, whatever battery technology you use. There's no way you could avoid leaks from the cars and from the filling station and the delivery vehicles (which would still be needed, but much less frequently than in gasoline stations, and which would also take spent battery material away). It's much more environmentally sound, not to mention less complex and expensive to keep the batteries as sealed units and just charge them at home or work when you can, but otherwise swap them out for charged ones at the filling station when you need a charge on the go. This would mean having standardized batteries that mount automatically in the vehicle (maybe some sort of serpentine chain system linking all the batteries, or at least rows of them, together). Old, dying or dead batteries could be shipped to a central location for reprocessing (still an environmental disaster probably, but at least limited to one geographic location).

As for the question of your brand new batteries being taken from you and replaced with lousy used ones at your first fill up, just skip it. Have new cars filled at regular filling stations, or at least from the same refurbished battery pool. All batteries standardized, certified, and on a standard deposit scheme. Fill your car, replacing your current batteries and get all of your batteries replaced with other certified ones as an even exchange with an added charge for the electricity. As for who makes sure you're not being cheated on the batteries... Who makes sure you aren't being cheated on gas quality and the quantity the pump dispenses now? The answer is that there are various state and federal agencies that handle it (although a quick google search suggests that they do a terrible job). With electric vehicles and decent diagnostic equipment built in, your car could actually report to you if you've gotten bad batteries in your fill up and could presumably even automatically register a complaint with the appropriate agency for you.

Anyway, I think it's going to be a long time before batteries get advanced enough to withstand charging anywhere near as fast as a gas tank fill up. Battery technologies capable of handling it are currently somewhere in the same speculative neighborhood as under the hood fusion reactors. Personally I'm holding out for the under the hood fusion reactor. Barring that, I think our best near term solution to be both environmentally sounder and practical is going to have to be hybrids with all the advantages of electrics but that charge themselves from some sort of chemical fuel and oxygen. Maybe we can get some sort of fuel cells working well enough. We clearly need to find a way to dump gasoline itself though. Ideally we can move to some sort of synthetic fuel with a relatively neutral footprint whereby the same byproducts it releases into the atmosphere are pulled back out by the process that creates more of it. This is still only relatively neutral because overall atmospheric concentration isn't quite the same thing as having localized pockets with more carbon dioxide/water vapor/etc. but reduced amounts in other places. Of course, if the filling stations themselves produce the fuel or it's produced locally close to where it's dispensed and used, that mitigates the problem.

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918598)

And coal, we'll need a lot more coal.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919102)

Well, hopefully we can reduce our need for coal with solar and wind. Even if we have to use coal to generate the electricity, a central plant can be made a lot more efficient and environmentally friendly than a bunch of distributed, poorly monitored and maintained internal combustion engines. But ideally (at least with the technology level we can currently hope to achieve), we generate power as cleanly as we can with solar, wind, tide power, etc. and as little fossil fuel use as we can get away with and maybe some nuclear if it can be made viable (with all the externalities, the inevitable startup cost overruns and tremendous lead in times, and required subsidization it doesn't look to me as if nuclear has ever actually been competitive although I hold out hope for it in the future). Then we either use that power to charge batteries for pure electrics if we can get that to work, or we use the electricity to make synthetic fuels and burn those in efficient hybrids.

Re:Switch Batteries? (2)

MJMullinII (1232636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919296)

So what.

Burning the dirtiest form of coal in the oldest, dirtiest coal-fired power plants is STILL more efficient than every single person burning gasoline in their tiny engines (I don't care how big your motor is, it is tiny compared to a power plant of any size).

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919568)

Or.... We could just use battery switch technology, such the already up-and-working switch stations built by Better Place in Japan... 2 mins from driving in to the station, to driving out with a new battery. It saves having the entire argument in the first place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKA4GhVn0a4 [youtube.com]

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916798)

I'm sorry but for this "new" technology to properly take off then things are going to have to be pretty similar to how they are now (refueling and other-wise) with petrol cars otherwise people will not accept them. The idea of trading batteries out will not be a consideration for any large car company. Maybe you'd be able to carry a small charge with you as you can now with a jerrycan for petrol, but you can't expect manufacturers to allow you to essentially remove your fuel tank quickly and change it with another one?

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917306)

Don't think of it as trading batteries, think of it as renting batteries. If you never own a battery, there is no potential for "trading down". This way all costs of the "fuel" are in the price of the battery rental: The wear on the battery itself and the stored energy.

The crux with this approach is that there would have to be a standard for a battery and a standard for exchanging batteries automatically.

Re:Switch Batteries? - Power Requirements (2)

bromoseltzer (23292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916904)

There's another reason that switching batteries is good. If a 62 kW supply is required to charge a battery in 30 minutes, you would need 360 kW+ to charge it in 5 minutes. That's a phenomenal power level. If your charging efficiency is 90%, that means you will be dissipating 36 kW in your car as heat while charging. That's pretty close to explosive.

The service station and the power utility would have an interest in leveling their load, so charging an inventory of batteries relatively slowly is a good thing. Even so, each recharging station might need a flywheel energy storage unit (or comparable) to even their load on the utility.

Re:Switch Batteries? - Power Requirements (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917302)

1) Li-ion battery packs are generally 96% to over 99% efficient during charging, not 90%.
2) 36kW is not "pretty close to explosive". That's the heat output of a moderately large home's furnace. You really think you can't simply water quench the output of a home furnace for a couple minutes?
3) You don't have to draw a rapid charge straight from the grid. A much more reasonable approach is to charge a shared battery bank at the station, and the battery bank discharges the proper amount whenever someone hooks up. Said batteries can be heavy and cheap instead of light and expensive, and are effectively a "universal standard" instead of requiring the station to stock a separate pack for each vehicle profile.

Re:Switch Batteries? - Power Requirements (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919010)

One other problem no one seems to be mentioning, a typical modern U.S. home electrical connection is in the 100-200 amp service size (very large homes may have up to 320 amp (400 amp meters, but common meter bases are limited to 320 amps) service and smaller older, homes may have much less. A 200 amp service has a dedicated output power of 48KW per hour. A typical house at any given time will likely only draw a fraction of that power level even with energy hogs like air conditioners running. So we are not just talking a box and maybe an extra breaker being installed at every house to charge a car or two, but all new service entrance connections, breaker boxes, power lines to the houses, pole top transformers, etc. Then there is the question of upgrading the whole electrical grid and power generation system to provide power for these electric cars, sure time shifting will help some, but do you really want that 30 minute quick charge for your car to be scheduled at 3:30 am every morning, and what happens if you have an emergency and need a fully fuelled car on hand, this time shifting is really no better than the every other day fill up rationing back in the 1970's based on even or odd license plate digits.

Re:Switch Batteries? - Power Requirements (1)

bromoseltzer (23292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920900)

...dedicated output power of 48KW per hour.

48 kW period. (Physics: A Watt is a unit of power. A Watt-hour is a unit of energy. A Watt per hour is a rate of increase of power.)

You won't be getting a "quick charge" at home without an expensive service upgrade. Overnight probably means up to 12 hours for a charge. That gets you about 288 kW-hr of energy if you draw 100 A on a 240 V circuit. In very rough terms, you can think of a kilowatt as a horsepower (1.3 actually). So you could run your high performance car at full power for 1 hr on an overnight charge. Your typical commute needs a lot less energy, but YMMV.

Re:Switch Batteries? - Power Requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920838)

There's another reason that switching batteries is good. If a 62 kW supply is required to charge a battery in 30 minutes, you would need 360 kW+ to charge it in 5 minutes. That's a phenomenal power level. If your charging efficiency is 90%, that means you will be dissipating 36 kW in your car as heat while charging. That's pretty close to explosive.

thats around 10 times what your electric oven uses - which means a lot of heat but it is almost do-able to remove

Re:Switch Batteries? (3, Interesting)

hernick (63550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916956)

Oh no, these aren't 1000$ batteries we're talking about. A thousand-dollar battery is what you put on an electric bicycle.

A 16kWh pack (like the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i-Miev use) is about 10 000$. A full charge is good for around 100 miles of autonomy.

A long-range battery pack would be many tens of thousands of dollars...

Re:Switch Batteries? (3, Insightful)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917132)

Obviously a fast switch of batteries is a better idea. I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge. ...

How about if the range of the vehicle was quadrupled? Would you wait then?

Re:Switch Batteries? (3, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917240)

Think of the battery pack like the frame of the vehicle -- huge, heavy, expensive, and critical to the structural integrity of the vehicle. Yes, you *could* make a "hot swappable frame" for a vehicle -- but that doesn't make it a good idea. The frames would be tough to swap, expensive to stock, ridiculously bulky to stock, and as much as you tried to standardize between vehicles, you'd need different models of frames. It's the exact same thing with battery packs. Swapping heavy, structurally-integrity-critical devices with high power, high voltage connectors whose needs in terms of shape, weight distribution, capacity, weight, and voltage discharge profile vary dramatically between vehicles, and which cost many thousands of dollars each to stock... it's just, no. Fast charge is the only realistic way to go.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917674)

Sorry, I'm not giving up my nice shiny new batteries so someone can stick me with their old moldy ones! Remember, the only people that want to share are the ones that don't have anything.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Chuq (8564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920206)

But if you used the same battery pack for a decade, then swapped your "old moldy" one for a new one, that would be ok, right?

Re:Switch Batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920736)

Horrible idea from someone who cannot see the future.

I am not going to charge my EV at some station where someone is going to charge me a fee to get electricity that I can get at my home. I have all night to charge and can use a standard 110V plug to do it.

That is why all these "charge stations" are not taking off. Also, if I was ever to charge while out and about, I would only go to one of the Fast Chargers. The idea of a type 1 in public places boggles the mind. Remember when gas tank caps where not locked on cars, then the oil crisis and people were caught siphoning gas. Now we have type 1 chargers that I am going to park my car, unattended, at for 4 hours. What is to stop someone from coming over and unplugging my car and plugging in their car?

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920754)

I don't want to wait 15 minutes or even 5 to recharge.

You should time yourself the next time you fill your car up. Most fuel pumps are fairly slow and 8 minutes to refill your car (from the time you enter the station, until you leave) is fairly reasonable. Now, these chargers would be something you wouldn't need to use regularly, since most of the time you would just charge up at home. So, a 15 minute charge time would only be an issue when you're on a longer trip.

Back in the 90's in So. Cal. and Arizona, there were quite a few chargers placed around for electric vehicles, but these weren't placed at gas stations, but rather at malls and shopping centers. So the convenience factor goes way up if instead of having to sit at a gas station for 15 minutes, you can go into a bookstore, or get a bite to eat at a restaurant, etc.

Re:Switch Batteries? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920912)

Wear and tear on the batteries and contacts would be a major asspain, as would integrating convenient battery access hatches and slide-out rails.

International standardization trivial (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916750)

Honestly, all that matters is that each region has a uniform standard, and is large enough that economies of scale will kick in.

You're unlikely to take your car to Japan with you, and what's more, since we're only really talking about SIGNALING, it's only going to take a few dollars worth of electronics to do the conversion. Sure, a $20 adapter so you can use your electric razor on another continent is inconvenient, but a $20 adapter so you can use you CAR? No problem.

Now, if the EU can't agree on a standard, that would be a problem. Wander across the border from Germany to France and you can't charge your car... Oops. And the added expense for charging stations to maintain two or more sets of chargers for different countries' vehicles wouldn't be cheap or easy to maintain.

Come to think of it... Are electric cars and hybrids coming with normal electrical outlets installed? 120/240V ? They really should. Could eliminate the "car adapter" market over-night, make traveling much easier and add a tremendous amount of utility to an electric vehicle... Even if utility power goes out, EVERYONE with an electric car could have a substantial backup. I can imagine lightning fast tire changes if you can power your impact tools on the road... But I digress.

Estonia will install approximately 250 quick-charge stations

As they say, as goes Estonia, so goes Lichtenstein! Clearly Japan is on course to dominate the world...

Re:International standardization trivial (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917128)

As far as I know, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland (and probably Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia?) are standardizing on the "Type 2 Mode 3" sockets. It's a nice 3-phase 400V plug (domestic 3-phase connections are 400V in Europe), with some additional pins for data (carcharger negotiation and automatic payment systems). it's a relatively small 3-phase high-current plug:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2-plug.jpg
As usual, the only "problem" with this European standard is France.....

Reinventing the wheel. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916800)

We already have standards for electricity and connectors. Why not use them?

IEC 60309
3P+N+E, 6h

Re:Reinventing the wheel. (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917300)

Because then you might plug your car into any generic 3 phase outlet instead of the one dedicated to vehicular charging with the built in road tax metering.

Re:Reinventing the wheel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918480)

Because Level 3 charging is direct current at high voltage and amperage. The 120/240 volt chargers (level 1 /2) are built into the vehicle. Only a controlled AC supply is connected. But the Level 3 charger is ouside the car. It creates significant heat that needs to be dumped.

The car needs to be able to communicate with the charger. That means the plug has to enforce a protocol and have the control connections to do it. No existing standard applies. So we need to create a new one.

Level 2 chargers took a decade to settle down on the J1772 standard. We EV drivers in California are suffering for that because we can't use the 600+ chargers installed between 1997 and 2005 that all use obsolete and incompatible standards.

62kw Charge Rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35916812)

CHAdeMO is limited to a 62kW charge rate

That is quite an energy transfer rate. Each charging station must be connected directly to an electrical substation to supply that sort of power to a few cars.

Re:62kw Charge Rate? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917318)

Or simply a battery bank with at least a little more stored capacity than a Leaf battery pack.

They should follow the lead of USB (4, Funny)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916828)

When it comes time to design the plug, they should make sure it's non-tapered so that it has to be perfectly lined up to go in the socket. It should also be perfectly symmetrical so it takes ten minutes get it in the socket correctly.

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917144)

To be fair, PS/2 and D-Sub serial ports were orders of magnitude worse than USB.

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917658)

PS/2 -> Round -> Worse -> YES!

D-Sup -> Trapezoid -> Worse -> NO.

USB is not the worst but it's pretty darn close. USB 3.0 (which I currently use) sucks because they decided to keep that same connector computer side (they fixed the side that didn't need fixing).

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917882)

USB is not the worst but it's pretty darn close. USB 3.0 (which I currently use) sucks because they decided to keep that same connector computer side (they fixed the side that didn't need fixing).

I'd agree with all of that, except that (last I checked) USB 3.0 was also backwardly compatible with earlier versions (they just added a few extra pins that earlier connectors couldn't mate to). That being the case, as much as I hate to admit it, keeping the plug pretty much unchanged is a requirement to keep the backward compatibility.

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918096)

That being the case, as much as I hate to admit it, keeping the plug pretty much unchanged is a requirement to keep the backward compatibility.

Not really though, you could easily keep pin compatibility and make super-cheap dongles that would let you plug USB 2.0 plugs into a USB 3.0 port.

Or you could physically add a small node on one end to make kind of a thin "L" shape (eSata had this kind of connector in one iteration). Then normal USB 2.0 stuff could plug in directly, but USB3.0 could make use of the extra space in the short leg of the "L" to provide extra pins or it could have just been a physical requirement only with no additional electronics that would enable USB3.0 cables to easily plug in the correct way. Then you'd even know for sure when a cable was USB 3.0 or 2.0 with just a glance, unlike now where you can't tell from one end if a cable is for USB 3.0 or 2.0.

My plan is to switch to Thunderbolt ASAP, I like the technology much better - faster than USB 3.0, different connectors, able to carry video AND (the part I like best of all) built to chain just like firewire. I thought USB 3.0 was built to chain as well but I have yet to see any USB 3.0 have chaining ports on them; Every firewire device I ever had included two ports.

Thunderbolt is still early days though, I can't even find a decent external SATA dock using it yet. Probably a year out from being really well supported. In the meantime USB3.0 is working OK...

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917690)

Not true. I never plugged a DB connector in wrong, but I have plugged a USB connector in backwards (yes you can if you try!).

Re:They should follow the lead of USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917164)

The to-be European standard plug is at least asymmetrical: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/VDE-AR-E_2623-2-2-plug.jpg

In Flux?! (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35916864)

That's it... they need the Flux Capacitor!

Minor problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917114)

No one is talking about all the new electric power plants that will be needed to supply this demand. What fuel will be used for these power plants? let me guess - oil? What about the distribution system? Is there sufficient capacity on that to allow everyone to charge their car at the same time (cos that's what will happen, a 'rush hour' of charging).

Re:Minor problem (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917336)

LOL. Okay, let's start from the very beginning.

1) Oil makes up a tiny percentage of our electricity generation -- low single digits. Most incremental power in the US these days (new capacity being added) is natural gas and wind.

2) According to a PNL/DOE study, 84% of our vehicles could be switched over today without building any new power plants. The reason is because most EV charging is done at night, when we have huge surplus generation capacity

3) There is little to no need for new bulk distribution, for the same reason as #2. Only local distribution infrastructure may need upgrades when there's high penetration in particular neighborhoods for home charging.

Re:Minor problem (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917720)

In Hawaii, nearly all electricity is generated by burning imported oil and naphtha. Geothermal is tiny and unreliable and they must sell power at the same price as the fossil-fuel plants. Wind turbines are rusting away unused: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html [americanthinker.com] . Solar is too expensive.

Re:Minor problem (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917846)

1) Not "nearly all"; it's about 2/3rds.

2) Hawaii has 1.3 million people. The US has 300 million people. It's a tiny fraction of the US population. In the US, only Hawaii, the outlying islands, and remote parts of Alaska and the a few remote spots in the desert southwest run on oil-fired power. It makes up 1.6% of our total mix [humanityy.com] . Why? It has nothing to do with the environment; oil-fired power is very expensive. The only thing oil has going for it is that it's easy to get to remote locations, and hence, its used in places like Hawaii and the remote parts of Alaska.

3) Gee willickers, wind farms from the 1970s and 1980s are being decommissioned? Who would ever have guessed that power plants built with technology that has been surpassed many times over could be cheaper to replace than to maintain? Thank god some of those ancient relics are finally getting decommissioned; not only are they expensive and failure prone, but they're often sited poorly and are often bird killers (Altamont Pass in particular). If you were trying to design a raptor cuisinart, designing turbines the way they did for Altamont and placing them in that location would be the way to do it. Anyway, as for the failure rate itself, if you want, I can dig up my spreadsheet of turbine data from the Netherlands, where they documented every turbine in the country and its status. The overall failure rate is extremely low. (and tends to follow a bathtub curve), and the older turbines were *much* less reliable than the modern ones.

4) The wind PTC is under 2 cents per kWh. The estimated health cost from coal power plant emissions, according to the last study I read, ranged from 2 cents to 14 cents per kWh, depending on the plant. *Not* counting climate change, mining consequences, or anything of that nature -- purely airborne emissions.

5) Photovoltaic solar is too expensive for general purpose power generation, but there are many situations individuals or companies can find them in where it's a big cost saver, even without credits. A reasonable installation cost and $2/wh panels in the desert southwest, for example, can produce a good IRR versus commercial or residential rates. The new generation of solar thermal is much cheaper than oil-fired power (some companies claim they'll be able to reach coal parity like wind has in a few places already, but I think that's yet to be proven).

Re:Minor problem (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917874)

Oh, and I missed your ridiculous remark about geothermal. Geothermal has a capacity factor of greater than 90% (coal is generally 70-90%). It's incredibly cheap in good locations; what defines a "good location" keeps growing every year, and with EGS, could ultimately include almost anywhere on the planet.

And for your information, here's wind installed capacity in the US [gcbl.org] . It'll be lower for 2010, but so is *all* new power intsalls, as the recession decreased power demand.

Re:Minor problem (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917916)

I wonder if Tidal Turbines might be useful in Hawaii (lots of coast / near coast to work with).

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

Re:Minor problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35919650)

Too many surfers, and not enough janitors to clean them off the turbines :)

Also I imagine it'd be considered as affecting the visual appeal of the islands, and since a large part of their economy is tourism...

Re:Minor problem (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919696)

Too many surfers, and not enough janitors to clean them off the turbines :)

The phrase "two birds with one stone" comes to mind...

Re:Minor problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918680)

No one is talking about all the new electric power plants that will be needed to supply this demand.

That's because there won't need to be any. Derp

in other words... (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917528)

it's exactly the same problem as we have with current power plugs. the US will (eventually) have a standard and nobody in Europe will agree on one.

Re:in other words... (1)

MJMullinII (1232636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919354)

it's exactly the same problem as we have with current power plugs. the US will (eventually) have a standard and nobody in Europe will agree on one.

Which I think should make it clear for all time -- Democracy simply does NOT work.

The wisdom of the Founder's Representative Republic strikes again.

pun! (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917638)

"EV Fast-Charging Standards In Flux" get it? Charging - flux? oooops,

Mennekes connector is the way to go (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920228)

The comments on the linked blog are much more informative than the ones in this Slashdot thread this time. The general consensus over there is that the German Mennekes (type II) connector is the one that will hopefully be used, as it is much more future-proof (3.7 - 43.5kW in one connector). Let's hope sanity wins in the end, and it wins over the other designs.

Remember, we should all be aiming towards universality and quality, since this one decision will have a massive effect for years, possibly decades to come.

2 Way and Buy Back Peak load capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920550)

Its not only charging that matters.
Electricity companies want to Bid/Buy electricity off EV's at peak load periods.
If 'out of adapters' becomes a problem during an earthquake/snowstorm, then National infrastructure is threatened.
ONE socket is needed, and in future a common bid/accept protocol for EV buybacks.

Lighting standards (1)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35920650)

The EU has had different, better automotive lighting standards for years, as well. The US has not managed to catch up to these, either.

charging batteries.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35920774)

My biggest question is, what happens to all the batteries when they can no longer be charged or be used?? Would we need some sort of storage area set up in each state with hazardous waste restrictions or?? Would this turn into a situation whereby as in the nucleur industry that we know how to make and use the energy, but have no idea as to how to deal with the waste?? I will confess, this is not a subject I am all too familiar with.... so any help would be appreciated.

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