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Auto Makers Announce Electric Car Charging Standard

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-could-change-my-mind-when-widespread dept.

Power 373

Overly Critical Guy writes "Auto makers are launching a universal EV charger that charges an electric vehicle in 15 to 20 minutes. The standard, called Combined Charging System, has been approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers and ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, as the standard for fast-charging electric vehicles."

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373 comments

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Define "charges" (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897685)

I could claim that my phone "charges" in 30 seconds, and I'd be correct. Of course, it only charges ~1% in 30 seconds, so that's not very useful.

When they say this charger will charge your car in 15 minutes, I'm assuming they don't mean a full charge. But what DO they mean?

Re:Define "charges" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897703)

Earth to government: There is no hole! There is no hole in sight!

Re:Define "charges" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898233)

Submitter: Overly Critical Guy.

Looks like Microsoft's bought another slot.

Re:Define "charges" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897761)

Often when it comes to fast charge solutions, the quoted time is to reach 80% charge. The remaining 20% usually take a relatively long time because it's slower to charge a battery that's almost fully charged. You can see this in action pretty clearly if you own a laptop.

It also KILLS the battery faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898533)

Fast charging battery tend to have very low lifespan.

But in the end the problem is not only limited to the charger. What about actual millage?? A 100 MPC is nowhere acceptable for a commute ride, much less a cross town trip. And except for the Tesla, no EV today actually give the real life 100 MPC.

Re:It also KILLS the battery faster (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898559)

The average commute in the US is 40 miles round trip.

Re:Define "charges" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897815)

It means the batteries will universally charge you for a new expensive replacement in 1.5 to 2 years deppending on how often you drive. Or something like that.

Re:Define "charges" (5, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897829)

Valid question. But for something like the Volt, they only operate the battery from ~30% capacity to 80% capacity, which means you can fast charge a "full charge". Most batteries don't have to slow the charging until somewhere over 90% capacity.

Better question is how many KWh can it deliver in 15 mins? Since vehicle battery capacities vary significantly, that's the relevant question.

Re:Define "charges" (4, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897913)

Better question is how many KWh can it deliver in 15 mins?

Depends on the power available to the charger. For example, Volt's battery is about 16 kWh. If it is used by 2/3 (10 kWh) then to charge it in 1/4 of an hour you need to apply 40 kW for 15 minutes.

When you fuel your gas car the average [chemical] power of the connection is 8 MW.

Re:Define "charges" (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897963)

Which is exactly why I asked the question. How much power can it deliver in 15 minutes? It will have maximum voltage and amperage that the connection is capable of delivering, yielding a maximum power it can deliver, yielding a maximum energy it can deliver. And the commonly used unit for measuring electric energy is KWh.

So again, how many KWh can it deliver in 15 mins? Everything else is secondary.

Re:Define "charges" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898039)

According to http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-57427823-54/automakers-heres-how-well-charge-evs-in-15-20-minutes/ it is rated at 500 volts at 200 amps. So the total KWh for fifteen minutes would be 25.

Re:Define "charges" (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897991)

When you fuel your gas car the average [chemical] power of the connection is 8 MW.

But that's the difference - it does not take as much power to pump the fuel to my car, so it can be done pretty fast (full tank from empty in a couple of minutes), it is even possible to do it manually (using a gas canister) if car ran out of gas before you reached the station.

Re:Define "charges" (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898245)

I'm sure vendors will very quickly develop a "gas canister" sized portable battery pack for emergencies. It'll be even more convenient than the current petrol versions.

Re:Define "charges" (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898333)

That would be interesting - a small, but very powerful battery.

Usually the problem with small batteries is that they cannot supply a lot of power, even if they have a lot of energy. I am most familiar with lead-acid batteries (the kind that is used in a UPS), if you discharge them in 10 minutes or so, the real capacity becomes very small compared to the rated capacity (which is rated for a 20 hour discharge).

As electric cars need a lot of electricity (compared to, say, gasoline powered cars), the battery would have to have large capacity and be able to deliver it in 10 minutes or less, which may be a problem.
As it is now, if I ever manage to run out of gasoline (and LPG) I can just stop, take the can out of the trunk and pour the gasoline into the appropriate tank in my car. It takes a couple of minutes at most. Then I drive to a gas station to fill the can and fill the tank part way (the priority is like this - LPG (cheaper), then gas can ten gas tank if I still have some cash).

Re:Define "charges" (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898513)

the battery would have to have large capacity and be able to deliver it in 10 minutes or less

Not really.

The battery would be plugged in and stay in the car. Maybe even automatically switch it to an energy conservation mode to get it to the nearest charging station. For longer (remote area) rescues, you could probably even hire/use a battery or generator trailer.

Making things electric allows for a lot of smarts to be included.

Re:Define "charges" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898295)

...it is even possible to do it manually (using a gas canister) if car ran out of gas before you reached the station.

Do you have a citation for that assertion or are you just making that up?

Re:Define "charges" (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898351)

It is possible to carry some extra gasoline in a canister in the trunk, so if I run out, I can pour the gasoline from the canister to the tank. Did that a few times. Even if the canister was empty (or I forgot to bring it with me), I could still go to the nearest gas station on foot, buy the canister if I don't have one, fill it and bring it to my car, pour the gasoline to the tank and drive to the gas station. My dad did that once.

Re:Define "charges" (5, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898551)

...it is even possible to do it manually (using a gas canister) if car ran out of gas before you reached the station.

Do you have a citation for that assertion or are you just making that up?

You want a citation for "carrying a spare gallon of fuel in a fuel can in the trunk"?

Jesus. What are you, a wikipedia editor?

Re:Define "charges" (2, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897993)

8MW is a measure of power, but it's irrelevant to the question at hand. Gas powered vehicles waste most of the energy in gasoline. Heat, friction, conversion efficiency, etc. So the theoretical power flowing through a fuel hose has only an indirect relationship to the amount of power an EV will require to theoretically be able to "charge" as quickly as you can refuel.

Re:Define "charges" (3, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898137)

Gasoline engines of around 100 HP are at efficiency from 25% to 30%. An EV that is 100% efficient would need to transfer energy at the rate of about 2 MW to match the energy density of hydrocarbon fuels (and the fueling time.)

There is another way to calculate it. As we know,

The Volt is propelled by an electric motor with a peak output of 111 kW (149 hp) delivering 273 lb-ft (368 N-m) of torque. (Wikipedia.)

If we presume that this motor is sufficient for all modes of operation (probably true) then we can say that the car takes 110 kW to run at 80 mph. If we want the range to be 300 miles (which is on the lower edge of usual ranges but will certainly do for an EV) then we need to drive for 4 hours. This will consume 440 kWh.

If the charger can transfer 2 MW of power then the charging will take 13.2 minutes. This does not include issues of battery cooling that will certainly arise at that rate of charging.

Considering that 80 mph is not the most efficient speed, the actual energy needs and the charging time will be somewhat smaller - like 10 minutes - but I don't know how much energy it may take to run Volt at different speeds.

Re:Define "charges" (5, Interesting)

FishTankX (1539069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898251)

You're calculations are wrong. If the volt used 110kw to run at 80MPH, it would drain it's 16kwh battery pack in about 6 minutes, giving it a range of about 11 miles.

If you use this website

http://www.wallaceracing.com/Calculate%20HP%20For%20Speed.php [wallaceracing.com]

And plug in the relevant numbers for the volt (0.28cod, 25 sqft frontal area, ~3800lbs) you'll see that the volt only consumes around 24kw cruising at 80MPH.

The main reason cars have multiple hundred horse power engines is because acceleration is power demanding.

Re:Define "charges" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898427)

"You're calculations are wrong"

You are grammar is wrong.

"would drain it's 16kwh battery"

it's means it is.

Re:Define "charges" (3, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898143)

All true, aside from the "irrelevant" part: power capacity is very nearly the only relevant factor in an electric-vehicle charging system, aside from the obvious safety considerations. Electric vehicles do indeed require somewhat less energy to travel a given distance. However, all those factors combined only make an ideal (100% efficient) electric vehicle about 3-5 times more energy-efficient (gasoline being somewhere between 20% and 30%), whereas the 8MW delivered by a gas pump is 200 times the GP's estimated 40 kW charging rate. Whether the target is 8MW or 1MW, we're still a long way from matching the recharge rate possible with chemical energy.

Re:Define "charges" (2)

caladine (1290184) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897851)

Well, they mean the system they're proposing will support charging your vehicle in as little as 15 minutes.
i.e. The connector supports lots of different fast-charging options ( 3 phase AC, High Voltage DC) and can handle the current required* to charge in 15 minutes.
*Naturally, YMMV - since you need to be able to source the current required, charging times are dependent upon battery size, etc.

Re:Define "charges" (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898153)

But it does allow people to start planning service stations with some confidence that they will be able to service the bulk of the fleet, instead of needing charge stations for each car.

The 15 to 20 minutes is a reasonable amount of time as well. By the time you refill your coffee, pump the bilge, buy the snack, your car would be ready.

This also allows restaurants and coffee shops on major highways to start installing charge stations in their lots. They sell you the juice while you are having your lunch. We could see gas stations disappear in our life time. (Well, maybe in your life time).

Standardization of basic infrastructure like this is a key hurdle for EVs to gain market share. But the typical (and optimistic) 100 mile range of a Battery Electric Vehicle is still a killer for anything but around town driving.

Re:Define "charges" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898505)

By the time you refill your coffee, pump the bilge, buy the snack, your car would be ready.

*And* wait in line for the one or two EVs in front of you to finish.

Sense? (2)

kae77 (1006997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897689)

If this catches on (I don't see any Japanese partners in TFA), it could be a sudden outbreak of common sense. Maybe even... convenience for the consumer?

Still not practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897693)

Why not make the batteries replaceable? Just switch them as a gas station, simple.

Re:Still not practical (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897729)

Why not make the batteries replaceable? Just switch them as a gas station, simple.

Because it's a stupid idea for reasons we've covered numerous times before.

1. Either you need a standard battery which prevents auto manufacturers from building different vehicles with different batteries, or the replacement station needs to store all possible batteries.
2. If you get there with a flat battery and they're out then you're screwed. That's not a big deal for a car where you can drive on to the next gas station twenty miles down the road, but a big problem if your electric car only does eighty miles per charge anyway.
3. Replacing batteries that weigh several hundred pounds is far from a simple task.
4. No-one wants to pay $30k for a new car, then drive it into a replacement station where they'll hand over their brand new battery and have it replaced by one that's done 500,000 miles.

etc, etc, etc.

Re:Still not practical (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897853)

1. Different vehicles with the same battery profile. Or have standards. Small medium large.
2. If you get to a gas station and they are out you are screwed.
3. It isnt that hard, there are already prototypes. We refill flying planes with other flying planes and you think this is 'far from simple?
4. Then dont include the battery with the car. 20k or whatever for the car and some 'battery insurance' in case you rally your car and the battery falls out. At that point you don't care what condition the battery is in, it isn't yours.

etc etc etc please do go on, the one and only problem is getting an entire nation to roll out stations which is expensive with a slow return on investment and getting auto manufacturers to standardize batteries.

Re:Still not practical (5, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898195)

3. It isnt that hard, there are already prototypes. We refill flying planes with other flying planes and you think this is 'far from simple?

Aerial refueling is far from simple, but it is performed by highly trained operators in billion dollar equipment. And you use that to justify why installing 100,000 battery changers, performing hundreds of millions of changes a year, operated by idiot consumers with cheap vehicles is somehow easy? You might as well say "We put a man on the moon, why don't we all travel in miniature scramjet pods?"

etc etc etc please do go on, the one and only problem is getting an entire nation to roll out stations which is expensive with a slow return on investment and getting auto manufacturers to standardize batteries.

So the only problems are that the infrastructure is too expensive to be profitable and the vehicles are too expensive to be profitable. Sure, that sounds totally viable in a free-market economy. /sarcasm.

Why are people so obsessed with having gas stations for electric cars? That defeats the whole purpose. Charge the car at home and at work, like your smartphone. No trips out of your way, no cruising for the cheapest price, no waiting by the pump, just a few seconds before and after to plug/unplug. If you need to go long distance, take a train/plane/bus, enjoy the view and relax for once in your life. And if your commute is too long, then you're not in the target demographic anyways.

For the cost of installing battery-swap infrastructure in a handful of locations, we could cover a city with standard charging stations. Then you could charge no matter where you park. Even installing networks of the fast-chargers on major corridors will end up being cheaper and more versatile.

Besides, you've seen how long it took them to agree on a standard for a charging plug. Just think how long it would take them to agree on standards for whole battery packs. By the time they finish, we'll have 400-mile Litihium-Air batteries and hydrogen fuel cell backups, and no one will care anymore.

Charge plug standard just in time to be obsolete (2)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898257)

Besides, you've seen how long it took them to agree on a standard for a charging plug. Just think how long it would take them to agree on standards for whole battery packs. By the time they finish, we'll have 400-mile Litihium-Air batteries and hydrogen fuel cell backups, and no one will care anymore.

What I find hilarious about this is that I've started seeing a number of proposals to switch to parking spot mounted inductive chargers. They're agreeing on a standard plug when the plug might end up going away anyways. In which case you wouldn't even need to spend a minute plugging your car in - just park and accept the charge for the electricity while inside your car(assuming that it's not a subscription and therefore fully automatic).

Re:Charge plug standard just in time to be obsolet (2)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898499)

Sure, there are proposals for inductive charging systems, but they are years away from any reasonable standard, and I don't think "fast charging" speeds are even physically practical at the moment. Inductive charging will always be less efficient than plug charging, and given the likely cost of deploying permanent inductive charging stations, uptake will be slow in markets where the plug works just as well. I certainly don't anticipate everyone digging up their driveways and garages to install them. Besides, there is no way they can sell an electric car without a standard 120V "contingency" charger, and that needs a plug. Trust me, friend, the humble plug is going nowhere, and we will be thanking them in a decade that all our cars have the same standard.

Re:Still not practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898357)

For a rapid ramp-up of EVs, a combination of battery switching and public charging is the way to go. That's essential the Better Place plan although there are a few aspects I don't like.

And all the supposed problems you mention have already been solved by them but a lot depends on the reliability of their communications network.
And their swap stations don't have a problem with multiple battery pack formats as most of these would be bottom-mounted anyway.

Re:Still not practical (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898385)

"Besides, you've seen how long it took them to agree on a standard for a charging plug. Just think how long it would take them to agree on standards for whole battery packs."

Once you have that standard, you are STUCK with it, and replacing that sort of equipment isn't like going from AT to ATX form-factors in disposable PCs.

Electric car development is still in its infancy. A great way to "knife the baby" would be too many standards too early in the game.

Re:Still not practical (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898503)

Charge the car at home and at work, like your smartphone

The problem with charging at work is that charging everyone's car during peak electric demand hours is a terrible idea. Cars should be charged in the middle of the night with cheaper electricity, not dumped on the grid just as the day starts heating up.

Re:Still not practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897891)

$700mn raised by better place throughout the GFC, a nation-scale roll-out in Israel and Denmark and an ongoing one in Australia, along extensive well-publicized proof-of-concept rigs running for months on end and driving 24/7 suggests you're regurgitating old preconceptions and have utterly no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Still not practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897973)

Seems to me only way it would work is if you buy the car without a battery, and then buy into some sort of a battery scheme whereby you only rent the use of batteries from a supplier. It might seem more expensive, but the supplier would own all batteries, and replace the failing ones etc. It's not too far fetched.
And if we do come up with a great battery design, why wouldn't we use it in all electric models? With bigger cars using 2 batteries instead of 1...

Re:Still not practical (3)

Cosgrach (1737088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898001)

Actually, it's not all that stupid.

1. Standardized battery packs can only be a good idea. Auto manufactures should develop and conform to standard packs (at least size, shape, and voltage). As battery chemistry progresses, it's not difficult to get the benefit of an upgrade. Just put it in.

2. If you run that close to the edge that you arrive at the station with little or not charge left, you are a fool. That being said, I'm sure that they could spot you with a quick (15 minute charge) so you can get to the next station or get home to do a proper charge.

3. You are not a mechanical engineer, are you? It is not really that hard to build an automated battery swapping system.

4. This is the hard bit. You would get a choice: It comes with a standard capacity (low cost) battery that the dealer/charging stations/whoever owns but you pay a small amount extra per swap. If you want a better battery that you own, then buy one outright, and charg it at you home / work / or other plug in charging station.

It's not rocket science people.

Re:Still not practical (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898235)

exactly! just think about propane tanks. most places i go, they just take your empty tank and hand you a full one. all the rest is engineering and standardization. imagine a car-wash set-up that slips into a keyed channel on the underside of the car the charged battery in front of the depleted one that it slips out. it's not only not rocket science, it isn't brain surgery.

Re:Still not practical (1)

CozmicCharlie (1471823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898515)

Really!? Are you really comparing battery packs to propane tanks!? How much is an empty propane tank? How often do they wear out? Now, how much is a battery pack and how often do they wear out? While it's not rocket science, or brain surgery, your suggestion financially unsound.

Re:Still not practical (2)

n8r0n (1447647) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898323)

Oh, stop it. Sorry, but this debate isn't over. Don't try to bully this forum by simply resorting to name-calling.

A standard set of battery sizes (A, AA, AAA, C, D, camera batteries, 9-volts, watch batteries, etc.) and capacities has prevented electronic device makers from building different devices? No, it hasn't.

The electric car battery issue is also a bigger deal, so there's even more motivation to come up with a standard solution. People aren't terribly worried about charge times for their flashlight, but they are for their EVs.

Your point number 2 ... do you worry about gas stations being "out of fuel"? (you actually did in the 70s, but that didn't stop people from wanting cars). You're exploiting the fact that any new technology has certain chicken-and-egg issues. As soon as EVs are prevalent, charge stations will exist to meet demand, like what you see for any other product. 3? Don't confuse "simple" with "not able to be done by hand". No, a person can't lift an EV battery pack. That doesn't mean they can't be made modularly to be swapped out by a machine with some mechanical advantage. A gas pump can pump hundreds of pounds of fuel in a few minutes. A battery lift isn't fundamentally more complex.

4 can be addressed. First of all, you're not stuck with the battery you swap in at a charge station, any more than you're stuck with the one that comes with your car. Like an odometer in a car, you attach a lifecycle monitor to each battery pack, so it's known how many cycles it's gone through. For a multi-thousand dollar pack, that's easily a justifiable expense.

You'd also probably have to sign up for some kind of network to be allowed to use the swapping system. That way, if you try to leave them with some kind of battery that's had its cycle counter tampered with, the charge station knows who you are. Lack of anonymity is a minor inconvenience for getting a full battery in a few minutes. Besides, nobody today (except tinfoil hats) buys gas with anything but a credit/debit card, which certainly isn't anonymous.

You're out of excuses.

Re:Still not practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898441)

I understand #1 and #3, but 2 and 4 I think are issues. For #4, the point would be that you never really own a battery. Its more like you join a "battery club". You don't buy the battery when you buy the car really - you buy the right to exchange batteries. For #2 I think there could be adequate quality control to make this extremely rare. When you think about it #2 and 4 are tied together.

#1 - that is legitimate. What incentive would a company have to innovate if the first exchange you just lose the latest charge. On the other hand your "battery club" could get a leg up on other "batter clubs" if it upgraded its fleet of batteries I suppose (but would be harder). #3 is a potentially bigger problem depending on the charging time for the exchanged batteries.

What I think would be a bigger problem is that if you really join a battery club when you buy a car - it may be a long trip between stations.

Re:Still not practical (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898527)

That's right.. it's so stupid that Better Place raised $700 million to do it.

Thank you for pointing out how difficult it would be if they ran out. It's not like one switch station with 15 batteries could swap batteries for over 2500 EVs. and each station would cost 1/2 the cost of a gas station.. and the batteries could be swapped out in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Place [wikipedia.org]
http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/03/better-place-denmark-plan-gives-glimpse-of-battery-exchange-cost.html [autoobserver.com]
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/05/better-place/ [wired.com]
http://www.autoobserver.com/2010/04/battery-swap-program-begins-in-tokyo-with-taxi-company-demo.html [autoobserver.com]

You're such a genius for pointing how wrong they are.

Re:Still not practical (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897735)

Simple in theory, incredibly complex in practice. Not to mention expensive.

But these guys [betterplace.com] are still working on it.

I hope this helps the electric car market. (4, Insightful)

dopaz (148229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897695)

Standardization sounds like a good plan, so we can focus on one format of charging infrastructure.

Pit stop (4, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897715)

With my prostrate, it takes me about that long to pee anyway, so it's good to see progress is being made.

Re:Pit stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897837)

I've always found it hard to pee laying down as well, plus it gets all over you!

Re:Pit stop (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898015)

A few years ago I was in Boston, and heard a PSA on the radio. It was Mayor Menino talking about prostate cancer screenings... but it seemed like he wasn't sure how to pronounce it. About half the time he said "prostate", the other half he said "prostrate".

Then I realized that they probably recorded multiple takes, and this was the best one they could get.

Re:Pit stop (2)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898271)

The question was answered in your first sentence. You have to realize that in Boston, the letter R has zero meaning. You're allowed to remove any R from any word or add an extra R anywhere in any word.

Re:Pit stop (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898471)

Even at the beginning of the word?

rat=at?
rate=ate?
rum=um?

15-30 minutes (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897755)

This just in, gas stations rolling out new chargers that will charge your vehicle for a whole week and it will only take 2 minutes. Please have your credit card handy.

Re:15-30 minutes (1)

billius (1188143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897945)

This just in, gas stations rolling out new chargers that will charge your vehicle for a whole week and it will only take 2 minutes. Please have your credit card handy.

That's a fair point, but I could still see this being very practical if it's the type of thing you could do at home. I really like the idea of not having to worry about whether or not my car has enough "juice" (be it gasoline or electricity) because it gets fully charged every night.

Re:15-30 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898163)

If that's your definition of practical, the current all electric cars will fully charge in 4 to 8 hours at home. That should be fine for your needs.

For me to go all electric I'd need a 15 minute or less charge with 300+ mile range. Of course it would also need to handle as well, be as fast, etc as my current car. I could handle a road trip at that rate, taking food breaks every 300/75 = 4 hours.

Re:15-30 minutes (3, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897947)

While I see your point, the result of this will be that we're going to see "refueling stations" pop up in a lot of heretofore unexpected places. To start, without the need for gas to be trucked in and stored locally they don't need the same infrastructure that a regular gas station does. Because of this, you can simply install one or two of these in common parking areas. Then, imagine going to a mall where you can park, plug in to a station (I'd imagine a handful per row, not one per spot) and do your shopping. Even if you're not in there long enough to get a full charge, you're still better off than you once were. It's also an extra feature that can be touted by various shopping locales to get people to shop there, and then combined with loyalty cards for "fuel" discounts for further enticements.

The main issue I see with this is how to make sure that while you're away someone doesn't unplug the charger, plug it into their own car, charge for a few minutes, and drive off. I haven't seen the spec, but including the ability (if not making it mandatory) that when unplugging the charger the transaction ceases sounds like a good idea. That opens its own problems to pranking, but I'd think most people would prefer not having a fully-charged car to having a fully-charged car and also paying for someone else's fully-charge car.

Some sort of locking mechanism with a key (like subway/airport lockers, before TERRERISTS made them go away) might be an option, but that introduces another set of problems and seems outside the goal of this spec.

I can also see large companies with their own campuses, especially the likes of Apple or Google, installing these in their parking lots for employees and using a "co-op" setup, where the employees get the charge at cost or barely above. If they included some sort of valet system (I wouldn't be surprised if they already had something like that at the larger facilities), cars could be dropped off, charged, and parked once done on a rotating basis.

In short, gas stations as we understand them will die off with the use of gasoline (assuming it ever does so) and new options will emerge that will work with the extended refuel time. Also, if the 15-20 minutes is from near-empty to full charge (What, RTFA? Please.), most people will probably only need 2 minutes worth of charging to make sure they can get back home for short hops. They'll plug in at home and do a long charge overnight.

Re:15-30 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898019)

Sheetz (a semi-local gas station on the east coast) already rolled out/is rolling out electric charging stations

Re:15-30 minutes (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898085)

There are several in my neighborhood, near downtown Chicago, in places you wouldn't expect. The parking lot for Walgreens for example. Other mall parking lots. Commuter train stations which seems like a really great idea, so people can charge their car while they're at work.

I just finished an interesting book about one part of the oil industry, Exxon-Mobil, called Private Empire. It's by Steve Coll, the writer from the New Yorker who's won a couple of Pulitzers. He spent a lot of time talking to Exxon people, and got unprecedented access to the company. He posits that Exxon isn't worried about solar, or wind, or any alternative fuel. The only technology that could present an existential threat to their hegemony as the most powerful corporation in the world (their own military, ambassadors, foreign policy, etc) - the one technology that worries them, is batteries. If there is a significant advance in battery technology, they're screwed. Apparently, they waited too long because of the ideological bent of their last CEO and didn't spend any money researching or acquiring tech that could help them in those areas, and now that their new CEO has (at least publicly) dropped the company's funding of anti-AGW groups, it's too late for them to make any inroads there.

I'm not particularly fond of Exxon-Mobil as a company. I don't buy gas (or soda pop, or cigarettes, or candy bars) from Exxon-Mobil and will drive an extra couple of miles to shop with a company that isn't quite so evil (Sunoco is my favorite). But the book was a fascinating read.

By the way, there are a couple of start-ups right here in Illinois that have been doing pretty well with research (partnered with UofIllinois) and development and manufacture of batteries for electric automobiles. Couple of thousand people working in a pretty hard-hit part of the state. They export batteries to Europe and Asia. They got start-up money from the DoE, just like Solyndra, but these companies have succeeded and one has already paid back all the government money with interest.

Does anyone think that we have reached some sort of absolute limit on the ability of batteries to power automobiles? I don't know enough about the technology to know one way or the other.

Re:15-30 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898263)

We have had them scattered around Apple for some time.

Re:15-30 minutes (4, Interesting)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898355)

Heads-up: DC fast charging (L3) is NOT designed to replace the normal "slow" L1/L2 AC charging. At least with current battery technologies, frequent fast charging will dramatically reduce the lifespan of your battery pack and is discouraged by the manufacturers. Fast chargers should ONLY show up in places where people need emergency charging or need to make 100-300 mile hops between urban centers. When you do use them, expect to pay about as much as you would for a tank of gas. You'll want to avoid this as much as possible so you can actually save money by operating your EV.

Fast chargers are significantly more expensive to install than L2 (220VAC) chargers because they normally require *battery buffers* to reduce peak load on the grid. Commercial parking lots will almost never opt for expensive fast chargers when the standard L2 chargers provide about 30 miles of range in one hour, more than enough to aid your customers and much easier on your wallet and theirs alike.

The primary charging method of all EVs will still be slow-charging at home, just like you do with your smart phone. It's cheaper, easier, and takes less of your time than waiting around 15 minutes for it to finish at some dingy gas station. There is absolutely no reason to use fast chargers but in exceptional circumstances.

These are the "new options" that you speak of. Parking = Charging is where we need to be, and it will cover the vast majority of EV operating hours. The DC fast chargers are only to fill in the gaps between parked chargers, not some sort of "gas station replacement". The whole point of the electric vehicle is to do away with the gas station model and simply live off the grid, getting power whenever and wherever you happen to be.

Re:15-30 minutes (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898467)

To start, without the need for gas to be trucked in and stored locally they don't need the same infrastructure that a regular gas station does. Because of this, you can simply install one or two of these in common parking areas.

The same argument could be made for natural gas. And no, you don't want one of these in a common parking area. In a word, children. Anything that can dump several thousand watts of juice into a vehicle in that short of a time can be fucked with, and probably with deadly results. Also... unlike a gas station, the use of these pretty much mandates the use of credit cards... I haven't found an unattended gas station with a cash reader... ever. I like cash -- it works when the power goes out, the computer fouls up, the bank decides to hate me, the government decides I'm a terrorist, or my partner decides to drain my account dry and leave me hanging.

In short, gas stations as we understand them will die off with the use of gasoline (assuming it ever does so) and new options will emerge that will work with the extended refuel time.

buwahahahahahaaaaaaaa! *wipes tear from eye* Two words: Energy density. A gas-powered car using today's technology can travel 300+ miles, and refuel in 2 minutes before resuming its trip. Electric cars using today's technology can only travel half that distance and require 30x the amount of charging time, if not more. Using an electric car on a road trip with today's tech would waste would add 25% or more to the trip time. Using the charging methods on the market now, you'd be better off using a bicycle... -_-

All this eco-tech has huge drawbacks in terms of performance and convenience... and it costs more too. eco- is not econo-.

Re:15-30 minutes (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898537)

they don't need the same infrastructure that a regular gas station does

Yes, they need a completely different set of infrastructure. Starting with having an electric substation very close by...

Re:15-30 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897971)

That gas station charger also uses materials that are here for a limited time only. These materials will keep getting more expensive, until most people cannot afford to use it every day.

Re:15-30 minutes (2)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898369)

Spend about $36.00 in 5 minutes to drive for another 350 miles or about $3.00 in 20 to drive about another 64 miles (assuming comparable subcompacts, highway miles). Keep in mind, you will spend that 5 minutes fueling at a gas station, where you can charge at home and possibly at work, play, and shopping. So, if your idle time is really valuable, or you just go on long trips frequently, you may want to keep a gas car around.

I putter along at about 25 miles per day, with the odd 200 mile trip every few months where I don't mind stopping a couple of times to stretch, take a leak, grab some grub, etc... So, about every quarter, I would drive about 2350 miles. I would spend about 40 minutes during that time fueling my gas car (33 mpg combined, 9 gallons per stop), and 1 hour 20 minutes (4 80% recharges) screwing around at charging stations (20 minutes for 19.2kWh, 80% of a 24kWh pack, 64 miles per). I will have spent about $285 in Gas or about $12 at the charging stations, plus about $94 in household electricity (assuming no "free" charging).

That is about $269 per hour of waiting. Although, this does not include offsets such as the huge upfront cost of the pack (usually a $12k to $14k premium), nor the large difference in maintenance costs. It also does not include the few seconds to plug in the car at home, now that I think about it.

Sounds like communism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897767)

The capitalist way is to have different ways to charge your car - none of this liberal communist standardisation.

Some EVs can't quick charge repeatedly (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897823)

Nissan advises Leaf owners to only Quick Charge twice per month. Some of the newer cars will be able to do it more frequently, possibly without any consequence over slow charging.

Any day now, I'm expecting a lot of noise around owners who didn't RTFM and end up frying their batteries early.

Re:Some EVs can't quick charge repeatedly (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898373)

Frequent fast charging will only be safe once we transition from conventional Li-Ion and Li-Poly batteries to a totally new chemistry like Li-Air. There is simply no way for the batteries we have now to absorb energy that quickly without overstressing the internal components. I know Ford has a fancy liquid cooling system on the Focus EV battery, but they have no fast charge port whatsoever.

Re:Some EVs can't quick charge repeatedly (5, Insightful)

n8r0n (1447647) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898381)

I own a LEAF, and I've heard no such recommendation. They recommend against multiple quick charges per day, but I haven't seen anything about twice a month. You don't want to put the battery through a quick charge when the batteries are real hot, but a battery pack is not going to hold heat for multiple days. Sorry, the thermal mass isn't that high.

Now, they do tell you that the less you quick charge, the longer your battery will last. They say that regular quick charging will leave you with 70% capacity after 8 or 10 years (I can't remember the quoted "lifetime"), and 80% capacity at "end of life" if you don't quick charge, but just use 110V trickle charging and 220V normal charging.

That's not exactly frying your batteries early.

Don't hold your breath on your non-RTFM scenario, dude. First of all, EV owners know the dominant strategy for charging is always going to be charging at home. Very few people are going to be doing a lot of quick charging (maybe cab drivers?). Quick charging is likely to be significantly more expensive per kWh than charging at home, and people just don't buy LEAFs if they do a lot of long-distance (100 miles+) driving. If they did, they'd but a Volt.

Can the batteries be charged that fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897827)

Anybody know if the lithium-oxygen batteries (when they finally make them for cars) will charge that fast?

beware the exploding cars (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897833)

lets just hope that Sony isn't supplying the batteries...

Whither Tesla? (4, Insightful)

johndoe42 (179131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897841)

This is endorsed by Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche and Volkswagen. Tesla is conspicuously missing. The Tesla Roadster and the Tesla Model S are the only electric cars in or near production that are close to road-trip worthy, so the omission is unfortunate.

Re:Whither Tesla? (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897859)

I'd be much more worried about the fact that neither Honda nor Toyota are there. In fact, neither is Nissan or Kia. I'd imagine that no Asian car makers being involved could be a big problem.

ObligXKCD (2)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897929)

Yeah! Standards! [xkcd.com]

Re:Whither Tesla? (5, Informative)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897919)

It's too late. All the Japanese manufacturers standardized on CHAdeMO [wikipedia.org] for charging.

Re:Whither Tesla? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898021)

This.

Re:Whither Tesla? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898027)

Rather than fight a standards war, they'll likely adopt this for the US and European models. Having the charging infrastructure is more important than the specific charging system.

Re:Whither Tesla? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898061)

How does it compare technically to this one?

Re:Whither Tesla? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898119)

So how would they retrofit the charger into their current cars. Do they even have a road map that extends 4 months let alone 5+ years it will take to roll this out?

Re:Whither Tesla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898191)

Tesla IS pretty much Toyota these days.

Re:Whither Tesla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898361)

Not even close to being Toyota.

Re:Whither Tesla? (2)

thomkt (59664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898345)

That's odd. It's Daimler using Tesla's batteries in their electric Smart?

Re:Whither Tesla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898407)

Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen are parts of one parent company. How many own BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, and GM now?

Re:Whither Tesla? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898431)

I would guess the Tesla is absent because their battery packs are made from 6000-7000 laptop batteries and can't take rapid charging. They are in "production" because they use a $40000 battery pack that no one else thought was a good idea.

Wow, that's quick, but still need to answer where (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897899)

So for the time it takes to eat at some fast food place you could charge your car. That sounds like real progress to me... Now the next hurdle is how to offer it reliably across the nation. Maybe turn gas/charging stations into fast food places?

Brilliant, a yet-different American-only "standard (5, Interesting)

olden (772043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897903)

And predictably, the only 2 major players in the EV market now, Nissan and Mitsubishi, will just stick to the only widely-deployed fast-charge connector to date, CHAdeMO http://www.chademo.com/ [chademo.com]

By announcing this new American-only Frankenplug, the SAE only helps delaying the (IMHO much-needed) EV adoption in the US and related charging infrastructure. But that's probably exactly what Chrysler & Co want, so they have more time catching up with the Japanese automakers...

Re:Brilliant, a yet-different American-only "stand (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898125)

When did Audi, BMW, Daimler AG, Porsche, and Volkswagen become American companies?

Re:Brilliant, a yet-different American-only "stand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898151)

Shhhh, leaking information about an upcoming invasion could be considered treason. They actually think it's for missile defense...

Re:Brilliant, a yet-different American-only "stand (4, Informative)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898223)

What the J1772 CCS standard has going for it is that it's a free-license standard. (And that it can be covered by a single round "fuel cap".) All those cheapskate developing countries don't want to pay CHAdeMO royalties on every single connector they build, so once China starts producing them en masse the cost for the rest of us will come down. Unless CHAdeMO opens up its standard, it will slowly be eclipsed by the free standard.

Or, consumers will get frustrated that they never have the right plug in the right place, and give up on L3 charging altogether, which doesn't help anyone. Really not sure how this one is going to play out.

Holy crap! (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898159)

Something just dawned on me... They have made a standard for this connection... and you're going to be trapped at the charging station for 20min... How long do you think it will take them to include a data connection along with the plug and the car companies allow them to flood your car with ads for 20min as part of the payment for the charge?

Re:Holy crap! (1)

AtariEric (571910) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898211)

Longer than it will take them to simply mount weather-resistant screens and speakers near the pump.

Re:Holy crap! (3, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898299)

Not to mention that at 20 minutes, I'm not going to a 'gas' station. I'm going to the grocery store to pick up my food for the week along with the charge. Heck, I fill up there anyway, it'd be even faster for me. No 5 minutes at the pump waiting for the tank to fill, instead it's 30 seconds plugging my car in before I head inside, then 30 seconds disconnecting when I get out.

That or a restaurant, mall, movie theater, etc....

Of course, most the time it'd simply be charged at home, maybe work. Charging outside of there would be when I'm traveling, and 300 mile range EVs like the Tesla would be running dry about the time I need to stop for a break & food anyways.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898483)

This will only be used for long trips. For most people, I think the idea is you plug in at home. For long trips, you stop for 20 minutes every two hours (I think right now we stop about every 4 for gas). In this case you'll get out and stretch your legs, get coffee/lunch/whatever. It won't be sitting there watching the pump for 20 minutes.

Disappointing (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898277)

I was hoping to see an inductive charger similar to the one sported by the EV1.

Micro USB (4, Funny)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898307)

Why can't they just use micro USB like everyone else?

Re:Micro USB (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898573)

5 volts should be enough for anybody.

We are running out of helium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898331)

And the only thing you care about is electric car charging stations?

Re:We are running out of helium (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898365)

And the only thing you care about is electric car charging stations?

Did anyone not read that in a high-pitched voice?

Just what we need! (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898359)

Finally, a way to charge our laptops in a minute!
We just have to wait for the battery packs and chargers that will appear in a year.

After driving a Leaf for a year (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898455)

One of the things I've discovered is that I almost never need to charge away from home. I've been driving my Leaf for a year and so far I've charged at public stations 3 times, and really only one of those times did I really need to.

Ask yourself this question. If you could fill up your gasoline car in your own garage, how often would you use public gas stations?

Well, I'm shocked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898511)

an Overly Critical Guy submission comes right after a bonch one.

I guess bonch is desperately trying to rebuild his karma after being outed as a shill with several sockpuppet accounts (Overly Critical Guy being one of them) by posting non-Apple stories.

Pretty pathetic if you ask me. bonch posts at -1 for a reason, namely that Slashdot is not stupid enough to fall for a paid commenter spamming FUD and pro-corporate bullshit.

Fuck off and die, bonch.

"Not sure if it is actually production ready" (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898545)

...says the article.

I should say not, given that the photo of the plug at the top of the article would obviously never fit into the photo of the socket halfway down. The accompanying plug photo in the second photo may not have the same problem (at least the two parts of the plugs don't protrude different amounts). Anyway, graphic designer fail.

And, for a less-superficial observation, who's going to want to open two port covers on opposite corners of the socket, especially given that both are likely to be spring-loaded? You're gonna need three hands to plug the car in! Let's hope those were subject to the artist's wild imagination as well.

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