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The Electric Vehicle Charging Conundrum

October 17, 2010

So having an electric vehicle would be a great thing and it might help the environment if your utility gets it’s energy from a clean source. But, at least it gets us out of the business of supporting all those guys in the Middle East who seem to hate us so much. So what came first the chicken or the egg? Well, with electric vehicles it comes down to do I want to buy this Nissan Leaf and maybe not be able to find a place to charge it if I want to drive further than the advertised range or do I buy a car that’s good on gas now and wait on the charging infrastructure to build out before buying my electric car. In places like Sacramento Ca, Los Angeles Ca, San Francisco bay area there are a large number of charging stations installed by businesses already available for use. In Washington state there is the Washington State Electric Highway Project connecting the southern border of Washington with the Border of Canada. These are baby steps and as the cars go into the hands of consumers it will create demand for charging stations. Sort of like the can you hear me now cell phone commercials of old. As ambitious projects like the electric highway get built the smaller projects in towns near that project will want to be included and build their own infrastructure. So, this is a start for now if you live in the middle of the country and you don’t have a lot of charging stations your main use for your EV will be commuting to work and back then if your work site puts in a charging station that increases your range that much further. So it’s back to those baby steps again. A lot of large retailers are getting on this bandwagon as well Costco and Best Buy are installing charging stations at many of their location. Another problem is there is not standard charger plug some use a plug some a paddle etc. So you need a couple of different adapters to go with any charger you may encounter. So, one thing that should come out of this is a standard plug or paddle or whatever it is so that every vehicle can plug into every charger. Wow think how much you would save if cell phones were that way you wouldn’t need a new charger every time you got a new phone. They all do the same the phone companies just make a lot of money on selling you new chargers every time you buy a new phone then you throw the old ones away, we shouldn’t go down that road with electric vehicles. Standards make all the parts from all the companies work together. So with all this in mind consider that electric vehicle if it works for you and your family and commute needs. If it doesn’t now then get the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can and when the infrastructure kinks are worked out go for it then.

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