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Gas stations to serve "quick electric recharges"
Amid the growing trend of more economical hybrid and electric vehicles, and less demand for gas, a major Japanese gasoline companies (Idemitsu, Cosmo, and JX Steel & Oil, and Showa Shell) will start testing the market for “quick electric recharge” service for electric cars at their gas stations.
They plan to incorporate this new experimental service in 30 gas stations in Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures by the end of March. They will place the common EV logo for this service at the participating gas stations, and customers holding any EV-recharge card which was issued by one of the gasoline companies will get an unlimited electric recharge service at any station for about 3,000 yen per month.
All the companies will install the unified recharge system, and launch the common home page to introduce the recharge station locations and availability. Through this experiment, they will study the profitability and customer demand for this service to consider for the additions in the future.
The gas stations will have to adopt to the projected future where the energy efficient vehicles dominate the streets to survive.
The Sun Gets In Your House
So I read this the other day and it got me thinking. Yeah, I know, I smell it too. It is not a question of “winning the future” by choosing energy sources from long dead flora and fauna or renewable, clean and green. More like how do I want to live? This is a good time to envision a possible lifestyle in the near future. Take a Solar Decathlon house and add some flow for charging your NEW CAR!!! Gosh, thanks Mr. Carey.
I’ll take this opportunity to make a rash generalization and say that Tea Party people (Are they people? The science they do not believe in has yet to release significant data.) desire to have gumment leave them alone and stay clear as they live their lives. WELL, this is a topic they rant about often so why not offer a means for them to get Uncle Sam off of their backs? They fear the smart grid and those digital electric meters that will allow G-men to monitor home electric use. From how long they have the grow lights in play to the amount of juice they use while operating the printing press, spiting out $10s and $20s.
My answer to their fears is to decouple from the grid with technology AND SCIENCE. I know, its crazy but inovation and research into electricity storage will allow for anyone who can aford paying 5 to 10 grand for a device that will make it easy to disconnect from the central, utility-run, electic grid. Of course they would be needing a few solar panels or may be a wind turbine to generate the electricity for the flow batteries. Having solar panels on the roof just might make them German, forcing them to eat currywurst and wear lederhosen but at least they could swig steins of beer chilled from a refridgerator that got its power from the sun. Uncle Sam would never know.
Nissan's 10-Minute Car Charger
BY ARIEL SCHWARTZWed Oct 12, 2011What if EVs could be charged up in the time it takes to go to the bathroom and grab a convenience store snack?
Electric vehicles may be cleaner than gasoline-powered cars and cheap to charge, but they come with a major downside: It takes a lot of time to juice them up. But what if EVs could be charged up in the time it takes to go to the bathroom and run into a convenience store for a snack? Nissan is reportedly working on a charger that can juice up an EV in just 10 minutes. It’s the kind of thing that could move EVs from the fringe squarely into the mainstream.
As it stands, charging times for EVs vary from up to eight hours all the way down to 30 minutes (to charge a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf to 80% capacity). Ultra-fast chargers are generally not installed in homes because of the large amount of electricity they require.
Now, apparently Nissan and Japan’s Kansai University have figured out how to shave the charging time down to just 10 minutes by using a capacitor electrode made of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide (instead of carbon, which is used in today’s chargers) to improve power. According to the New York Daily News, the 10-minute battery charger doesn’t have significant impact on voltage or battery storage capacity.
Details are scant, and Nissan has yet to return our request for comment. Apparently, it will take at least a decade before the technology can be commercialized. But it wouldn’t be too out of the blue—Nissan recently unveiled a smaller, cheaper quick-charging EV station—and if the reports are true, the new charger could truly revolutionize the automotive landscape.
Consider: All-electric vehicles would finally make sense for long trips. Because while EV owners now have to sit around and wait potentially for hours while their vehicles charge up—not exactly an ideal setup for a road trip—Nissan’s charger could allow them to quickly juice up and go during a rest-stop break (assuming that the new charger becomes widespread).
Hydrogen fuel cell charging stations already do this—they can give vehicles enough hydrogen to drive off in just three minutes. But automakers have invested heavily in EV technology, and chances are that there will be far more electric cars on the road in 10 years than fuel cell powered ones.
In the meantime, plug-in EVs may be the way to go for people who often travel long distances—and we can hope that another manufacturer comes up with a charging breakthrough that can be commercialized in less than a decade.