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Posts Tagged ‘battery chargers’

eVgo Hopes to Make a Go of it with Vast EV Fast-Charge Network

“Freedom Stations” take aim at range anxiety.

by on Dec.05, 2012

An EV owner prepares to plug into a Level III charger at an eVgo Freedom Station.

While battery sales have been improving in recent months they slowed unexpectedly in November despite the surge in the overall U.S. automotive market. While analysts will likely debate what this specific setback means, even electric vehicle proponents acknowledge sales are being constrained by two key challenges: price and range.

It’s likely to take some time – and some significant developments to lower costs and increase the capacity of today’s lithium-ion battery technology.  But a Texas-based start-up is betting it can help overcome the issue of range anxiety by setting up a network of high-speed chargers dubbed “Freedom Stations.”

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“We think we can overcome the issue of range anxiety and provide EV owners range confidence,” says Terry O’Day, the director of California Business Development for eVgo.

A new subsidiary of Houston-based power company NRG, eVgo wants to install nearly 400 – and possibly more — high-speed Level III chargers in Texas, California and along the Mid-Atlantic region.


Global Auto Growth Will Force Shift to Battery Power, Warns Zetsche

German maker's new charging system cuts time to as little as 1 hour.

by on Apr.06, 2012

Daimler CEO Zetsche wants to expand the maker's investment in battery technology.

Daimler AG is doubling down on electric propulsion – and backing its expanding investment in battery technology with the launch of a new charging system that can recharge the batteries for an electric Smart car in as little as one hour, Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche told the company’s shareholders as he addressed the company annual meeting.

The maker is looking at opportunities to grow electric car sales in not only key Western markets, but also in emerging markets such as China, where Zetsche told investors the technology has become “a big issue.” With worldwide car sales likely to increase by 50% before decade’s end, he stressed, automakers like Daimler have no alternative to turn to battery power.

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In the days leading up to the annual meeting, Daimler locked down a new joint venture with Chinese partner BYD – generally considered the leader in that market’s battery car technology – to launch the all-new Denza brand.  It will focus on launching a line of  affordable electric vehicles.


Major Automakers Agree on New Quick-Charge EV Standard

System would make it easier to recharge on the road.

by on Oct.13, 2011

Chevrolet's new Spark EV could charge up in as little as 15 to 30 minutes using the new standard.

As proponents of battery power like to envision the future, owners of electric vehicles will do their charging overnight when energy rates are lowest.  But there’s an increasing sense that for battery cars to make the transition from niche to mainstream they’re going to have to operate a lot more like the conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles motorists are used to.

And that, acknowledges Doug Parks, chief of battery car programs for General Motors, will mean making it easy to get a quick charge-up during the day, much as one would pull into a gas station to top the tank.  The problem has not only been coming up with a quick-charge system but ensuring that it will work with anyone’s battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, regardless of the brand.

That appears ready to happen.  The basic charging technology is already in place and now, a consortium of five major automakers has come to agreement on a one-size-fits-all high-speed charging standard.  That is likely, according to industry sources, ensure that the rest of the industry also signs on.

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The group includes BMW, Daimler AG – the maker of Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars – Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen.  The latter represents not only its own brands, such as VW and Audi, but also Porsche which has laid out plans for a number of plug-in hybrids and other battery-based products.