Electric vehicles have one drawback that is constantly discussed at length, range. Range is a major hurdle that automakers are trying to tackle. If automakers can eliminated range anxiety, EVs could potentially reach a mainstream market quickly. Overcoming range anxiety is easier said than done, but there is one way to assure drivers that they will have enough juice to make it.
Fast charging stations offer up the ability to charge to about 80% capacity is as little as 15 minutes. Cars capable of accepting a fast charge simply pull up to a device that looks like a gas station pump, plug the car in for a few minutes, pay the rate for electricity, and head off on their way.
Fast charging stations are expensive. They cost, on average, $60,000 installed and right now there is no guarantee that private companies who purchase fast charging station will make their money back. Few companies are willing to take the investment risk if the future of EVs is uncertain.
Coulomb Technologies and Aker Wade Power Technologies have combined to produce a stand alone rapid charging station. This station mimics a gas station pump to perfection. It has seen it first real world application in a testing program in Japan, but expansion may be slow going. The companies hope to sell the stand alone units to gas station owners an other individuals who wish to run an electric vehicle station.
Coulomb will begin marketing and sales of the new rapid charging stand alone station in the third quarter of this year. The Level III charging station includes a dedicated 480 volt 125 amp charger developed by Tokyo Power Co.
If sales of the Coulomb charging stations are a success, EV owners will have little worry about range as a refill takes just minutes and in theory could be available at each and every gas station down the road.