When you buy an electric car, you will most likely need a charging station.

As buyers start to bring home plug-in cars, they will also expect their dealer to help them acquire and install a 240-Volt charging station (technically known as an EVSE, though few people call them that).

Startup Fisker Automotive, whose first 2011 Karma plug-in hybrid luxury sedans will reach dealers in July, has partnered with a new company that will provide those stations--one that has a bit of history dating back to the fabled General Motors EV1 electric-car project.

Fisker chose EV Connect, of Culver City, California, to install and maintain charging stations--the EVSE label stands for "electric vehicle supply equipment"--to its buyers.

First factory-built Fisker Karma live photos

First factory-built Fisker Karma live photos

Some of the installers EV Connect will use are companies that also installed charging systems for EV1 lessees back in the '90s.

Those were entirely different systems that used custom connectors, versus the standardized charging plug used for all new plug-ins sold in North America, including the Fisker Karma. That plug is known as the J-1772 connector (after its Society of Automotive Engineers standard number).

As well as home installations, Fisker and EV Connect will install recharging equipment at 47 Fisker dealerships.

The ultimate success or failure of the 2011 Fisker Karma will likely have more to do with the car, its sales and marketing, and manufacturing strategies, than with the charging station.

Still, it's nice to know that some Fisker customers will be working with installers who have more than a decade of experience putting in charging stations.

[Fisker & The New York Times]


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