Wall Street Journal's Dan Neil on electric-car charging station design, Geneva Motor Show [video]
You can't refuel your gasoline or diesel car in your garage, but one of the greatest benefits of owning a plug-in electric car is home recharging.
With a device that requires no more wiring than an electric clothes drier, electric-car drivers quickly learn to plug in when they arrive home in the evening and wake up to a fully charged battery.
The charging stations themselves are offered both by the makers of plug-in cars and other vendors, so there's a wide selection.
Reporting from the Geneva Motor Show, the Wall Street Journal's automotive reporter Dan Neil ran down the pros and cons of charging-station designs deployed on the show floor by different automakers.
The Journal's online video shows a selection of the offerings from a variety of companies selling battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Neil starts off at a Tesla Supercharger, the 6-foot-tall DC fast-charging station that Tesla Motors is rapidly deploying in groups along high-speed travel corridors in North America and other target markets in Europe and China.
2016 Nissan Leaf
But then he switches to the home charging stations that will be far more familiar to owners of non-Tesla electric cars.
He also includes one maker's street charging station, noting that it uses many of the same design cues. (That's the one whose plug handle looks rather like an old steam iron.)
The video tour is set up like a beauty pageant, to answer the question Neil poses: "Which carmaker makes the most beautiful home charger?"
One maker's home station looks like "a gourmet coffee pot," he notes, while another maker's public street charger seems to resemble a very, very large Apple iPhone.
2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show
And so it goes, through the home and public charging stations offered by BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Volvo. One of them even includes the ability to power your home from your electric car.
We recommend watching the whole video, which runs a bit less than two and a half minutes.
It's worth your time not only for the charging-station beauty contest--Neil does pick a winner--but also to get a sense of what it's like on the show floor of a major global auto show during media days.
(Hint: Media days are less crowded than on public days--but watch out for those camera crews.)
One final note for readers: The "automatically generated" transcript of Neil's video soundtrack on the Journal's site provides its own level of hilarity.
Charging stations may be more elegant in their design than before, but clearly machine transcription of conversational English has a ways to go yet.