charging infrastructure

  • 2019 Jaguar I-Pace  -  Portland, November 2018

    It’s not unusual for fuel gauges on gasoline cars to be inaccurate. Often they can hug "Full" so long you might suspect it’s malfunctioning—only to then swing rapidly toward the halfway mark and below. Usually these idiosyncrasies are no big deal. When the low-fuel light and chime prompt you, you’re almost always within distance of a gas station, where you can fuel up and be back on your way in minutes. For electric cars, the same is not true. Unfortunately, it’s a version of this that can make road-trip time in some electric vehicles a harrowing experience. The...

  • Smog over Los Angeles, courtesy Flickr user steven-buss
    California utilities commission passes record incentives for chargers

    The California Public Utilities commission on Thursday approved the largest public electric vehicle charging package in U.S. history, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC senior attorney Max Baumhefner, who lobbied for the program, says it is designed to set electricity up as a...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car in Maven car-sharing fleet, Los Angeles [photo: Dan MacMedan fo
    GM, EVgo to build Chevy Bolt EV fast-charging network, for Maven drivers only

    General Motors has consistently declined to fund public charging stations that increase the utility and long-distance potential of the electric cars it sells. The company said firmly two years ago it had no intention of spending money on a charging network, a stance that distinguished GM from BMW...

  • Used 2015 Tesla Model S P85D on day of purchase  [photo: Jay Lucas]
    Why I traded my Chevy Bolt EV for a Tesla: one reader's story

    As a nation, the U.S. takes lots of road trips, because most of the country has no viable mass transit between city pairs. If electric cars are ever to enter the mass market in North America, they have to be usable on those road trips. Last year, our reader Jay Lucas of Alexandria, Virginia, wrote...

  • Traffic in China
    China plans to standardize electric-car tech nationally to expand its global lead

    Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in China were almost four times those in the U.S. last year, and the gap is expected to widen this year. The world's largest car market is engineering a massive shift over the next two decades away from cars with combustion engines toward battery-powered cars. It...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ
    Beverly Hills bans plug-in hybrids from public charging stations

    Well, that's ... interesting. The city of Beverly Hills, California, has issued new regulations for parking and electric-car charging. As of Monday, April 2, only battery-electric cars will be allowed to park and plug in at any of the city's 35 public charging stations—plug-in hybrids will...

  • Nissan Leaf electric car at EVgo DC fast-charging station

    Over the next three years, numerous long-range electric cars will come to market at prices below $40,000. That will expand the pool of potential buyers to those interested in plug-in vehicles but unwilling to consider one rated at less than 200 miles. Those new owners will learn the DC fast charging along highways to enable longer road trips remains badly signposted, operated by multiple entities ... and often expensive. DON'T MISS: EVgo, Chargepoint annual reports show growth in electric-car charging On Thursday, the nation's largest fast-charging network announced a new, simplified, and...

  • Tesla destination charging station in Bodie, California    [photo: George Parrott]
    Tesla offers some employers at-work charging stations, for its cars only

    Today, most people charge their electric cars at home, overnight. That's much harder for residents of multiple dwellings or those without dedicated off-street parking, increasing numbers of whom instead recharge during the day while parked at their workplace. Now Tesla plans to make it easier for...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJ
    EVgo, Chargepoint annual reports show growth in electric-car charging

    Seven years and almost 800,000 cars after the first modern electric cars went on sale, there's still a lot wrong with the national charging infrastructure in the U.S. There's little central planning, little standardized signage or public signposting, virtually no awareness among non-EV drivers, and...

  • Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open  [photo: David Noland]
    What electric-car charging will satisfy a mass market? Twitter poll results

    One of the obvious challenges of even the latest electric cars is that you can't drive them coast-to-coast as quickly as you can gasoline cars. It's far from impossible to do such a trip—especially if you own a Tesla and can use the company's DC fast-charging Supercharger network—but it...

  • 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at office park, Santa Cruz, California, Dec 2017
    US climate action requires electric cars; utilities doing their part already

    The subject of carbon dioxide emissions is hardly a simple one, especially when it comes to electric cars. They may not have tailpipes, but the electricity generated in order to keep them going has to come from somewhere. Electric utilities, it turns out, are doing their bit to reduce carbon...

  • Nissan Leaf in Scotland
    Scotland power boss: Peak charging could cause grid problems

    Vastly greater numbers of electric cars on United Kingdom roads could pose problems for the power supplies used to recharge them—if, that is, they all plug in during the day. Frank Mitchell, head of SP Energy Networks a unit of ScottishPower, said a rush to electric cars in the U.K. could...

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV being charged outside Go Forth electric-car showroom, Portland   [photo: Forth]

    It's now abundantly clear that Tesla has created the roadmap on how to build a widespread DC fast-charging network that lets electric-car drivers travel long distances, even across the country. The Tesla Supercharger network can only be used by Tesla cars, however—and it remains entirely unclear how, whether, or when other carmakers will be able to offer similar capabilities. Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a "field hearing" at the Washington Auto Show, known for its focus on public policy that affects the auto industry. DON'T MISS: Europe...

  • 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at ChargePoint station, Santa Cruz, California, Dec 2017
    What's the right ratio of public charging stations to plug-in electric cars sold?

    Electric vehicles still make up just a tiny slice of the vehicles on the road across the United States. Still, with impending regulations and more longer-range electric vehicles soon to arrive, governments far and wide recognize the need to encourage the installation and growth of public charging...

  • 2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016  [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]
    Colorado moves to put more electric cars onto state roads faster

    A state at the forefront of U.S. electric-vehicle adoption has set an ambitious goal of nearly 1 million plug-in electric cars on its roads by 2030. Colorado, which counted 13,000 electric vehicles on the road at the end of 2017, rolled out an aggressive plan this week to achieve that goal. Its...

  • 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at Crevier BMW, Santa Ana, California, Dec 2017
    PG&E launches program to install 7,500 electric-car charging stations in California

    Finding a charging station will soon get a lot easier—at least in California. America's largest electric-vehicle market will see a significant boost in the number of available charging stations in the state following an investment by its largest electricity producer. Electricity provider...

  • Tesla Supercharger site in Vacaville, California, before expansion    [photo: George Parrott]
    California leads US in electric-car use, planning: here's what others can learn

    California is pointing the way toward the electric-car future that the rest of the country will follow. Sooner or later.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV being charged outside Go Forth electric-car showroom, Portland   [photo: Forth]
    Mainstream media on electric cars: more thoughtful on their growth

    As with any innovation, coverage of plug-in electric cars by mainstream media has been, shall we say, variable. Seven years after the first Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were delivered to their buyers in December 2010, misconceptions and misinformation abound. Technology is often not a strong suit...

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show

    Buyers of electric vehicles in South Korea won't need to consider the pros and cons of charging standards in the near future. The South Korean Agency for Technology and Standards announced in mid-December it would revise the current charging standard in the country to recommend the use of "Combo 1"—also known as the Combined Charging System, or CCS—for all future electric cars built there. CCS is used by all American makers except Tesla and every German carmaker in cars like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and BMW i3. READ MORE: Renault Samsung SM3 ZE electric sedan: battery upgrade gives...

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV being charged outside Go Forth electric-car showroom, Portland   [photo: Forth]
    No, electric cars (still) aren't crashing the grid. Again.

    Remember all those brownouts we experienced last week because everyone plugged in their electric cars? No? Oh right, that didn't happen. It still isn't happening. And it's unlikely to ever happen. That's the conclusion of a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), using infrastructure...

  • Allego 175 kw Ultra-E Charging Station in Germany
    Europe takes the lead in very fast electric-car charging

    Europeans will soon have the opportunity to enjoy quiet, emission-free, long-distance motoring with far shorter charge times when driving electric cars along Germany's autobahns. The charging network Allego has rolled out its first 175-kilowatt ultra-fast charging stations—dubbed "Ultra...

  • 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at Paso Robles Inn, Paso Robles, California, Dec 2017
    Electric car charging on the road has to be way, way better than it is today

    A couple of weeks ago, we charged a 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid 15 times within two days. It was part of a contest during a two-day press drive for the car—though we were beaten by the team that charged their Niro a stunning 31 times in little more than 30 hours. But our experience...

  • Renault Fluence ZE charging at Better Place pubic charge spots in Israel [photo: Brian of London]
    How electric-car owners in condos can get their HOAs to OK charging stations

    It's no surprise the majority of electric-car owners today own their own homes. When you own your property, it's much easier to install a changing station in your garage, car port, or even on the wall of your home by the driveway. You only need to get permission from yourself, and possibly your...

  • 2017 Tesla Model 3, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
    Tesla gives in, adds local charging ports on Chinese Model S, Model X electric cars

    The national EV charging network in China is growing by leaps and bounds, but that expansion has not been as standardized as in the U.S. or Europe. According to an article in October by Electrek, the confusion may get a little bit easier to navigate because Tesla will adopt a two-adapter system for...

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