Charging Stations on the rise, large players jumping in, organizing Experts forecast approximately 974,000 charging points will be installed in the US by 2015 [fimg=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/McDonalds-Charge-Station.jpg[/fimg]Paul Bates - CleanMPG - Feb 5th, 2011 Shown is a McDonald's in WV that features EV charging Now that electric cars are rolling out of showrooms across the country, many are wondering- where will drivers fill up? As sales of cars like the Leaf, Volt and Smart Car continue to grow, experts forecast approximately 974,000 charging points will be installed in the US by 2015. At this year's 2011 Distributech conference in San Diego, Siemens will demonstrate their new line of electric vehicle charging stations. The line includes residential stations that can be mounted to a garage wall, as well as commercial stations with the ability to charge two vehicles at one time. The high-tech stations will offer 24/7 user assistance and automatic billing. In addition, metering capabilities and open architecture will allow them to be easily integrated into the smart grid. Drivers will also be able to use a new Smartphone app for EV trip mapping, to locate stations and monitor charge levels with the press of a button. OEMs rally around standards in The EV3 Coalition Ford, Mazda, Mercedes, Honda, Chrysler, Volkswagen are all member of EV3 to get ahead of the EV beast that is being created. Yes, a lot of charging stations need to be deployed, by coordination and determining how to do execute it are critical. They are centerted round these factors and features of charging systems: Safety - Any connector system must be safe. Both inductive and conductive connector systems are. This refers not just to the plug, but to the total system with its communication logic. Open Architecture - To avoid unnecessary barriers inhibiting wide use, the interface (the connector) between grid and car must be standardized and available to all. This requires "open architecture" - any group can supply and use the apparatus. Fast Charging - It should easily support fast charge. Fast charge becomes convenient and a very cost effective "opportunity charging" (for buses and truck fleets that return routinely to a designated spot or service area). Total Systems Economy - As overall charging convenience improves, fast or slow, lesser energy storage may prove acceptable in some market niches – meaning cheaper or smaller battery packs Versatility - There are many options for the associated software/logic of charging systems. Systems can be made compatible - such as Level 2 charging with a Level 3 charger. In the long run, on-board charging with dual use of some of the vehicle's existing power electronics system seems especially attractive. However, if many vehicles are to feed regularly from the same electric "spigot", an off-board charging device may be the best compromise. All of these things will help us drive in to pervasive EV capabilities and use.