As the battle between VHS and Beta video systems demonstrated, users decide what they prefer.
Peter Gorrie - THESTAR
- 2011, Jul 10
Could it be that whoever sells the most EVs also sets the standards ?? --Ed.
Plug in your electric car. Thirty minutes later, its battery is close to fully charged again and you're on your way.
That's the beauty of quick-charging stations, which literally pour electricity into batteries.
Electric vehicles won't become truly mainstream until they can provide a range equivalent to what internal-combustion cars travel on a tank of gasoline.
But quick chargers could help to make current battery power more acceptable if they're available in large numbers and if, like gasoline pumps, they can fill any vehicle.
Unfortunately, cost and competition issues are making those two ifs very iffy.
First, a refresher on the three types of chargers:
Level One works off a simple alternating-current 120-volt electricity line the standard in North American homes. It provides a trickle of juice that takes 12 or 14 hours to charge an electric vehicle battery.
Level Two uses 240-volt AC lines like those that supply our stoves and dryers, and are the basic household source in Europe. They offer charging times of seven or eight hours.
Level Three, or quick charge, employs large stand-alone devices akin to service-station pumps that supply power through direct current at up to 500 volts. They're described as providing an 80-per-cent recharge in half an hour. They don't do a complete refill because putting in the final 20 per cent is inefficient; picture how slowly you must top up a water bottle to keep the liquid from splashing out.... [Read More]