A related application GreenCharge enables EV owners to connect with their vehicles remotely to check and control charging.
So, where are the charging stations and how many are there? At present, many charging stations are in California with others in Arizona, Florida, Georgia Tennessee, and Portland, Or. A list is provided by www.evchargernews.com. A color coded charger map of the states is provided by the DOE.
EVMaps has a new a color coded map of charging stations in the Continental US. Check it out: www.evmaps.info.
It is interesting that many of the charging stations in California are from the last generation (circa 2000) of public chargers. That is changing. In a $100 million settlement, NRG Energy will provide for the upgrade of 10,000 charging units at 1,000 existing locations, and the installation of 200 new locations.
EV Charging Programs in the USA
As part of the EV Project, ECOtality will install around 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities across six U.S. states. The $230 million public-private initiative is funded in part with a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
GM says that the first 4,400 Chevy Volt owners can get a free Blink station installed at their home. Ecotality has offered free charge stations to private ans commercial concerns in Philadelphia as part of the EV Project.
In addition, three companies - Columb Technologies, ECOtality and the Eaton Corp. - are desigining and building a network that will include tens of thousands of charging stations over the next few years. Some of the new charge stations installed will be fast chargers.
Park and Charge has been providing current to European EV drivers since 1992. Park and Charge is backed by Electromobile Club of Switzerland (ECS).
With a Park and Charge key and sticker, EV drivers can access locked charge stations at reserved parking spaces. Charge is not metered and low organizational costs provide the user with low, flat rates.
The EV driver can locate a charge station through the pubication LEMnet. As of 2010, the organization listed some 1,900 chargers in its database.
Elektromotive has been supplying charge to EVs since 2003. The company manufactures Elektrobay, an on-street recharging station that is also deployed in parking garages.
Elektrobay charge stations provide a power output of 240 volts AC and 13 amps throught the UK, or 230 volts AC and 16 amps in Europe; Elektrobay is designed to charge almost any EV. Elektrobay also exports units to Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Iceland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
The Zap-Map shows current European charging stations.
Some 17 battery-swapping stations have been installed around Israel. The goal is 40.
Better Place LLC, in Israel has placed 100 Renault Fluence EVs on the road. Users report that they are able to take trips of 160 km with no problems thanks to battery swapping stations along their routes.
The EV Project at Idaho National Lab has been tracking EV charging.
The project monitors some 6,194 commercial and
4,606 residential 1,588 charge stations. The cars include 4,191 Nissan Leafs and 428 Chevy Volts so far driven a total of 27.6 million miles.
Nissan Leaf owners drive 30 miles per day average, while the Chevy Volts were driven about 36 miles per day on average.
Owners in the group charge their cars mostly at home, at night. They charge to over 90% SOC (state of charge) around 65% of the time.
However, when charging at
public charge stations during the day the EV owners in the group charged above 90% SOC about half as often, 40% of the time. The same charged to 70-80% SOC
just 20% of the time.
Israel sports charging stations and will be featuring battery switching stations as well. These EV fueling stops are in part the effort and design of the California- based Better Place. The relatively small dimensions of Israel make it a prime testing ground for technologies like battery switching and EV charge points.
Japan features a growing charging network as does China. Stay tuned.
The UK is charging straight ahead, setting a high standard. The Monarchy expects to have 3,500 stations installed by 2012. The excellent tracking site Zap-Map shows current hot spots.
India seeks success with the EV as Reva plans to market some 20,000 thousand of electric cars there. As part of the effort, charging stations are planned at a density of 5 kilometers or so apart or 50 - 200 stations per targeted city.
One problem to overcome with public charging stations in many US states is the fact that the sale of electric energy by the kilowatt hour can only legally be done by a public utilty. This presents obvious problems for private manufacturers and installers of charging stations. In California, the issue is being addressed.
The California Public Utilities Comission has just ruled that electric vehicle charging stations are not to be classified as pubilc utilities. A win for common sense there at least.
The Future of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The future direction of EV charging station growth appears to be up, up, up. According to Pike Research, a total of 7.7 million charge points could be installed worldwide by 2017. Current EV sales forecasts (including PHEV) is somewhere around 6 million units per year by 2017 as well.
By region, about 65% of the 1 million or so charge points installed in the USA will be household stations. This compares to just %35 of household units installed in Europe and Asia, where the bulk will be public and commercial stations.
Honda is looking to the future of EV charging. The company is testing solar powered charging units. The panels are molded into a roof over the stations. No word on the amount of output.
EV charging stations are forecast by Pike Research to grow to 11.4 million units worldwide by the year 2020.
Recent reports estimate there will be some 4.1 million EV charge stations in place in the USA alone by the year 2017. This page focuses some of the EV charging programs out there now building toward that number.
Public/Commercial Charging Stations in the USA
Charge station installations are on the rise. In April of 2011 there were 750 stations. By August 2011, the number had grown to 2916, and close to 5,000 by the end of 2011, 6,300 by March, and over 11,000 by the fall of 2012.
Several online applications now allow users to access charge station information. The site PlugShare allows users of both iTunes and Google Play app stores to locate public and private charge stations. The free app also lets people add pics, data, and reviews of the charge locations.