One the main fears expressed by consumers when buying an electric vehicle is range anxiety; the fear that the battery will run out before the driver reaches the intended destination. The state of Illinois is attempting to relieve this fear, at least on the Illinois Tollway in the Chicago area, by installing a series of Level 3 charging stations
The eight charging stations are being installed at 7-Eleven stores at four of the seven Oasis rest stops. This complements 280 stations statewide, 73 of them Level 3 systems. These fast chargers can recharge an EV in 30-minutes. To use the chargers drivers must purchase a $21 card that provides EV owners with three 30-minute charges. The cards are sold by 350green and the chargers are being installed by JNS Power & Control Systems.
Presently the Level 3 chargers work on certain models and trim levels of the Mitsubishi MiEVs and the Nissan Leaf. They will not recharge the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus or Toyota Prius EV nor the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 electric. Chevrolet says the news Spark EV will work with the Level 3 charger.
The challenge for automakers and the industry surrounding the introduction of EVs to American consumers is to develop a common system for recharging all EVs. Lack of a standard will only prolong driver anxiety.