Range Anxiety Relieved

Wards Auto - April 25, 2012

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.

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