Garage will become one of the most important places in the future because of the electric vehicle charging problem. It is truly that EV is becoming popular due to its environmental benefits (the net CO2 production from an electric car is typically one-half to one-third of that from a comparable combustion vehicle ), high energy efficiency (about a factor of 3 higher than internal combustion engine vehicles ) and low cost of recharge (less than 2 cents per mile by EV compared to 12 cents per mile on gasoline at a price of $3.60 a gallon ). However, EV is still facing some technical problems which prevent it in the fast lane. To me, how to charge it fast and conveniently is the biggest problem today. If it becoming as easy as refuel, the problem that it can’t run for a long distance will be solved automatically.
Different countries have their own methods to deal with this problem. In the United States, AEP takes the lead in developing “plug-in hybrid EV”, a transition between EV and traditional car, which use gasoline as a back-up plan when running out of electricity. The government also participated in the construction of charging station and the R&D of storage cell. The Department of Energy provided $2.3B subsidy since 2009 to support the construction of EV infrastructure. Thousands of public charging stations have been built in 18 big cities such as LA and Seattle. Also, the government plans to build 21500 charging stations in 2015. The German’s solution is a little bit different. They don’t provide subsidy to EV customers just like what most countries did, instead, they give these money to the R&D of electric vehicle. Their government announced to increase the subsidy for the R&D of EV from 10 billion Euro to 20 billion Euro before 2013. They believe that the popularization of EV is a chance for the recombination of transportation and social energy consumption. They emphasize the importance of combining energy, transportation and environment together to solve the problem. The Japanese did the similar thing as Americans, but they pointed out an innovative use of EV as the emergency electric power source after the earthquake. For example, an electric car can provide 24 KWH after it is fully charged, equal to the two-days’ electricity consumption for a normal family.
Car manufacturers also make contributions to solve this problem. Volvo Car Corporation’s focus on connectivity technology which includes smart features for charging of electric vehicles. The company is one of the partners in the research project ELVIIS (Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure) that develops a smart on-board concept for controlling, measuring and paying for electricity when charging via any outlet. This innovative research project across several industries aims to bring mobile connectivity to electric cars and to identify and remove barriers for using electrical vehicles in daily life. It has such advantages,
- The driver can choose to charge the battery pack via any ordinary power outlet identified via the GPS.
- The driver pre-sets timing and charging amount on the touch screen or remotely via a smart phone or tablet.
- Using the mobile network, the car communicates with the grid and sets the charging scheme in order to support optimal utilisation of the grid and most favourable energy price.
- The system directs the cost for each charge to the car owner’s personal utility bill.
The specially equipped Volvo Electric C30 with ELVIIS will be on display at Ericsson’s Hall 6 at LaFira during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from February 27 – February 29, 2012 .
How to put EV on the fast lane is the biggest problem faced by governments. To be a strong weapon to CO2 reduction or just a fleeting meteor, we will see.
 Chip Gribben. “Debunking the Myth of EVs and Smokestacks”. Retrieved 2010-8-15.
 “Transport: Electric vehicles – European commission”. Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
 Valdes, Peter (2008-09-25). “GM unveils Chevy Volt – Looking to the future (1) – CNNMoney.com”. Money.cnn.com.
 Reuters, 2012-2-26.