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More battery charging stations needed - but fewer petroleum pumps

Thousands of battery charging points keep EVs charging ahead
Thousands of battery charging points keep EVs charging aheadMatthew Klippenstein

They call it the chicken and egg conundrum.

What comes first, plentiful electric vehicles before enough charging stations can keep the EVs going, or abundant battery plug-in points before dealerships sell mass-produced zero-pollution cars?

You would become very rich if you could solve that perennial puzzle of “What comes first”.

Naturally, everything in life around the world needs balance. Nature does not always have us believe that this is so. Nevertheless, in the end, everything will work out well; so will the battle for a better battery.

Driving along Highway 401 from Windsor to Montreal is already possible for owners of electric cars; motorists with motors, instead of engines, can now pull into any of 20 new charging stations on their path to the future; this is driving down the road NOW.

The same electrified voyage is also possible from one coast to the other along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Think about what they always say: “It’s the stop which keeps you going.” So far, though, that stop takes too long to replenish even the most advanced energy storage devices; That is the high-tech term for ‘battery’ in the new age of alternative transportation.

Sun Country Highway is the company enticing true motorists to ‘motor’ across Canada from east to west or south to north. “With our charging stations, you can charge it up in a few hours. In an hour, you can get about 100 kilometres,” said Kent Rathwell, president of Sun Country Highway.

While more electric cars are appearing in the marketplace, so do more recharging points at shopping centers, office buildings, factories, public parking lots, and at new housing developments.

Justin Bieber drives an electric car, a Tesla Model S. Bonnie Bieber, his aunt and electric car enthusiast, recently drove from Seattle to Vancouver, then all the way to Prince Edward Island and back.

As battery technology improves, so will recharging systems. Until now, the common 110 Volt home plug-in chargers require over-night charging to restore full capacity to a battery. With level 2 charging at 220 V along the highways, and possible in any home, the time is reduced to 3-4 hours for a complete fill-up, or 1 hour for another 100 km. With level 3 charging, at about the same voltage as the current batteries, it takes less than half an hour.

Inductive charging, without having to plug in, is being developed and gaining effectiveness; City buses are already using it. If you have an electric toothbrush, you may be already using inductive charging.

With electric traction motors improving, the number of EVs is increasing from month to month. Statistics available from the USA have EV sales reaching 100,000 in 2013, double from 2012. In spite of this rapid increase, it may be many more years before EVs challenge sales of vehicles from the ICE age. (ICE = internal combustion engine)