Viva la (electric car) Revolution!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
There's a quiet revolution going right now that WILL soon change nearly everyone's life: the shift to using electric vehicles. Nearly every auto manufacturer has announced that they will be selling a Plug-in Hybrid or Electric Vehicle by 2012, so you know it's only a matter of time before we have to choose whether we want to use them...or support charging them.

You might think that creating a charging infrastructure is simple, since we have electircal power available to us almost everywhere. While installing charging stations is pretty straightforward, figuring out how to make money selling "juice" and not breaking the electrical grid are the harder parts of the puzzle to solve.

The charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is an integral part of Smart Grid, the US Department of Energy's program for modernizing the electrical grid so that we can efficiently manage electricity nationwide including the things that use it. For example, in a few years, you'll be able to tell your electric car to only charge itself when the electric company is on the cheapest electricity rates….or to allow your car to sell back stored electricity to the grid at expensive rates.

While there are some excellent resources on the web today that cover all aspects of electric vehicles, this blog will focus on the more boring...but arguably more important part: the charging infrastructure. After all, if we don't get the infrastructure right (the eggs), customers won't buy electric vehicles (the chickens)!