Sunday, December 13, 2009

The big glitch for electric cars is this: charge time

SHOOT: How does 16 hours sound? The bottom line is we needto get used to the idea of fewer cars, and even if you have one, less driving.
clipped from

NEW YORK ( -- If you're looking forward to parking a brand-new electric car in your garage soon, be prepared to spend some money getting that garage in shape.

Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt ideally use special "quick chargers" that have to be hardwired directly into high-power lines.

Installing the chargers is not like putting in a ceiling fan. The equipment has to be fully approved, installed by a competent professional, and in most cases, a city or state inspector will have to approve it all.

You could plug your car into an ordinary wall socket, but not if you're in a hurry. Charging a Nissan Leaf would take up to 16 hours, and charging a Volt would take eight. With a quick charger, the job for either would be done in just a few hours. The Volt can also run on gasoline, but what's the point then of having an electric car?

"It took us a little longer than we anticipated," said Rich Steinberg, BMW's director of electric vehicle operations.

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