Monday, January 10, 2011

General: About my 2009 prediction

In 2009 I predicted a change to 240 Volt power in the US to facilitate the large power demand for vehicle recharging.
At the 2011 CES in Las Vegas, General Electric had a stand showing their 'WattStation' charging a Chevrolet Volt.
The nice thing is that it is apparently a 240 Volt system :-)

AP writes "An attendee looks GE's new Residential WattStation plugged into a Chevrolet Volt electric car at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show January 8, 2011 in Las Vegas. The 240 volt Residential WattStation is intended to be installed at home and can charge a car in only 4-8 hours. The Residential WattStation will ship in the fall and is expected to retail for between UAD $1,000 to $1,500."

I have no idea what UAD are, but if they meant AUD then US is about the same.

Update: 20110119 -

The Register has an interesting story on the current (no pun intended) state of UK electric vehicle recharge infrastructure which has this interesting bit of information -

"... This is because e-car batteries can't be charged up at all quickly. Using a specialist 240V, 32-amp supply - representative of the sort of charging point that could be widespread very quickly, and the rating that its users' home charge points have - a Mini-E can recharge in 4½ hours. The maximum amperage it can take, according to the makers, is 48: thus the fastest it can possibly, theoretically be juiced up without damage is 3 hours. If the luckless Mini E driver is compelled to use a normal UK wall socket, it will take well in excess of 10 hours. ..."

The next paragraph dealing with the recharging of a Tesla Roadster is a bit of a horror story! It is well worth reading the whole article.

That's a lot of power to generate and distribute over a country to run a significant percentage of transport on electricity. I think that even the local distribution for that power will be at a lot more than 240V, probably with a small substation/transformer per cluster of recharge points.