Automakers Face Recharging Challenge

Automotive News - July 1, 2012

Automak­ers are in a race against time in their efforts to achieve new, aggres­sive CAFE stan­dards expect­ed to be announced in August. Part of the strat­e­gy to achieve these fuel effi­cien­cy stan­dards is elec­tric vehi­cles. To attract more EV buy­ers, automak­ers are rush­ing to devel­op quick charg­ing sys­tems that charge the vehi­cle with­out need­ing to plug it in.

Con­sumers have sev­er­al con­cerns about the new elec­tric vehi­cles. Among their issues is the has­sle of deal­ing with the elec­tric cord used in the recharg­ing process, and the length of time required to ful­ly charge the vehi­cle. Automak­ers and sup­pli­ers are work­ing to devel­op super­charg­ing sys­tems that can quick­ly recharge the vehi­cle using wire­less tech­nol­o­gy.

Tes­la is work­ing on a sys­tem it claims can recharge its vehi­cles in less than an hour. Gen­er­al Motors has invest­ed $5 mil­lion in a com­pa­ny called Pow­er­mat. The fast charg­ing sys­tems cur­rent­ly being deployed in sev­er­al cities across the U.S. are expen­sive, sell­ing for over $2,000. At this price, it is unlike­ly con­sumers will make this invest­ment for their home garages.

Sales of the Chevro­let Volt and Nis­san Leaf have been dis­ap­point­ing. With oth­er EVs enter­ing the mar­ket, automak­ers will be work­ing to solve their recharg­ing chal­lenges.

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