Inhabitat First Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor Installed Between SF and LA  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Inhabitat has a post on a network of charging stations for electric vehicles in California (the recharge times seem excessive from a practicality point of view, but its a start i guess) - First Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor Installed Between SF and LA.

One of the biggest problems with electric vehicle technology is the lack of a plug-in infrastructure on our roads. But that problem is about to disappear — at least for some commuters on Highway 101 going between San Francisco and Los Angeles — thanks to a so-called “electric highway” of five recharging stations between the two cities. Four of the stations are already online, and a fifth will be up and running in Goleta by October.

The stations, owned by SolarCity, are all located at Rabobank locations, with the exception of the San Luis Obispo parking garage-base charging station. Each station features fast chargers with 240V, 70 amps, and the ability to fully juice up a Tesla Roadster in three and a half hours. The Salinas, Atascadero, and San Luis Obispo locations are all grid-powered, but the Santa Maria station is outfitted with a 30-kilowatt solar array — so commuters can be confident that their cars are powered by renewable energy.

The charging stations are only compatible with Roadsters at the moment, but SolarCity will retrofit the chargers with universal plugs once they become available in approximately six months. And while owners of the $100,000+ Roadster can certainly afford to pay for charging services, SolarCity and Rabobank are giving their electricity away for free. Of course, that could all change once the universal plug is unleashed in the coming months and the masses start swarming the stations. Because once customers have had a taste of a cross-state, zero-emissions car ride, there is no going back.


Little pipes. Just place holders in the greater scheme of things....

The upcoming Nissan LEAF should be able to receive an 80% of capacity recharge in 30 minutes.

Given that the LEAF has a 90 kWh battery pack and typically batteries are not discharged more than 40% to extend their lives that 30 minutes should require about a 72 kW feed. A bit more than 4x what the Inhabit system provides.

BTW, Nissan has partnered with eTec who is in the process of installing 12,500 charge points in five US states. (Initially the LEAF will have state-limited introduction.) Some of these will be rapid chargers, others designed for longer charging rates I believe. As of a few weeks ago about 400 outlets were already installed.

The LEAF with its 100 fully charged range would need to stop about three times (more likely four) to recharge between LA and SF.

A bit more...

The upcoming Tesla S should have a 300 mile range. It and the Tesla Roadster with it's ~220 mile range would have to stop only once on the ~340 mile SF/LA route.

Tesla, I think, says that their batteries can be safely recharged in two hours, given a large enough feed.

And neither would need a full refill. Just grab a few kWh and finish the drive. The roadster might need an hour (think lunch break) and the S just a pee stop.

Thanks Robert - the note about the 400 eTec outlets already installed is interesting - I haven't noticed any publicity for this.

Here's where I spotted the eTec item....

12,750, not 12,500 as I posted.

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