Ecotality touts fast-charging stations for e-cars

Electric vehicles equipped with fast-charging capability are headed to production and will be on the road next year. Will Ecotality's charging stations soon be set up at malls and gas stations?

Rendering of what a fast-charging station could look like
Rendering of what a fast-charging station for electric vehicles could look like Ecotality

Electric vehicles equipped with fast-charging capability are headed to production and will be on the road next year.

All that's needed to reduce the charging time for these cars from hours to minutes are Level 3 440-volt fast-charging stations. But to date, none are public.

Ecotality, a clean-technology company in Scottsdale, Ariz., wants to fill that void. It designs and sells these rapid rechargers for $15,000 to $35,000, depending on the structure requirements, mostly to warehouses and airports for fleet vehicles.

Given Ecotality's partnership with Nissan, the Tucson Metro Area, and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG)--a nonprofit metropolitan-planning organization in the Tucson area--drivers may soon be charging up at these stations in shopping malls and gas stations.

Ecotality spokesman Colin Read said these charging stations will help extend the range of all-electric vehicles and ease consumer anxiety of getting stuck on the road with a dead battery.

Below is a slideshow of current fast-charging stations and what next-generation Level 3 chargers could look like.

 

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