Electric car charging is set to get a whole lot quicker -- at least if Infracharge gets its way. The company, which supplies roadside charging station to London boroughs, will shortly be rolling out a new set of roadside and home charging stations that it says can recharge electric cars in as little as 2.5 hours.
The first of its products is the FastCharge -- designed for use in public places. This bad boy chucks out a whopping 32A (7kW) current, more than twice the amount offered by today's charging posts. The extra power reduces the time it takes to charge a typical electric vehicle from 6 hours to a far more respectable 2.5.
Chargemaster says FastCharge is compatible with the standard electricity supply available in many locations without the need for modification, though your local authority might not be so keen to replace its existing charging posts, given the amount they've already invested, and the comparatively limited popularity of electric cars.
Authorities and companies seeking to invest in charging posts for the first time should appreciate the benefits of the new system. FastCharge can charge two vehicles at once -- Infracharge says it's working on a version that can charge four simultaneously -- and advanced internal software and hardware lets owners monitor exactly how much electricity is being used by each car. The system can even communicate with drivers, alerting them via text when their car is fully charged or if their allotted parking time has come to an end.
Chargemaster will also be offering HomeCharge, a charging solution for the home. It won't charge cars as quickly as FastCharge, but it can be erected in a garage or driveway, providing a safer, more elegant solution than trailing an extension cable out of your third-storey window. The HomeCharge will automatically charge cars on night-time tariffs, saving up to 70 per cent on daytime electricity rates. It can even start your car remotely to activate heating or air-conditioning systems a few minutes before you set off in wintry or summery conditions.
Sounds good to us. It's all rather pie in the sky until our local authorities get around to installing them, but it's a very positive step towards making electric cars a more viable proposition. FastCharge will be available in June and HomeCharge will go on sale in May. You can learn more about both by visiting the Chargemaster Web site.