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Fast EV charging stations plug in

Ecotality and Coulomb Technologies unveil direct-current fast charging stations for electric vehicles that can give a significant boost to batteries in a half-hour.

The Blink DC Fast Charge Station can give a significant charge to an electric vehicle in half an hour.
The Blink DC Fast Charge Station can give a significant charge to an electric vehicle in a half-hour.
Martin LaMonica/CNET

In an increasingly crowded business of electric vehicle charging stations, a couple of companies are touting speed.

Ecotality and Coulomb Technologies today announced direct-current charging stations that can significantly refill an electric car's battery in around a half-hour. Both companies displayed their DC charge stations at the Business of Plugging In conference here.

Ecotality's Blink DC Fast Charger has the ability to blast 200 amps of current to a car's battery. The company expects to have 150 of the systems installed in public places as part of the EV Project public charge station network by next summer, company executives said yesterday.

The rate of charge is actually controlled by the car, so the charge time will vary depending on the car's setting. Ecotality estimates that the Nissan Leaf can get a 50 percent charge in about a half hour.

Coulomb and Aker Wade Power Technologies are displaying here the ChargePoint CT3000, a DC fast charger manufacturered by Aker Wade. Coulomb provides the networking and software for managing charging and viewing a person's account from a public charge station.

Fast charging stations that use direct current rather than household alternating current to fill up electric vehicle batteries are considered important for public stations. It can take about four hours for a 240-volt charge point to fill a battery of a Chevy Volt, for example, which only works with alternating-current chargers.