Extra-Fast EV Charging Stations debuted by Coulomb and Ecotality
Coulomb ChargePoint and Ecotality Blink EV charging stations provide 30 minute electric car charging
As the United States prepares for the release of several new electric vehicles in the next year, competition is increasing between manufacturers of EV charging stations. It appears that two such manufacturers, Coulomb Technologies and Ecotality, may have gained a bit of an edge over their competitors. The companies both debuted extra-fast EV charging stations last week at the Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit, Michigan.
Although the rate of electric current transmission is actually limited by the electric vehicles, rather than the EV charging stations, some charging stations have a higher maximum rate of transmission than others. Many EV charging stations transmit energy at a rate that is much slower than most electric vehicles can handle. The two EV charging stations revealed at the Business of Plugging In this weekend address that problem. The Ecotality Blink DC Fast Charger can transmit up to 200 amps of current into the battery of an electric vehicle. Ecotality estimates that the Nissan Leaf could get a 50% charge from such a charging station in approximately 30 minutes. The company will be installing 150 EV charging stations in public places in the next year, as part of a government-funded EV Project.
Coulomb Technologies, in partnership with Aker Wade Power Technologies, has developed an EV charging station similar to Ecotality's Blink DC Fast Charger. Coulomb is calling its EV charging stations the ChargePoint CT3000. The charger itself is manufactured by Aker Wade, but Coulomb is providing the networking and software for the project, including the tools needed to manage charging and view a user's account from public EV charging stations.
Both the Ecotality and Coulomb EV charging stations employ direct current rather than household alternating current, and are therefore much faster at charging electric vehicles. Charging a Chevrolet Volt at a regular EV charging station could take up to four hours, which makes such chargers less practical as public EV charging stations. The Ecotality and Coulomb fast EV charging stations could transmit a significant charge to an electric vehicle in the time it takes for the vehicle's owner to grab lunch, making their chargers much more convenient to use.