How to Recharge an Electric Car
There’s no mistaking an electric vehicle (EV) from a gasoline powered one: EVs are quieter, emit no air pollutants, and uses a plug instead of a nozzle to ‘fill up’.
While scientists and researchers are still working on building the ultimate electric car battery, another important aspect of of the modern EV requires equal attention: battery recharging. EV recharging may actually be a more important issue in the reality of daily life as even the longest-running, energy dense, and power packed electric car battery will eventually run out. What’s the best way to recharge your electric vehicle? The following are current technologies being studied for EV recharging:
Plug InCharging stations, also known as electric recharging points, charging points, and electric vehicle supply equipment, most closely resemble their predecessors’ infrastructure the gasoline station. Charging stations, however, can serve EV drivers without the need for human personnel or additional facilities other than the station itself. Charging stations can even be integrated with existing infrastructures like phone booths and parking spaces. A large number of charging stations today are on-street facilities run by electric utility companies, though some private owners are now sharing their own electric outlets through EV networks like Spain’s Alargador.
Charging stations are usually established at a certain distance between stations, calculated according to the typical EV range, EV networks provide information regarding location and availability if charging stations. OpenChargeMap, EV Charger Maps, and Alargador.org are some EV network sites that direct drivers to charging stations.
Swap ItBattery swapping stations offer a faster recharge option for EVs in a hurry, which may be detained in some slow charging plug in stations. At battery swap stations, EV drivers simply trade their depleted car battery for a prepared, fully recharged one. No need to wait for hours to continue a long road trip. This is a significant advantage over using plug in charging stations, the highest level of which still requires a stopover of about 20-30 minutes.
However, battery swapping stations still need to tackle issues like accurate assessment of the condition of the battery being traded for the recharged one.
Go WirelessAn intriguing idea being studied not only in the US but even in other countries like South Korea, wireless EV recharging eliminates the need for stopover stations altogether. Moreover, it deals with the issue of range anxiety that the two previous options can only address in a limited way. Range anxiety is the fear that an EV won’t reach its destination due to the battery running low or the absence of immediate recharge stations.
Getting a recharge on wireless means an uninterrupted, sustained EV ride over long distances. Stanford University researchers have come up with a design for a high efficiency charging system that would be able to transmit electric currents to EVs via magnetic fields. This is called magnetic resonance coupling. Electric highways, wireless highways, and recharging roads all use this technology to recharge EVs while they are driving down the road itself. Fast Company reports of a prototype of a similar technology being tested in South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
Whether plugged in, swapped, or recharged via wireless, EVs seem set to be the next stage of modern transportation development for a sustainable future.
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