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News   June 16, 2011   by CARS Magazine

U.S. homes need more voltage to charge cars quickly: Reuters

Reuters is reporting that few U.S. homeowners who are interested in owning electrical vehicles live in houses equipped to charge them quickly..


Reuters is reporting that few U.S. homeowners who are interested in owning electrical vehicles live in houses equipped to charge them quickly..

More than three-quarters, 78 per cent, of potential buyers of electric cars like the Chevy Volt do not have the high-voltage electrical outlets in their garages that can quickly charge such vehicles, according to a survey by diversified U.S. manufacturer SPX Corp., which makes equipment to charge electric vehicles.

However 99 pe rcent of respondents lived in homes that could have the necessary 240-volt outlets — also commonly used for heavy appliances like electric dryers — installed.

The survey highlights an obstacle to wider adoption of electric cars, which are gaining in popularity but still account for a small portion of overall U.S. car sales.

The short range of current electrical vehicle EV.L models, and a lack of charging infrastructure, are obstacles to a large EV fleet, advocates for electric vehicles have said.

A successful EV market needs easily available charging stations, Mary Nichols, chair of California’s clean air regulator, told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.

“The auto companies producing the kinds of cars that we want are a critical first step,” Nichols said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists the range of Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf at 73 miles. For now, Nissan says car buyers will charge their cars at home as automakers, local governments and other companies develop a network of charging stations.

General Electric Co. developed a charging station for homes and businesses in hope of making charging stations more common and enabling EV drivers to have a longer commute.

SPX installs home charging stations for owners of General Motors’ Chevy Volt at a cost of anywhere from $900 to more than US$1,500. Nissan Leaf stations cost more than US$2,000 to have installed at their homes.


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