Smartlets: The 'Gas Station' of the Future Might Be No Bigger Than a Parkmeter

Smartlet plug-in charger with Volt

Plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are coming, slowly but surely. But how will we recharge them? Many people will be able to plug them at night in their driveway or garage, but others such as apartment dwellers and people who need the extra range during the day will need some new infrastructure.

That's what the problem the Smartlet is trying to solve. Coulomb Technologies will unveil it at the Plug-In Car Show in San Jose, California, this July. We're not sure what they're planning exactly, but we can imagine that people would either be able to pay directly for power, or use smart cars and be billed later. Maybe some cities would even find it profitable to offer free juice as an incentive for more plug-in hybrids and EVs because reduced air pollution would save more money than the cost of the electricity. ::"Smartlets" could charge plug-in vehicles from sidewalk

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