Not quite as spectacular as the WattStation post charger for city streets, but the home version (from GE) is still pretty. Photo Fuse Project.
While it may still take decades for electric cars to be plentiful on our streets and in our garages, they are now at least available for the early adopters among us. And what is nearly as exciting as the cars themselves is the multitude of charging stations being designed to make home charging easy. CNET says that because the network of road-based charging stations way take awhile, garages are the heart of the EV charging network for the time being. Here are five of the latest designs that will also aid the e-car enthusiast in never suffering nail-biting range anxiety.
1) Yves Behar's WattStation For The HomeYves Behar designed GE's snazzy WattStation, and the street version was the first to get accolades from the design community. This home version of the charger is due to appear next year. Fuse Project, the Behar studio that designed it, said the WattStation Level 2 charger will be able to fully charge a car in four to eight hours.
2) Pod Point Home Chargers.POD Point already has a network of charging stations posts in the UK, and the company will soon release a smaller charging station for homes and offices. POD Point's home charger is sleek and has some simple, user-friendly display lights to indicate the state of charging. Like most of these home charging station, the POD Point requires a licensed electrician to install. Home installation of these stations is estimated to cost consumers between $2 - 4,000.
Photo courtesy Frog Design.
3) Frog Design Blink Chargers For ECOtality.Frog Design made these simple, elegant Blink chargers for both home and commercial use. While they tend to be most reminiscent of the garden-hose stand in your backyard, they are also soothing in their black-and-white simplicity. As with nearly all home chargers, these Blink chargers for ECOtality will help guide consumers in the cheapest times to be charging.
4) AeroVironment/Nissan Chargers.These chargers from AeroNvironment are the least design-y of the current crop of home chargers. Like most of the others, they require an electrician to install (due in part to the 240V required) and must also be inspected. On the bright side, AeroVironment are already available, and the company is beginning the process of getting future customers of the Nissan LEAF hooked up with charging stations.
Photo courtesy the GM-volt blog.
5) Voltec Chargers For The Chevy Volt.The first Volts are scheduled to go out next month, and lucky blogger and Volt enthusiast Lyle Dennis is expecting to take delivery of his Volt this week (late October). In anticipation, Lyle installed the Voltec wall-mounted home charger, a Level 2 charger that is being advertised as costing $495 - that doesn't include approximately $1,500 installation costs, though Dennis says installation can be accomplished by knowledgable DIY buffs. For about the first 4,000 Volt owners, there is also the possibility of getting a free home charger from eith EcoTality or Coulomb Technologies.
Read more about electric vehicle charging at TreeHugger:
Solar Powered EV Charging: Four Visions
SolarCity Announces Sun-Powered EV Fast-Charging Stations in California
Tiny Iowa Town Has Largest Concentration of EV Charging Stations