Where are the charging stations? 2 May, 2008

Anders Perjons - VNL’s own verification & measurement guru - is an electric car advocate. He has three electric cars that he has reconditioned himself. The big challenge is to charge them.

Anders and his fellow electric car promoter Lars Magnusson drive their cars on a daily basis. Fully charged, the batteries last up to 70km. Then they have to be charged, and this is where charging stations are needed.

Anders and Lars most often charge their cars at home. Because in Stockholm, Sweden, there are only three official charging stations. To increase the usefulness of having an electric car, and to encourage others to get one, cities need to increase the number of charging stations.

But isn’t a normal electric socket enough? Anders says;

“We really just need an electric socket. But the fuse has to handle at least 10 ampere. And most fuses don’t, so it can be quite risky to take a chance.”

If Stockholm and other cities build granular charging station networks, both Anders and Lars think that the electric car will have a definite breakthrough.

There are many types of chargeable hybrid cars in the market with much longer action radius than 70km, and petrol or ethanol engines that enable longer trips.

Dual benefits

According to Lars’ calculations, the running cost of his electric car is between 1-2 SEK (0.20 - 0.40 USD) per 10km - less than 1/10th of a regular combustion engine-based car.

And electric cars contribute zero carbon dioxide emissions, if the electricity used to charge the batteries comes from renewable energy sources like wind or water.

We salute Anders for his initiative, and hope to see more electric cars, and charging stations, in the world’s cities . Hopefully sooner than later.

Read an interview with Anders & Lars: “Elbilar saknar kontakter” (in Swedish)