In California, an electric vehicle manufacturer and a solar panel installation company have teamed up to create the world’s first electric car charging “corridor” meaning that electric cars can travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles using stations powered by solar panels. At home using an ordinary electricity socket, an electric car could take more than 24 hours to recharge, but at these “fast charging stations” vehicles are fully charged in around three-and-a-half hours.
Says Peter Rive the project developer: “You can recharge the car in about the amount of time it would take you to eat lunch, watch a movie, and do a little bit of shopping. So what really excites us about this corridor is that it’s one of the first times you can actually contemplate taking the electric car on the freeway.”
The stations currently only work with Tesla cars, which cost around sixty thousand euros each. But the company says they’ll eventually refit the stations to charge other better-priced electric cars too. Recharging is free for now, but there is no information about prices once charging stations are open to all electric vehicles.
Peter Rive says, “We see this very much like building a new form of railroad. The next step is to maybe linking San Francisco to Sacramento then maybe start doing the same thing on the East Coast and over a period of years, we will completely inter-connect all of the major cities in the country.”
The combination of solar energy and electric cars makes this an environmentally-friendly solution -and because it allows electric vehicles to use motorways, it is another step towards electric cars replacing the gas guzzlers that most of us still drive.
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