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Electric vehicles (EVs) may be dramatically less mechanically complex than their traditional internal combustion counterparts, but that's where the simplicity ends. The battle that began with Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla over direct vs. alternating current continues to this day, the battlefield has just shifted to the EV powertrain. Electrochemical batteries can't store alternating current, the electrons will only flow directly in or out.

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As the U.S. readies for an expected onslaught of electric vehicles (EVs), the San Francisco Bay Area is quickly becoming one of the regions that's particularly well-prepared for EVs. In late 2008, mayors from the Bay Area joined together to approve a multi-billion dollar plan that would eventually bring thousands of EV charging stations to the area. This initial plan successfully kicked off an ongoing drive to bring even more chargers to the Bay Area.

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Earlier this week, automotive execs came together to discuss the future of the industry at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI. As Green Car Advisor reports, one of the sessions at the seminar was titled "Full-scale Deployment: Making the Business Case." This particular session focused on discussing the need for widespread deployment of public charging stations. However, the discussion quickly turned around as many panelists argued that there's si

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Companies working to build streetside electric vehicle chargers face a lot of obstacles. From deciding where to install them to worries about vandals unplugging the cord, there are a lot of issues that have nothing to do with the vehicle or the charging technology. Earlier today, when thinking about Coulomb's first Manhattan charging station, which is in a parking garage, we thought about one more problem with street-based charging units: how do you stop non-electric vehicles from parking there.

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The state of Washington is hoping to turn the interstate 5 corridor that runs from Canadian border to Oregon into the nation's first electric highway. With the help of a $1.32 million federal grant, Washington hopes to install between seven and 10 so-called Level 3 electric vehicle charging stations along the main north-south road. Level 3 stations charge at 400 volts and 30 amps or more. Such stations can charge a typical EV battery to 80 percent full in under 30 minutes.

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According to a new study conducted by Pike Research, the number of electric vehicle (EV) charge points across the globe will reach 4.7 million by 2015. That's so many that the study suggests that the charging market will become overly crowded by next year.

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More and more fast charging system will hit the streets over the next decade as electric vehicles become more common. As the market grows, more and more players will enter the space. One of them, Netherlands-based Epyon, showed off its new fast charger this week in Amsterdam along with a public display of the Nissan Leaf.

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What if you could charge an electric vehicle (EV) in about the same amount of time that its take to fuel up a gasoline car? Would EVs reach mainstream status if charging them was a simple, three minute procedure? Well, we may find out soon. The Nikkei newspaper is reporting that Japen-based JFE Engineering Corp. has developed an entirely new charging system that can take an electric vehicle from empty to halfway charged in just three minutes. Get your stopwatches ready.

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV - Click above for high-res image gallery

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One of the big selling points of electric vehicles (EVs) has been the ability to skip past gas stations and "fuel up" cars entirely at home. Until now, though, EVs have largely been the realm of hobbyists and enthusiasts. Starting later this year, the first wave of mass-produced, mainstream electrics will begin arriving at Nissan and Chevrolet dealers followed by many others in the near future. In order for most of these new EV drivers to charge their cars at home, they will need to upgrade thei

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Forecasting the future is not always easy and, sometimes, far from accurate, but we like predictions because they usually give us some idea of what to expect as we move forward. In this instance, the predictions point to a world in which plug-in vehicle chargers are almost as common as gas stations. Well, not quite, but they do suggest that the U.S. will lead the world in something – and that's always worth talking about.

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Chevrolet Volt home charging – Click above for high-res image gallery

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As we were discussing an upcoming story related to a certain extended range EV with some colleagues the other day, a potentially serious problem for EVs came up. The primary market for plug-in vehicles for the foreseeable future will be urban areas where the range limitations of battery-powered cars figure to be less of an issue. However, if you look at the older residential areas in many cities, you will find that many homes don't have garages and people have to park on the street.

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2010 Nissan Leaf - Click above for high-res image gallery

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It's well known by now that, aside from the cost, the biggest hurdle to the adoption of EVs may be a lack of charging infrastructure available to people most likely to use these vehicles. Those would be urban dwellers, many of whom live in apartment buildings. If apartment residents are lucky enough to have access to a parking garage, odds there is no plug nearby.

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Renault Zero Emission line-up - Click for high-res image gallery

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Now that cell phones are so ubiquitous all around the developed world, there seems to be little need for all those public telephone booths dotting the landscape. This being the case, there are plans in place in Spain that could see a large number of these unused telephone booths converted into electric car recharging stations.

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