New vocabulary: "Smartlets" could charge plug-in vehicles from sidewalk

Smartlets. Sounds like a new, electrolyte-filled candy or something you plug into your MacBook. Instead, Smartlets are one idea that would provide power to plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt or the Saturn Vue.
Partners Richard Lowenthal, CEO of California-based Coulomb Technologies, and Praveen Mandal will describe Smartlets to attendees of the Plug-In Car show in San Jose, California this July. According to Automotive News, Loenthal envisions Smartlets available for EVs and PHEVs in urban areas where people normally park their cars: parking lots, offices, stores, etc. Of course, Smartlet-like chargers are already available (for free) in some areas, like London.

GM likes the idea, but is taking a hands-off approach, but GM's vice president of global program management. Jon Lauckner, told Lowenthal and Mandal last fall that Smartlets are "a good idea." Of course, even though the Vue and the Volt are likely to be among the first plug-in vehicles available from a large automaker, Smarlets would probably be compatible with many plug-in vehicles, at least those that use a standard plug and can accept 110 or 220 volts. We'll need a wait a while to here more about Smartets. The Coulomb Technologies website says the company "is currently in quiet mode."

[Source: Jamie LaReau / Automotive News]

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