Okay, so the headline is a bit of a stretch. On one level, this is a story about a humble restaurateur declining a request by the ShockingBarack tour to recharge their batteries. As reported on their site:
Access to electricity is not a foregone conclusion. Running on sparks (the electric equivalent of fumes), we pulled into a Chinese restaurant in Fremont, Ohio, but when we asked if we could plug in, we received an unceremonious “No!” from ownership. And you know what; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We know we aren’t entitled to anyone’s electricity. We’re grateful when we get it, and we’re not embittered when we don’t.
But as a particularly astute commenter noted:
Thanks for pointing out the lesson in this. Now would not be too early to start talking seriously about standardization of the recharge connectors for vehicles and public recharge stations.
The charging infrastructure needs to be there before we see EVs becoming commonplace. Oregon, the home state of Brammo, will soon see the benefit of a deal between Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. and the Department of Energy. From this article:
The Phoenix company, a subsidiary of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based ECOtality Inc., is rolling out more than 11,000 charging stations in five states — Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee, Washington and California — using $99.8 million in federal funds.
The project is in partnership with Nissan North America, which will deploy 4,700 of its all-electric Leaf vehicles which are scheduled for release in fall 2010.
As part of the project, Oregon expects to receive just under 1,000 of the Nissan vehicles and around 2,000 charging stations, centered around Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis.
California just opened a new long distance charging corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco:
The corridor, a joint project of the SolarCity firm, which is based in California, Tesla Motors and the United States branch of Holland’s Rabobank, includes four ClipperCreek 240-volt stations at the bank’s branches in Salinas, Atascadero, Santa Maria (the one with a 30-kilowatt solar installation) and Goleta. A fifth station, installed by SolarCity, is in a public parking garage in San Luis Obispo. Spaced 70 to 100 miles apart along Highway 101, the Rabobank stations would theoretically allow a Tesla Roadster (with more than 220 miles of range) to drive the 382 miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles with only one charging stop. Plugging in is free to E.V. owners.
Unfortunately, those particular charging stations are 220 volt outlets designed for compatibility with the Tesla EV. Given that the Brammo Enertia will go on sale next week at four Best Buy stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s a shame that the charging stations did not envision the need for the charging of EVs which require the more common 110 volt outlet.
What’s going on in your state?