Tesla has officially launched their long-awaited “Supercharging” network last night to a star-studded crowd in Southern California. (We assume it was star-studded since our invitation got lost in the mail.) The EV network promises to enable Model S and Model X owners to charge 150 miles of range in 30 minutes. What about your Roadster? Sorry, you aren’t invited to this charging party. Have a Tesla and a LEAF? You’ll have to be satisfied with separate but equal charging facilities as the Tesla proprietary charging connector restricts access to Tesla shoppers only. Is this class warfare or do we parallel the computer industry where connectors come and go with the seasons?
Most folks think of Cobras or Mustangs when they think of the late Carroll Shelby, but don’t forget the Shelby Chryslers of the 1980s! Shelby cranked out a run of turbocharged front-drive Dodges that delivered amazing-for-their-time bang-for-buck performance, and they’ve remained quite affordable. So affordable, in fact, that Shelby Dodges are not uncommon sights in self-service junkyards; just in the last couple of years, I’ve found this Daytona Shelby Z, this Omni GLH, and this Shelby Charger awaiting their appointments with The Crusher. Last week, I spotted another one in a Denver yard.
„When you run out of battery with your EV, no AAA will help you – except with a tow.”
This line is a favorite weapon in the low-level propaganda war between gas and electric. Now Nissan, purveyor of the Leaf, goes on the counter-attack. Nissan deployed its first roadside service vehicle equipped with a charger to assist EVs that ran out of juice.
So I’m driving a $69,000 Cadillac CTS-V, and it makes me wonder—if you can only spend half as much, how much performance do you sacrifice? And if you can spend twice as much, how much can you gain? Today, the first question. If you’re seeking a V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sedan, but have a budget in the mid-30s, the 2011 Dodge Charger R/T is your only option.
GM has invested $5 million in the Powermat wireless charging start-up, and they want to use the technology “to charge its soon-to-be-launched Chevy Volt hybrid electric car,” Businessgreen reports. They report from the UK, so they shall be forgiven the “soon-to-be-launched” this one time only. But to charge a Chevy Volt?
While other countries are still struggling with the electric car in itself, Japan is already in the middle of the big charging station craze. TTAC will continue keeping an eye on these developments. No country is better suited for self serve chargers than Japan, where you can buy anything from a vending machine, from flowers to condoms, from rice to the infamous girls’ panties. According to credible statistics, there are 23 people per vending machine in Japan. Soon, there will be more. Vending machines.
Japan appears to be serious about EVs. Evidence: Japan’s increased focus on chargers. The hard part of EVs is not to build them. The tough issue is where to charge them. And how quickly. Whether you live in Manhattan or Tokyo: As a city dweller, you hardly can put a charging station on the street or into the underground parking garage. The average suburbanite in Tokyo already has a hard time just finding a parking space (proof required if you want to buy a car). A charging station? What charging station? So the Japanese are busy building them. No wonder: 67 percent of the Japanese live in cities. (In the U.S.A. it’s even more: 82 percent.) Who’s leading the charge for chargers?
Nissan won’t sell their much ballyhooed pure plug-in Leaf until December. But a successful launch wants to be well planned, and Nissan thinks of everything. They won’t sell you the Leaf just yet. But you can already buy the charger. If you bank account is properly charged.