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Where Can You Find an Electric Vehicle Charging Network? Estonia 220

Posted by timothy
from the can't-get-there-from-here-by-electric-car dept.
MatthewVD writes "How hard can it be to find an electric car charger? So hard that New York Times reporter David Broder had to drive in circles and drain his Tesla's battery. Charging infrastructure has been ultimate chicken or egg problem for electric cars adoption but finally, there's a good test case. In Estonia, drivers need to travel only 37 miles to reach a CHAdeMO quick charger. There are 165 of the direct current plug-in chargers, that can charge a car's lithium battery in 30 minutes for an average cost of $3.25. The question now is, will the electric vehicles follow?"
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Where Can You Find an Electric Vehicle Charging Network? Estonia

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:28PM (#43214905)

    That's almost as big as West Virginia!

    • by aliquis (678370)

      That's almost as big as West Virginia!

      There's also less people and lower GDP per capita.

      https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/en.html [cia.gov]
      Population: 1,274,709 (July 2012 est.)
      GDP - per capita: $21,200 (2012 est.)

      • by Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:47PM (#43215219)
        FEWER people, and they have electronic everything, schools, taxes, public offices and public information is public. Oh and they have way lower poverty rate than the US of A. And incarceration, but hey, EVERYONE has.
        • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:56PM (#43215317)

          You're saying a former Soviet block nation which is about the size of West Virginia has newer things than the US? Of course they do, most of the Soviet crap was garbage and it's really easy to get new stuff if the old stuff isn't still viable for use. Just buying the average or below average gear would do it. It's a lot tougher to justify getting a lot of that stuff if the stuff you have is working fine.

          As for electronic everything, is that really desirable? We have most of that stuff available over the internet here as well, it's just not all that it's cracked up to be.

          What's more, you're ignoring the fact that things like this don't scale very well. Look at China, as an example, the government is reforming their educational system, but it's probably going to take 40 years or more for it to really take effect as they have about 1/3 of the teachers and schools necessary to get the job done. What's more, you're talking about a country which has about half as many students as the US has total people.

          I know it's really popular to bad mouth the US, but try and exercise at least some common sense, will you. Managing a tiny country like Estonia is several orders of magnitude easier than managing one the size of the US and managing the US is considerably easier than managing one the size of India or China.

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            Actually it's easy to upgrade your infrastructure when the leaders are interested in LEADING instead of lining their own pockets. Like US government officials.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by gl4ss (559668)

            I think he was upselling estonia a bit.

            let me tell you what estonia really is. it's the finnish mexico. no offence estonians but you know it's true. finns go there for cheap booze and they come over here as cheap labor. average income in estonia isn't that hot really.. and I don't know where he got that usa has higher poverty rate - they don't. as such this is kinda big deal for estonia, but this is far from the effort it would take to do the same thing for lapland.

            (average pay in 2012 was 823 euros / mon

            • and I don't know where he got that usa has higher poverty rate - they don't

              Maybe, maybe not. [indexmundi.com] According to some, [huffingtonpost.com] what I said isn't without merit. [billmoyers.com]

            • by stymy (1223496)
              Average income doesn't matter. What matters is what you can buy there with that income. I don't know much about how things are in Estonia, but I can tell you that in Bolivia you can get a live-in maid for under $100 a month, and so forth. So there, you can live like a king for what would be a very low wage in most of Europe or North America. It sounds like it's similar in Estonia.
            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              They do have a lower poverty rate. This has to do with cheaper prices in Estonia coupled with better social support network.

              (I'm a finn too).

              Also worth noting that electricity they're selling us is mostly produced in Soviet era power plants burning shale rock, through we've installed some new ones as well. We also financed the grid upgrades necessary for it.
              Also worth noting that their harbour and the reason why St. Petersburg has to ship so much stuff through Finnish harbours is because Soviet Union planne

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            It's a lot tougher to justify getting a lot of that stuff if the stuff you have is working fine.

            Efficiency. The US don't care.

            As for electronic everything, is that really desirable?

            Fewer bureauc-rats.

            We have most of that stuff available over the internet here as well, it's just not all that it's cracked up to be.

            You're holding it wrong.

            What's more, you're ignoring the fact that things like this don't scale very well

            Yes, they do.

            Look at China, as an example, the government is

            corrupt and bureaucraticised, so

            reforming their educational system, is probably going to take upwards from 40 years or more for it to really take effect as they have about 1/3 of the teachers and schools necessary to get the job done.

            That's the point - to make them useful, but unnecessary.

            What's more, you're talking about a country which has about half as many students as the US has total people.

            So what? They have more students even relatively. Better ones too.

            I know it's really popular to bad mouth the US, but try and exercise at least some common sense, will you.

            It's not that it's popular. It's reasonable, justified and constructive.

            Managing a tiny country like Estonia is several orders of magnitude easier than managing one the size of the US.

            Especially when attempts are actually made. And it's easier when it's augmented by electronics. That's my point, dimwit. Do you know what the US have made all-electronic? Remote war crime.

          • You do realize that "size" is the wrong word, as technically the "size" of the US is greater than that of China (and certainly greater than India).

            The US is the third largest country in the world, in fact-- 9.8 million square kilometers, vs China's 9.7 and India's 3.2. Only Canada and Russia are bigger.

          • I know it's really popular to bad mouth the US, but try and exercise at least some common sense, will you. Managing a tiny country like Estonia is several orders of magnitude easier than managing one the size of the US and managing the US is considerably easier than managing one the size of India or China.

            I may be stating the obvious here, but it sounds like the solution is to break up the US into smaller more manageable chunks?

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          The problem with poverty rate is that "poverty" is relative to other people in the country. You can't compare poverty rates in 2 different countries. Somebody who's in poverty in the US may not be in poverty in Estonia if they made the same amount of money. Somebody who only makes $10,000 a year would be considered living in poverty in the US, but in some other countries you could live quite well off that.
          • by ByOhTek (1181381)

            That's, I think the point of comparing poverty rates rather income.

            How much you get for income isn't as important is what resources it can provide you with. What the relative incomes describe is how much room the countries have to rise or fall.

        • by ACS Solver (1068112) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:10PM (#43216257)
          As a Latvian, I have to say I respect what Estonians have done. They've managed to be the leaders or pioneers in certain things like electric vehicles or electronic voting. Nice social stability there and Estonians are generally doing well. Yes, the average income of ~800 EUR doesn't look too good by most Western country standards, but they're doing the best out of all ex-Soviet countries. Already in Eurozone, and fastest growing EU economy. With their small population and little in terms of natural resources, that is impressive.
    • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @02:31PM (#43215781)

      That's almost as big as West Virginia!

      But 14 times the size of Rhode Island! More to the point, Estonia is many times bigger than many of our major metropolitan areas (including the surrounding suburbs), and with a population of 1.3M it has fewer people than many of them too. In the US electric car infrastructure should be concentrated in metropolitan areas.

      Despite Tesla's desire to show their cars and the current infrastructure are suitable for interstate travel, most people are going to be interested in them for commuting and travel within their area. Even the quick charge stations are a lot slower than filling your car with gas. The "perfect time for a meal break" won't cut it if you're trying to make serious time. Most electric cars will probably be bought by people who can afford more than one car, or by somebody who's spouse/partner/[future-politically-correct-reference] has a conventional car (I'm seriously considering doing that when my car dies, which will be before my wife's). Ergo a charging infrastructure within a metropolitan area should be fine.I you're on I-80 in the middle of Wyoming, use petroleum distillates.

      Rental cars might be a good market too. When I fly somewhere on business and rent a car, I rarely take it that far. Most few day business trips could easily be handled by a single charge. Maybe companies could call themselves green because they require their employees to rent electric cars.

      Lastly government could play a role here (yes, I'm an evil statist). All those white strippo cars with "official government use only" signs could probably be electric, since they rarely make long trips. Best of all: those little local postal delivery trucks with the right-hand drive are a perfect candidate. They typically drive three doors down, stop the engine, deliver mail to a few houses, and start up again. I'd be surprised if the starters last more than six months. They also travel a short and well defined route every day.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        Ergo a charging infrastructure within a metropolitan area should be fine. If you're on I-80 in the middle of Wyoming, use petroleum distillates.

        Why not get rid of the gas stations entirely and just have these charge ports in parking lots and driveways? I can't imagine they take as much space as, say, an underground gas tank. Stick a credit card reader on them for payment, and you're golden.

        (Yes, I know this won't happen overnight, but I think this is a more realistic vision.)

        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          Because if you have them in everyone's driveway, you have to upgrade your electricity distribution pretty drastically.

          That electricity doesn't just magically appear...

          • Because if you have them in everyone's driveway, you have to upgrade your electricity distribution pretty drastically.

            Not if you mostly charge when people are asleep, when electricity demand is otherwise lowest. And "mostly" is all you need, as you're talking about averages. Average commuting distance in the US is only 32 miles round trip. Charging a Tesla Model S for that range requires 9kWh of AC. That's 1kW over a 9 hour period, or 4.2% of the peak capacity of a house with very modest electrical service (100A).

        • I like it, but I don't think it's an either/or kind of thing. Why not both? I take charging at home as a given. I can imagine workplaces having some parking spot/"slow" charge stations, especially if they can toot themselves as green or something. But what if all the spots are taken, or you switch jobs to someplace that doesn't have them, or you forgot to charge at home last night, or just wound up driving a lot further than you usually do and don't want to get stuck? I think they'll always be a need for so
          • To play devil's advocate, I can think of one other problem w/ charging stations at work. You want to minimize electricity consumption during peak demand, which is usually daytime w/ heavy AC use, or perhaps early evening. Ergo charging at home is better, but you still want a backup in case you forget to charge or need to drive much further than usual on some day. Hence the need for fast charge stations.
          • My company installed two slow charging stations in our parking garage last year. They are the kind that can text you when your car is charged, and you are required to go move your car to let someone else use them. (Presumably the requirement is enforced by you losing your job.)

        • Why not put the chargers on parking meters.
          Everywhere I go in the downtown core there are parking meters. Put a power port on them, and charge a little more and you can charge while you park. A nice little money maker for the city I would think.
      • by Telvin_3d (855514)

        Yeah, but charging stations are effectively unnecessary in the city. The car holds enough charge for any amount of city driving and then gets plugged in at night.

        Charging stations are only a factor on long trips. Purely urban use will rarely see any charging while on the go.

        • But you'll still want some charging stations for people who forgot or couldn't charge their car the previous night, or find that on some particular day they have to do a lot more driving than usual. Otherwise they'll (rightly) fear getting stranded whenever things don't go exactly according to plan.
  • s/David/John/ (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    David Broder was the White House correspondent for the Washington Post for many decades, who passed away a couple years ago. When I read the summary I thought, that can't be the same guy who got into a pissing match with Elon Musk!

  • The Netherlands (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:31PM (#43214963) Journal
    I just recently got back from the Netherlands and it amazed me how seriously they take charging points, they were everywhere. Along with high rise bicycle parks. I suppose when your country is mostly below sea level you take global warming and conservation as a proven fact. Simple countrywide risk management I suppose.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You couldn't be more wrong, the Netherlands is one of the least "green" powered countries in the EU. There is almost no stimulus to go green, instead we just import nuclear energy from surrounding countries and are building a couple of coal powered energy plants.

      • I wish I had points to mod you up.

        The environment has been a talking point in the Netherlands for as long as I can remember (back to the 1980s), but if you look at what actual policies are in place, it really isn't that good. To be sure, it's not the worst, but if they really wanted to do a good job, they could easily copy some policies that are successful in Germany - and they don't. My conclusion is that they're just paying lip service and not actually taking things very seriously.

    • The might be concerned about global warming... or... more likely... The Netherlands has had one of the largest oilfields in the world for decades. So large in fact that for much of the past several decades the Netherlands has had very low gas prices. But that oil field is now dwindling. They will have to start importing gas soon. On top of that, their entry into the European union meant that there is now a 19% VAT tax on top of any local taxes that are already on the gas. It's estimated that 65% of the pric

      • The might be concerned about global warming... or... more likely... The Netherlands has had one of the largest oilfields in the world for decades.

        I suspect you mean gas, not oil.

        So large in fact that for much of the past several decades the Netherlands has had very low gas prices.

        Natural gas, maybe. Gasoline, definitely not. Last I checked, the Netherlands was tied with Denmark for most expensive gasoline in the world.

        On top of that, their entry into the European union meant that there is now a 19% VAT tax

        The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the EU, so there isn't much "entry" to it. Also, the VAT is still under the control of the member states, as far as I know. I also believe the Netherlands recently raised the VAT from 19% to 21%.

        It's estimated that 65% of the price of gas in the Netherlands is now taxes. The end result is the current price of Gas in the Netherlands is the highest in the world at over $9/gallon, and it will continue to climb as their oil fields become more depleted.

        65% sounds roughly right for gasoline. Highest in the world sounds about right, too. But it d

    • by FridayBob (619244)
      It just so happens that I live in the Netherlands, but I'm not impressed with the availability of charging points. At least, not in my municipality. Things may be better in Amsterdam. There is an NPO, called "e-laad" (e-charge), that was set up by the power companies to install charging points all over the Netherlands (also on request), but then their budget dried up. Which is strange, because if there is a demand, why is there no more supply? This makes it tempting to conclude that the power companies want
    • by sosume (680416)

      There are TWO charging points per electric car in the Netherlands. And people are NOT intrerested in driving them. Talking about wasting resources, taxpayers money and free parking spaces .. Everyone I'm talking to, who's interested in real solutions for the environment is waiting for a H2 powered car. Nothing less.

  • by Wovel (964431) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:31PM (#43214969) Homepage

    The Broder story was BS. It has been pretty soundly refuted from Tesla and other reporters. I guess the people approving these stories don't actually read slashdot...

    • The Broder story was BS. It has been pretty soundly refuted from Tesla and other reporters. I guess the people approving these stories don't actually read slashdot...

      Since you've obviously picked a side here, you probably won't be interested in this update from Jalopnik:

      A source who has seen the data logs explains how it's possible how Broder and Musk could both be truthful but sort of wrong. The high-voltage battery in the pack, allegedly, had enough power to move the car a much greater distance than needed to move the car onto a flatbed, maybe as far as five miles, but the 12V battery that powers the accessories and gets its juice from the high voltage battery shut down when Broder pulled into the service station.

      When Broder decided to turn the car off, which was a mistake, the parking brake (operated by the 12V battery) was rendered unusable. If Broder was told not to turn the car off, it's his mistake. If Tesla told him to do it, or didn't inform him he shouldn't do it, then it's their mistake.

      If anybody sold you a $100,000 sports car, then told you the only way to keep the brakes from locking is to leave it running, unattended, you'd probably write a shitty review yourself.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        That's one small detail that matters little in light of the fact that Broder lied about so many other more important things. He really tried hard to make that car fail. Really hard.

        Lots of other people have made the same trip with plenty of range to spare. Even accounting for temperature variations and traffic Broder's story has been proven to be bullshit.

  • by celticryan (887773) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:31PM (#43214973)
    Seems like this is something technology always deals with - cars and roads OR cell phones and cell towers - early adopters always have difficulties. How is this surprising?
  • by virgnarus (1949790) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:32PM (#43214995)

    So, is that an average cost of $3.25 per gallon of amps? Or $3.25 per litre of voltage?

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      per however many kilowatts are used in an average 30 minute charge.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        per however many kilowatts are used in an average 30 minute charge.

        facepalm. You mean kilowatt-hours. Or, you can call them joules, or calories, or maybe even BTUs. come on, read a wikipedia article already.

        • No, Its not 3.25 per Kilowatt hour. They paid 3.25 for the half hour. The amount of charge transferred is not known. It could be 3.25 per kilowatt hour, but there is not enough information to state that.

          • by jeffmeden (135043)

            No, Its not 3.25 per Kilowatt hour. They paid 3.25 for the half hour. The amount of charge transferred is not known. It could be 3.25 per kilowatt hour, but there is not enough information to state that.

            You are right that there is not enough info (never said there was) but it is the right question to ask, since you can't "use" a kilowatt and for utility billing purposes, a half-hour guesstimate isn't going to fly.

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              You can still gauge an upper limit to the expense, though. It can't cost more than $3.25 to go 37 miles - $0.09 per mile is the max cost here. The same trip would cost you about $0.13, assuming a gas price of $4/gallon and a sedan getting 30MPG. So even if we assume the worst, it's like driving a car that gets 45MPG.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          Yes I do, though that's harldy going to motivate me to read a wikipedia article.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          per however many kilowatts are used in an average 30 minute charge.

          facepalm. You mean kilowatt-hours. Or, you can call them joules, or calories, or maybe even BTUs. come on, read a wikipedia article already.

          In his defense, he did say "killowatts in 30 minutes", so if the power draw is constant, it's an easy conversion to KWh.

        • How about hogsheads of electrons? Not sure exactly how many joules that is, but it's quite a few as long as you can keep them in the damn container.

          Though I would imagine that it is many KWh that transfer in 30 min.

    • So, is that an average cost of $3.25 per gallon of amps? Or $3.25 per litre of voltage?

      $3.25 for ~30 KWh (charging rate for these things is about 65 KW).

      So, 330 of the things in Estonia, they each support one vehicle at a time...~8000 EV's per day supported by the entire network, assuming that every one of them is being used 24/7?

      Hmm, wonder how far your average EV goes on 30 KWh....

      • Re:Standards (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The Wannabe King (745989) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @03:22PM (#43216383)

        So, is that an average cost of $3.25 per gallon of amps? Or $3.25 per litre of voltage?

        $3.25 for ~30 KWh (charging rate for these things is about 65 KW).

        So, 330 of the things in Estonia, they each support one vehicle at a time...~8000 EV's per day supported by the entire network, assuming that every one of them is being used 24/7?

        Hmm, wonder how far your average EV goes on 30 KWh....

        You seem to lack experience with electric vehicles, so let me enlighten you. I have driven a Leaf 12 000 miles the last year and know a thing or two:

        Most EV owners will use these stations very rarely. Charging is usually done at night or at work when the vehicle is parked anyway. Any ordinary electrical outlet will supply enough energy in 8 hours for a lot of driving. Assuming 230V/10A 8 hours will give 230*10*8*0.9 ~= 16 kWh of energy (90 % charging efficiency) This is enough for at least 80 km, possibly more than 100 km, depending on roads and driving style. Most places, at least in my country, 16A is available most places which would add 60 % to the above figures.

        Quick charging is only ever used if you want to go much farther than usual, which should happen rarely. Few people will buy an EV if the daily commute cannot be done on a single charge, possibly charging in both ends. Luckily, most people commute much shorter than the range of current EVs and with this quick charger network, they can cover longer distances when needed, albeit spending some time charging. Thus this network can service a lot more than 8000 cars. It will be interesting to see if this will result in mass adoption of EVs in Estonia. The infrastructure is certainly there, but I fear EVs are still a tad too expensive for a population that isn't too rich generally.

  • Good Job! (Score:3, Funny)

    by jamesl (106902) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:33PM (#43215013)

    Estonia now has three charging stations for each and every electric car in the country. Good Job!

  • Almost proud... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @01:41PM (#43215125)

    Sounds great on paper! Not so great when you consider that our electricity here in Estonia comes mostly from oil shale which means there is no environmental advantage to electric vehicles. So all of this in the end comes down to fuel cost - getting an electric vehicle only makes sense if you are rich enough to be buying a new car (most normal people over here buy 5-10 year old used one), but if you are rich you don't care how much fuel costs.

    Honestly Estonia is one of the worst countries for this recharging network...

    On the other hand all of this came from CO2 emission license thingy sales so it was almost free and we did not have an alternative anyway...

    • by PRMan (959735)

      FEWER people, and they have electronic everything, schools, taxes, public offices and public information is public. Oh and they have way lower poverty rate than the US of A. And incarceration, but hey, EVERYONE has.

      most normal people over here buy 5-10 year old used one

      But in America, almost everyone can afford a new car...

    • They also don't have the safety and crash standards that are found in the US that drives up the weight and the cost of EVs here...
    • by zmooc (33175)

      Still sounds great. It's probably still more CO2-efficient to do it this way than to refine the oil shale to gasoline and diesel and use it in combustion engines. However, doing it like Estonia does and facilitating the introduction of electric vehicles provides a path to actual clean cars. Investing in new combustion engines most certainly does not.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Not so great when you consider that our electricity here in Estonia comes mostly from oil shale which means there is no environmental advantage to electric vehicles.

      Sure there is. One big plant is far more efficient than hundreds of little engines, even after accounting for transmission and charging losses. You also save quite a lot of energy by not having to crack/upgrade the shale into gasoline/diesel.

  • Personally, I think that while fast chargers are important, they're not critical. I think the critical thing is to drop the price of the cars. A $30k EV with the capabilities of the Model S(range, passangers, weight, etc...) even if the interior isn't as nice would be a HUGE jump.

    Basically, as long as people can point out valid down sides to EVs, you have to be able to point out upsides - and the core one would be 'money saved', while maintaining superior performance in as many other points as possible -

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      EVs are great except for one big problem - the batteries. They're too expensive for not enough capacity. That's improving, but it's going to be a while.

      You could have said pretty much the same about electric cars a century ago, so it could be a long 'while'.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        Yeah, about a decade ago I came up with a saying "There's nothing wrong with electric cars that a battery that lasts twice as long for half the price wouldn't fix".

        By my latest figuring, the switch to LiIon got us the 'twice as far', but LiIon doubled the price, at least initially. I think it's now back down to the price per kwh that NiMH and such used to be at, but it needs to be cut in half again, which is at least theoretically possible.

    • EVs are great except for one big problem - the batteries. They're too expensive for not enough capacity.

      Not to mention the large amounts of pollution from the production of them. Oil's far from clean, but it's not as bad.

      Personally, I think EVs will only take off (and over) when we sort out a hydrogen infrastructure.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        Not to mention the large amounts of pollution from the production of them. Oil's far from clean, but it's not as bad.

        Citation please? I've mostly seen studies like this [audubonmagazine.org].

        Even this [bbc.co.uk] article only says it's worse if the power is 100% coal, which most areas aren't.

        'Hydrogen Infrastructure' is a mistake in my opinion. Hydrogen is hard to store in the densities needed, you need expensive fuel cells to burn it efficiently, and it's not an energy source. It's an energy storage system - you have to spend energy to turn something into hydrogen - the most economical is natural gas, which is actually more efficient to use as a fuel

        • I was talking about the production of the batteries vs the refining of oil, and you counter with an emissions comparison. It follows my rebuttal should focus on the use of animal products in the interior.
          • by Firethorn (177587)

            I was talking about the production of the batteries vs the refining of oil, and you counter with an emissions comparison.

            No need to get snippy, simply cite a source on the batteries like I asked. All I really did was "Could you cite X? I'm only familiar with stuff that says Y". Heck, the BBC link is a lifecycle test that acknowledges that more pollution happens in the factories for EVs, but it says that EVs are eventually 10-24% better than gasoline vehicles over their lifetime. Which would be a proper study comparing EVs with their polluting battery production vs conventional cars with their polluting fuel; IE total up A

    • by RussR42 (779993)

      They're too expensive for not enough capacity.

      Remember this? [slashdot.org] Air breathing batteries with energy density similar to gasoline.

      • Nope, must of missed it.

        Still, that would be in the 'improving, but it's going to be a while' category. Having followed the links, I see no mention of cost, longevity, charge efficiency, amp capacity, charge rate, and such that I'd expect to see for something that's 'almost ready' to be manufactured for use in EVs or even just phones.

        It's neat technology, but until it's developed into a commercial processes, it's just 'neat', not 'practical'.

  • If you're looking for USA changing locations, search your Droid/iOS app store for "Charge Bud". Has a list of charging points.

    I'm sure there are other resources for that data as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PRMan (959735)
      I'm looking for click-in standardized replacement batteries. I pull up to a station. Unclick my batteries and put them in the charger and immediately click in replacements and leave. I'm not waiting around for 30 minutes to charge my car.
  • They are a little country that does a lot of things right, and lead the way in technology in many ways. I think it's great that they do this, and they deserve credit accordingly. However to say that this would scale to other countries of larger size is fairly disingenuous. Places like the United States are much, much larger and a comparison between the two is effectively meaningless.

    Submitter also fails to mention that the NY times journalist was looking for a charging station that was poorly lit at night t

  • So hard that New York Times reporter David Broder had to drive in circles and drain his Tesla's battery.

    You realize that Broder's story was thoroughly, totally debunked by Tesla [dailykos.com], right? I mean, there was a story on Slashdot about it [slashdot.org].

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