Mapping the Future for Electric Vehicles with ChargingStations.com
Monday, 1 August 2011
I’m still waiting on my personal jetpack, but in a lot of ways it feels like that space age-y future is here.
Families gather around a 3D television in their living room, or shoot 3D video on their hand-held smart phones. The military utilizes Terminator-style robots, kind of like a Segway with GPS, as decoys. And this animated GIF image certainly makes me think of the moving photos from Harry Potter (we’re lumping ‘the future’ in with ‘sci-fi magic’ here…). But the one product I think eclipses all gadgets is the electric vehicle (EV). The future is here, and the world is slowly but surely realizing the electric car is it. I like to think one day kids will laugh at clunky, gas-powered cars and wonder how we thought it was okay to spew dirty fossil fuels everywhere we went — a sort of eight-track-cartridge to MP3-file paradigm shift. ChargingStations.com, a CarbonFree website, wants to help make the switch easier for consumers by offering convenience. The website provides an easy interface for finding charging stations so drivers can plan trips quickly and easily. The website also seeks to help electric car owners find the right installation contractors and charging equipment for their homes. Electric car charging stations aren’t such a new idea. In fact, the first charging stations were installed in 1995. By 2010, that number had almost tripled. Today, the number is exploding. The U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels & Advanced Data Center reports a whopping 2,449 public charging stations and new ones are coming online every day. California has 602 public charging stations as of the last update, the most in the country, while 28 other states are hot on its tail. Changing the way we manage our fuel infrastructure is no easy task. Estimates say we’ll have 1 million charging points by 2015. Why so many? Chargers will be installed in places of business, employment locations, the turnpike, dealerships and just about anywhere else you might expect to see a car. Because they don’t create fumes or the risk of fire and explosion, these stations can safely be installed just about anywhere. Of the 1 million stations projected, 64 percent will be residential charging stations. That’s about 360,000 nationwide. Contrast that with the 159,006 gasoline fueling stations operating in the US as of 2010. Charging stations will be ubiquitous, making it easier and more convenience to fill up. ChargingStations.com wants to lead the charge to an oil-independent America. They believe it’s an exciting time to be an electric car owner in America. So many good things will come from this green revolution, including less noise pollution, cleaner air, energy cost savings for consumers, and a self-sufficient America that no longer relies on foreign countries to supply half of its fuel. That’s a future we all can’t wait to see.