One of the coolest cars revealed at the Paris Motor Show was the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive. It's got 737-lb-ft. of torque all-wheel-drive goodness, but the coal-powered Merc reminds us of a looming problem with electric cars.
The question is how do you charge them. Every car company making electric cars uses a different plug, which is normal for cell phones, but kind of crazy for cars. As The Truth About Cars puts it, "it's like buying a new car and finding out that most of the gas stations have a nozzle that won't fit your car."
I think all of the electric car manufacturers have to get on the same page NOW about charging stations. Will this work with the new Tesla Powerdick/Electrocock? Is Mercedes going to install its own phallic charging stations standing tall along the sides of our interstates?
If you've been keyed into the growth of electric cars over the past few years, you'll be disappointed that the conversation on a joint standard for plugs hasn't moved very far forward at all. Scamboleer weighed in with some background information.
You're right. The automotive and electric utility engineers have been and are working diligently on a standard charging plug.
They've agreed on the same one (J1772) for AC 110V (Level 1) and AC 240V (Level 2) charging; there's a bit of a war going on for DC fast charging. The Americans and Europeans agreed on a DC combo connector which is currently being tested; the Japanese are pushing the existing CHAdeMO DC connector as seen on the Leaf and iMiEV. Tesla and the Chinese? They are each doing their own thing when it comes to DC fast charging. Talk about splitting nascent market.
It's shaping up to be another VHS versus Betamax, or Blu-ray versus HD DVD.
Hm. It was the porn industry siding with VHS that killed Betamax. What exactly is the equivalent for the car industry? Maybe Tesla's Powerdicks are a smarter invention than we thought…