Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quick Charge

There is nothing more beautiful to us Sustainos than seeing more renewable, sustainable technologies integrated into our infrastructure. The race continues with more investments and competition unfolding in the EV market. It seems like only yesterday (actually it was May 15), when Nissan LEAF, a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle opened reservations to the general public. Now, our nation is seeing more cities open quick charging stations for electric vehicles like this week in in Portland, Oregon. Operated by Portland General Electric (GE), the station is capable of recharging an electric vehicle in 20 to 30 minutes. It was the lucky Governor Ted Kulongoski, who was the first man to charge a Nissan Leaf from the new station. Portland has been tagged as one of the top markets for the first wave of EVs, and I'm sure we will be seeing more communities revisiting their green initiatives to bring in federal funds, keep citizens happy and promote viable healthy living.

But what about the competition when it comes to healthy living and working? With the launch of the WattStation, GE continues to push hard with strong innovation and design of electrical distribution systems. GE’s WattStation enables fast level 2 charging at home and on the road. This is important because...

Level 1 is your standard household current (120Volt) and charges at a rate of 4-6 miles per hour of charging. Level 2 is like a dryer plug and charges at 240V 30 amps up to 90A. That's a range of from 18 miles to as much as 80 miles per hour of charge. Level 1 & 2 have been standardized in the U.S. under something called SAE J1772. Level 3 has not been standardized. (as per EV expert, and Plug in America board member, Paul Scott)

So, what is cool to me is this modular design crafted by famous industrial designer Yves Behar, who I was fortunate enough to meet at the Opportunity Green conference at UCLA. He (and GE) make each station future proof, allowing customers to easily upgrade as more communication options become available. This allows citizens to stay current with the latest technology in a rapidly changing space, while providing the ability for commercial property owners to qualify for LEED points. A great compliment to both!

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