Will utility companies help push an electric (vehicle) surge?

Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle
Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle
On the West Coast, electric charging stations are gaining attention once again. Portland General Electric (PGE), a utility that claims that their “customers are number one in the nation in purchasing renewable power”, is teaming up with Mitsubishi and the state of Oregon to create a network of charging stations for upcoming zero emission electric vehicles. Mitsubishi’s “i MiEV” (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) is what Mitsubishi Motors is betting on. The i MiEV has a 47 kW (63 hp) electric motor, uses Lithium-ion batteries, has a range of 160 km (99 miles), a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), and can seat 4 people. Even though charging the i MiEV at home may take as long as 14 hours, it should be able to be quick charged by a utility charging station in about 30 minutes.

It will be interesting how quickly charging stations can pop up throughout the United States. To find out if there are electric charging stations in your neck of the woods, go to the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center run by the United States Department of Energy.

As we move closer and closer to plug-in hybrids and all-electrics I wonder how the nation’s refueling infrastructure will change. Will you be able to travel across the country by “filling up” with electricity? Maybe you will be able to stop at a fast food chain and get a recharge for your belly and for your car!

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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