Eco-Friendly Charging of Electric Vehicles

Electric cars — By on July 27, 2010 at 5:17 am
nissan leaf 2010 Eco Friendly Charging of Electric Vehicles

The Nissan Leaf will change our electricity consumption habits

You might have heard a lot about electric cars this year, especially with the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf hitting the market.  But how much of a benefit to the environment are EVs?  After all, isn’t most electricity from fossil fuels?

Fortunately, eco-friendly charging of electric vehicles is possible and practicable!  The U.S. is actually lagging behind other countries when it comes to plug-in vehicles, as well as the power that will drive them.  In fact, the very design of EVs lends itself well to reliance on renewable energy and a smart grid.  As Dominick Noeren of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE notes, a change from a “push” to a “pull” system on our energy grid is what is required, and that “electric cars are best equipped to meet this challenge.” This is because electric cars are parked up to 20 of 24 hours in a day, which allows ample recharging time over hours during which electricity demand is lower than average.

100421111353 large Eco Friendly Charging of Electric Vehicles

Solar and other renewable energy can re-charge electric cars

The new smart charging station designed by Fraunhofer directs consumers as to the ideal time to recharge EVs when system load is low and the share of energy from renewable sources is highest.  This allows load peaks to be avoided, while the draws on solar and/or wind power is greatest.  Noeren states:

“For us, it is important that end consumers are completely free to decide when they want to recharge. We do not want them to suffer any disadvantages from the controlled recharging of their vehicles’ batteries.”

Eco-friendly charging of electric vehicles is possible when you plug into a smart charging station.  You can choose between charging right away, or waiting for a less peak time for recharging.  The charging station takes care of everything from calculating the cost and controlling the recharging process.

We’re just helping to minimize the potential reasons you might be thinking an EV is impractical.  Truth be told, its actually much more reasonable (and cheaper) than looking around for a gas station and comparing prices around town…. Don’t you think?

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3 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    “Truth be told, its actually much more reasonable (and cheaper) than looking around for a gas station and comparing prices around town…. Don’t you think?”

    I agree 100% but given that a lot of US cities are spread out from urban sprawl the current battery storage would not hold up for the some of the longer trips. One addition to the plan is to build an infrastructure to quickly swap out a used battery. Closer to our current gas station model. Then the battery switching stations would tap into renewable energy and charge the batteries. In my opinion both ways are needed to migrate all US civilian transportation from the disaster it is today to a responsible future. I wish there was more information on how this is working out in Tokyo.

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. R4 says:

    A lot of this debate is less to do with how much cleaner electricity is, though. Much electricity is indeed still produced from burning fossil fuels – but going electric with vehicles eliminates one step of the process. Once that is complete, we can then replace fossil fuels with cleaner energy once and for all, and the supply chain would no longer be disrupted (due to dependence on oil).

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