Saturday, October 9, 2010

The 26 charging stations are not really usable

I read with amusement on the 26 charging stations that are being built for the electric cars. Out of the 26 charging stations, only 1 of which allows 45 mins of quick charging. The rest requires 8 hours of charging.

There is a serious usability problem in this setup. First of all, will someone even wait 40 mins to "fill up the tank"?

It seems that they built the charging stations using the technology as the starting point. Instead, they should look at it from the use case perspective. How will people use the charging station?

Looking from this angle, they should instead outfit certain car parks or shopping centers with chargers that can be activated using credit card. This would encourage usage as this is the most likely scenario where people will park their cars for 45mins to 8hours. They could also sell charging kits that will allow DIY charging.

Who will use the charging stations if you need to fill up even for 45mins?


Anonymous said...

If you've read up on developments in this area, you'll find that the idea is to do a 1-for-1 replacement of car batteries, rather than sit around waiting 8 hrs or even 45 mins for your battery to be charged. Quick charging kills battery life, as you may know, so even 45 mins is not good for your car battery.

chantc said...

It's another usability problem. Up to now, it is not easy to replace the car battery and not many cars allow this to be done.

Based on the technology now, quick charging may not spoil the battery. For example, for the latest lithium ion battery, it's actually not necessary to fully discharge the battery before you charge. However, it'll be good if you can fully discharge and recharge it at least once a month.

Anonymous said...

Guess you haven't read up on developments in this area.

chantc said...

Would you like to explain more on the more recent developments?

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