Local News

NCSU leads the charge for plug-in cars

Posted September 6, 2013

— Owners of plug-in electric vehicles can use one of Raleigh’s public chargers to bring their battery life from zero to 100 percent battery in about four hours.

But new technology at North Carolina State University can cut that time to just one hour.

Ewan Pritchard, a professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, used a plug-in Nissan Leaf on Friday to demonstrate the fast charger on Centennial Campus.

“This is the first fast-charging station on the East Coast,” he said.

New technology cuts charge time New technology cuts charge time

A full battery would give the car a range of about 90 miles. When he starts charging, the battery is at 72 percent. Within a couple of minutes, it's at 78 percent.

About 20 minutes after plugging in, the Leaf's battery was charged and ready to go.

Pritchard says the technology is even more impressive when the battery starts below 50 percent.

“It'll charge very aggressively for the first 50 percent,” he said. “It can do that within about 10 minutes.”

One of the hurdles to electric car usage is how slowly the battery charges, but rapid-charging technology could change that mindset, Pritchard said.

A network of these stations would allow drivers to go longer distances without having to worry about taking hours to recharge.

“Along the East Coast, in the Northeast, we've started building it,” Pritchard said. “We're talking about it quite a bit along the highway system in North Carolina.”

There is one barrier, however. The machines are expensive, costing about $30,000 each, and they require a specialized commercial electrical system to draw enough power for use.


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  • FE Sep 10, 2013

    No one ever mentions what happens when the electric car battery finally is at its life's end and a NEW battery is required.

    Talk about sticker shock! Likely at that time makes all of the money saved by not buying gasoline resemble pocket change.

    Oh yes - have you priced the cost of a new electric car recently?

  • sinenomine Sep 9, 2013

    I loved the comment you posted at 1:47 PM September 9, immaannoid. I believe you have been listening in to some of my private conversations with family and friends because you made the identical points I have made with them. Keep up the good work!

  • Bill Brasky Sep 9, 2013

    "Once the high cost, the range issues, and the disposal of the toxic metals from worn-out batteries dilemma is figured out, I might be interested in one."

    His point is that gasoline is partially subsidized by the US government already, similiar to an electric car getting a free recharge when its out and about.

    Tesla will be making a more economical version of their car shortly and its rumored to have the same range as their luxury car, which is competative with gasoline cars. Also, the batteries are recyclable and interchangable when going on long trips.

  • irishale Sep 9, 2013

    ""It seems to me that if electric car owners can get free electricity to power their cars when they park at a shopping mall or elsewhere that I ought to get free gasoline when I do the same thing."

    Nice entitlement attitude." Earth Brooks

    Doesn't sound like an entitlement attitude to me, sounds like a fair point... why discriminate ?

    Once the high cost, the range issues, and the disposal of the toxic metals from worn-out batteries dilemma is figured out, I might be interested in one.

  • BernsteinIII Sep 9, 2013

    "Nice entitlement attitude."

    Get a clue. He's only pointing out the inequity in the approach. i.e, if taxpayers are paying for their electricity to charge their car, (which is true in a lot of cases), why don't taxpayers pay for gas?

    In reality, there is a cost to the taxpayer for not only the electricity itself, but for the ridiculous subsides.

    Beyond that, what is even more annoying is that electric cars aren't *green*. LOL. The cost of building one as far as energy required has been calculated as more than the energy it takes to build a Ford Explorer. Further, where does the electricity come from? Plants that burn coal. How much energy does it take to produce the electricity (mine the coal, transport the coal, etc...)? How much toxic emissions occur due to the generation of electricity from coal plants?

    Oh, and what do you do with the old batteries? Hmmm.

    Typical government solution.

  • dwntwnboy2 Sep 9, 2013

    If I could afford an electric car, I would drive one. I don't go on many road trips and only drive a few miles a day to work and home or to the grocery. Would be great for me personally, but I can understand how it may not be the right fit for everyone out there. Would like to see them become more and more affordable and easier to charge on the road should they need to be taken on a road trip. Also glad to see research at NCSU helping to lead the way....even though I'm a UNC fan, gotta love it when it comes from NC!!

  • Bill Brasky Sep 9, 2013

    "No matter how much we produce here it will only go to benefit world supply and demand, while world supply and demand is skyrocketing for nonrenewable resources."

    I will also add that renewable resources is also in high demand worldwide.

  • sinenomine Sep 9, 2013

    ThatGuyYetAgain, I think you're right. Thank you.

  • Bill Brasky Sep 9, 2013

    "sineomine, EarthBrooks didn't misunderstand your point - s/he ran from your point by evading the first question, then insulting you instead of dealing with your second. It's all lefties know how to do any more."

    He didn't run away from your point, he simply pointed out that the Federal government does in fact pay a portion of your gasoline. Now, I'm unsure who pays for the recharge stations, I would suspect the cities or private donations pay for that service in order to encourage the jump from nonrenewable resources.

  • Bill Brasky Sep 9, 2013

    "Now you know this is a lie right out of the environmentalist playbook. We are dependant on "foreign" sources because the environmentalist, obama included, do everything they can to stop our own exploration. Try another tale!!!"

    Stymiedurham, how did I know you were going to turn this into an antiobama rant with no evidence to support your opinions? There is currently more domestic oil being produced on public and federal land than anytime in this country, and we are close to exporting more than we import. You see, because we are not a socialist country the companies that do the oil pumping are multinational corporations that sell on the worldwide market. No matter how much we produce here it will only go to benefit world supply and demand, while world supply and demand is skyrocketing for nonrenewable resources.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20 13-0 6-1 8/americans-exporting-more-oil-first-time-since-70s.html