The big topic these days is charging infrastructure, a rather dry sounding term, but something with which everyone will soon be very familiar. It's what gets the kWh into your battery.
This is a very good article on the joining of five of Japan's strongest companies in the auto and electric power business forming a group to, among other things, set a standard for fast charging electric vehicles.
To recap... there are three levels of charging a plug-in vehicle.
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.
Level 3 is what we're talking about here. It is 480V starting at 125A and going up to over 1,000A. This is serious power, not anything that you'd get at home. Level 3 charging is defined in this story as less than 30 minutes for a full charge.
Level 3 charging will allow for intercity driving with an EV and it'll allow for apartment and condo dwellers who may not have a place to park at night near electricity, to charge while at the coffee shop on the way to work.
"Each of these companies has some skin in the electric car game, and the firms announced a partnership this morning dubbed the CHAdeMO Association. As explained in today’s release, CHAdeMO (an abbreviation of “charge for moving,” as well as a pun translated to, “Let’s have a tea while charging”) is also the trade name for the quick-charging system that the group is proposing as a global industry standard."
As engineers will tell you, efficiency is king and standards promote efficiency.
I like the part about it being a global standard. The U.S., Asia and Europe have different standards for Level 1 & 2, but we'll all be better served by making Level 3 a global standard.
This group currently consists of only Japanese companies, but I hope that all the world's carmakers and charging infrastructure companies join to help create a single standard that all can use.