September 06, 2010

Mobile charging stations for electric and plug in hybrid cars

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New Scientist magazine reports that Zafer Sahinoglu at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are developing a network of portable charging stations, which can be moved to wherever the demand for recharging is greatest.

To determine where the stations are needed, in-car sensors would monitor the level of charge in the battery and periodically report this to a central operations centre, which would flag areas where most cars run low on juice. The stations can then be deployed wherever the low-charge "hotspots" are at that time. Just five mobile stations would be needed to cover 100 electric cars on a 100-kilometre stretch of highway, the team says.

The roaming stations could be charged up from the mains at night, and then discharge their electricity to cars during the day, they say, reducing the load on the electricity grid at peak times. The team will present their idea at the Vehicular Technology Conference in Ottawa, Canada, next week.

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