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Multi-car Charger

Power to (more of) the people
  [vote for,

More and more facilities are starting to offer electric car chargers. Unfortunately, electric car adoption seems to be increasing faster than charger installation, which can make it frustrating to find an unused charger when you go someplace. Especially when the chargers are provided for free, people tend to monopolize them by leaving their cars plugged in long past the point when their car is fully charged.

Some places attempt to deal with this by limiting the amount of time a car can be plugged in, but this is a hassle and the rule is rarely enforced. Some chargers can service multiple spaces, and the custom among electric car drivers is that if you see a car that is fully charged it's okay to unplug it and use the charger, provided you can reach it. This is still an inconvenience, though.

Public car chargers should be designed so that multiple cars can plug into them. The cars don't need to all be charged simultaneously, however. The charger can charge all cars round-robin, in 15 minute increments. Current charging equipment can thus be used, with just a minor retrofit.

As many as ten cars (five on each side) could theoretically plug in to a single charger without making the cables excessively long, but a practical limit would probably be about four. This system probably wouldn't be very useful for shopping malls and such, but for workplaces, airports, and any other place where people leave their cars parked for long periods of time it would be an easy way to increase electric car charging capacity without significantly increasing equipment costs.

ytk, Jan 17 2014


       Also, seems like there should be a category for [Vehicle: Car: Electric], and [Vehicle: Car: Electric: Charger]. I'm aware of the existing category [Vehicle: Car: Engine: Electric], but apart from the fact that this is technically an incorrect description (electric cars use motors, not engines), this would seem to only apply to the powerplant of the vehicle. Now that electric cars have become more than a novelty, I think they deserve their own category.
ytk, Jan 17 2014

       //people tend to monopolize them by leaving their cars plugged in long past the point when their car is fully charged//   

       What we need is a battery design with a tendency to explode dramatically when overcharged.
Wrongfellow, Jan 17 2014

       Boeing are the current industry leaders in exploding batteries, I believe. We may have to invent an electric jet in order to interest them in building the chargers.
Alterother, Jan 17 2014


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