One main issue with electric cars is charging on the go, where can you charge your vehicle and be properly billed for it if you want to charge it away from your home? This problem also applies to people who live in condos. A British company called Elektromotive hopes to solve this with their EBConnect system, together with their Elektrobay prototype.
The Elektrobay is a fully operational charging station that is said to be compatible with all plug-in electric and hybrid cars. The Elektrobay’s power sockets are located under a secure weatherproof door. While charging is in progress the door is locked shut with only a small hole for the power cord to hang out of it, to prevent interference. It puts out 240V and 13A in the UK or 230V and 16A in Europe, but tere is also a 3-phase “fast charge” prototype in the works which supplies 32A in effort to reduce charging times.
The charging bay then communicates with a billing server with EBConnect, which manages 2-way data exchange of electricity usage and billing data via GSM networks. The system allows the user to pay via various methods such as a prepaid Elektrobay keyfob, or automatically added to the user’s household electricity bill, or even via SMS messaging, and automatic registration number recognition.
The first Elektrobay was installed back in 2006 in London, and the total amount of Elektrobay stations now stands at 100 around the city. Another 40 will be added in cities and shopping malls around UK. Elektromotive also supplies the Elektrobay to Holland, Sweden, Germany and Ireland.