Monday, August 2, 2010
EV Excitement Wafts Through Plug-In 2010
If you walked around the exhibit hall at last week's Plug-In 2010, you would have noticed something a bit different than Plug-In 2009. ECOtality brand named its interactive EV chargers Blink and hired designers to create an iconic look and feel - black and grey, rounded edges, blending into the background. This was not a gas station pump, nor a maintenance garage tech tool. I noticed similar cool gadgetry at other display stations, like Better Place's charging station in either DeepSkyeBlue or DogdgerBlue color. Then there was overhearing conversations at lunch tables, or sitting in aisles waiting for speakers, or the hearing people approach the microphone on Tuesday night and question Bill Nye, the science guy, and "Who Killed the Electric Car" star Cheslea Sexton. Actually, they had gushing comments to make more than questions and were quite enthralled with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt coming to dealer lots soon, plus a score of competitive models. This is no longer a science fair, nor merely a handful of low speed specialty EVs. There were EV activists present, enginerds needing to talk through the details, and entrepreneurs ready to make good money on this all-new product line. There's also the reality of selling EVs at dealerships and setting up the charging stations in people's houses. There are a lot of details to work out. I predict dealers and technology suppliers will have a great deal of stress to live through starting in November or December, but it will be worth it.