Electric vehicles may not have quite the appeal that some automakers were expecting, but their slow-rolling sales are indeed advancing. One situation, though, that needs rectifying is charging infrastructure. One way to do it, the example set by Tesla Motors, is to make charging completely free, but only at their own charging stations and with their own vehicles.
The Tesla Supercharger Network, of course, is an LIII 480V system, which can recharge a Tesla Model S in under an hour. The only problem with these stations is that they are large, bulky, and expensive. Rolling out a large quantity of these is an expensive prospect. Additionally, if plans are to make these available for any electric vehicle instead of just one, and to charge for their use, then a different approach is needed.
Really, if you have two places for electric vehicle charging, say, at home and at work, then why do you really need two complete charging stations, metering equipment, and possibly payment methods? A startup in Berlin, Germany, ubertricity, has a different approach that is more like a smartphone plan, and uses half the equipment.
The equipment itself is simple, a network of LII sockets, which are smaller, easier to produce and install. In order to make use of these, though, you’ll need to have the ubertricity cable, with adapters for the socket and your vehicle. On the cable is a portable meter with a cellular connection.
When an electric vehicle needs to recharge using the ubertricity system, the user simply connects the cable to the vehicle and socket. The meter enables the socket, and then keeps track of power usage. When charging is complete, the meter then sends this data to ubertricity, which bills the customer monthly.