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Electric Car Charging Stations Debuted in San Jose, CA

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Coulomb Technologies, a start-up company whose activity domain is somehow presumed from its title, launches an electric car/plug-in hybrid recharging network in San Jose, CA.

They put 110V outlets on city streets, and only registered subscribers will be allowed to use those charging stations (in the future). Some comments say that this is a wrong direction to follow, as the future will reserve fast-charging batteries and battery swap station at the fuel stations.

Anyway, the company wishes to demonstrate its technology Today on a Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid at the Plug-In 2008 conference in San Jose.

“We’re listening to automakers, and we’re laying out the infrastructure to help them succeed,” said Richard Lowenthal, Coulomb’s CEO. The former mayor of Cupertino, Calif., is on the waiting list for a Tesla electric Roadster.

Coulomb’s team includes former executives from Tesla Motors, Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, and Echelon.

Of course, the electricity used by electric car owners will have to be paid, and they intend to do that by a user recognition system (in fact, I’ve seen this system used at a few gas stations) and they want to synchronize those charging stations by means of standard communications systems (GPRS, 3G, GPS, Internet). A brief schematic is presented below:

Any initiative is welcome in the path to reaching the maximum number of electric cars customers, and setting up recharging stations is the first step after (or, in parallel with) making the cars. It makes no difference if that electric car will be charged, or quickly charged, or just being part of a battery swapping system. They will all need electricity to work, and the offer has to be generous from the beginning.

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