The electric vehicles are coming. But the charging infrastructure to make them convenient for the masses? That’s an issue critical to the future of green cars–and part of the reason Edmunds Green Car Advisor has chosen battery-charging infrastructure developers Coulomb and Better Place as recipients of its first annual Green Car Breakthrough Award this year.
The award–created to recognize a vehicle, technology or program that sets new standards in fuel efficiency, emissions reduction and/or sustainability, or that stands out for promoting public use and acceptance of such a vehicle or technology–was given to these two companies based on their work in advancing the deployment and eventual acceptance of rechargeable electric vehicles. Coulomb, according to the Edmunds Green Car Advisor Blog, was chosen for its advocacy for public charging infrastructure and its development of a global network of independent retailers who are installing the company’s networked charging stations in places both private and public. Better Place was selected for its work in setting up national networks of battery charging and exchange systems in Israel and Denmark and (in conjunction with their friends at Renault, who are planning to market EVs there). Both companies are based in California.
Edmunds’ Green Car Advisor cites the kind of charging infrastructure being developed by these companies as critical to EVs gaining acceptance on a mass scale, as limited-range battery-electric vehicles are not likely to be on option for most apartment and condo dwellers due to their lack the room for a charger at home. (Also, while city commuter vehicles are great, we believe there’s the long-standing tradition of the Great American Roadtrip to consider.)