As more electric vehicle offerings come to market, the EV charging infrastructure is starting to diversify as well.
Bosch just announced a DC fast charger for less than $10,000. Three years ago, DC fast chargers averaged about $16,000, although that cost was falling toward $10,000 by the end of 2013.
It isn’t just the price that’s shrinking. Bosch is the latest manufacturer to offer a DC fast charger for electric vehicles that is significantly smaller than traditional DC fast chargers. The smaller size allows for much lower installation costs, according to Bosch, as well as the ability to be mounted on a wall or a pedestal. The unit is 31 inches tall and 19 inches wide.
The Bosch fast charger is slightly smaller than ChargePoint’s Express 100 station that was released last month, which measures about 36 inches tall by 25 inches wide.
For commercial, public and workplace charging, the increasing options for DC fast chargers at lower prices could help accelerate the market. A 2013 study from Recargo found that access to fast charging was key to EV adoption.
Level 2 charging is developing as well. Earlier this year, ChargePoint launched an EV charger specifically for electric-vehicle owners in multifamily buildings. It gives apartment dwellers a dedicated Level 2 charger in their parking space, while the building owner only has to provide the wiring to the parking spot.
In an effort to improve single-family-home charging, ChargePoint announced its new ChargePoint Home offering, which will sell for as low as $500. That price is nearly as low as Bosch’s $450 Level 2 home charger that came on the market a few years ago, but ChargePoint’s offering is networked, which the Bosch unit is not.
Other development efforts are proceeding apace as well. WattTime and eMotorWerks have teamed up to allow people to choose the time they charge their car based on the level of clean energy being used by the electric grid at any time, according to Green Car Reports.
EV charging innovation is also happening in the great outdoors. BMW Group just unveiled a new EV charging option during Low Carbon Oxford Week in the U.K. BMW’s Light & Charge demonstration LED streetlight at its MINI auto plant doubles as a charging station to leverage existing infrastructure to expand public charging.
“Light & Charge is a simple and innovative solution which aims to integrate a charging station network into the urban landscape, and this is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future,” Frank Bachmann, managing director of MINI Plant Oxford, said in a statement.
Local municipalities could swap out streetlights with the efficient LED streetlights wherever available parking is, or the charging station can be grafted onto existing streetlights.
Of course, BMW will have steady competition from other lighting manufacturers that are pushing LED streetlights as the nodes of a connected city. Since the charging station can be grafted on, however, there could be an opportunity for BMW to partner with other streetlight manufacturers that are pushing streetlights with seemingly endless applications.