Car Charging Station

The Idea: Electric vehicles hitting the U.S. market

Stage: Hundreds of charging stations have been built, thousands to go

The all-electric Nissan Leaf completely sold out before the car even arrived in U.S. showrooms, according to Agence France-Presse. With that kind of demand, the charging stations to get those cars running are also going to be in high demand. "Our mission is to insure that people don't hesitate to buy electric because they're worried about fueling," says Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies, a Campbell (Calif.) company that builds charging stations. "The key is that they fuel a little differently." In general, the cars take hours to charge, so stations are needed where cars are parked. Although garages are often referred to as the perfect place, Lowenthal says there are better spots. "In the U.S. there are 250 million cars and only 50 million garages. We're busy putting them elsewhere, like the workplace."

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