Gas station of the future sans gasoline
Jesse Ritka reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
NEW BERLIN- You could call it the gas station of the future, except there is no gasoline. Electric charging stations are starting to pop up across southeast Wisconsin.
Julie Stephens noticed two reserved parking spaces in the Kohls parking lot while she was shopping at the Bayshore Mall, "I glanced at it, I looked again to see what it was."
Stephens tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka she had never seen the electric vehicle charging station before, "It takes up some spots and they don't seem to be used that much but hopefully it's something that people will start using and the spots will be filled."
And that's exactly what ABB Inc. in New Berlin is hoping for, they just starting producing a different kind of electric vehicle charger.
Manager Andy Bartosh is on ABB's EV Charging Infrastructure team and expects the charging stations to become a more common sight, "We've got projections showing 10-30 percent of cars being electric in the next 10-20 years so I think that's where we're planning on the growth being and helping push it."
And they are pushing the time it takes to charge electric cars. Most charging stations nationwide, like the ones in the Kohls parking lot, will take up to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle, but ABB's Terra 51 Fast Charger cuts that time down to 20 minutes.
They have 250 Fast Chargers installed world-wide but the Terra-51 in their New Berlin parking lot was the first installed in the United States and they are already working on producing and installing more. "It's certainly exciting for us to watch that market grow and we're in the very early stages right now, but we're developing new products to compliment the fast charger here, and it's just exciting to see the growth," Bartosh says.
ABB Inc. and Kohls are letting anyone with an electric car charge up for free, hoping to encourage more people to go green.
"I think the people on this team are on the team for that reason, to be a part of something new and really good for the environment, good for the economy, something that ABB believes in and helping drive that case," explains Bartosh.
Even if the reserved parking spots aren't always filled, many shoppers like Stephens think it's a step in the right direction, "I think they're great, it's good that we're looking at other alternatives besides gasoline and it's a good option for people."