A small but serviceable infrastructure for charging the batteries in electric vehicles is springing up in the United States, but it's largely in people's own garages.
Outside the home, more charging stations are being built, but locations are still widely scattered. In the long run, experts say, the basic charging technology being used to launch tiny volumes of EVs today probably will predominate in the near future.
"Most of the technology issues are minimal," says Phil Gott, director of automotive consulting for IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.
Global Insight's main concern about electric vehicles is consumer resistance because of the limited range of EVs, Gott says. A widespread charging structure -- particularly high-voltage, fast-charging stations -- could overcome that objection.
But the consensus is that the majority of initial EV owners will recharge overnight at home using slower, comparatively low-voltage charging stations. High-voltage charging stations will top off the battery during the day if necessary, at locations such as shopping malls or at recharging stations along highways.