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Elevating the Electric Car

There are many bad reasons a good idea—the electric car—still hasn't gained traction. Among the thornier issues has been The Charge Problem—or...


There are many bad reasons a good idea—the electric car—still hasn't gained traction. Among the thornier issues has been The Charge Problem—or as Andrew Antar puts it, the lack of an "available and prevalent charging infrastructure" for keeping cars juiced. Antar is the young entrepreneur behind Elecar, a planned system of personal and public charging units that he hopes will standardize the process. Antar's vision? "A full line of charging products, from 220V retractable-cord wall-mounted home charger units to publicly installable units to wireless pedestals," he says. The units will work with all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars.



Antar's vision—to build an extensive network of charging units—is grand in scale, but that's the point: To do this small is not to do it. And perhaps the most intriguing feature of Antar's concept isn't his plan to standardize units. It's his effort to, in a sense, standardize the driving and trip-planning process for electric car owners. His units will send data to a website where drivers can monitor their charges. Niftier yet: "[They'll] text drivers when a charge is complete, and route them to the nearest available charging stations," he says.

It's enticingly grand talk, and Antar admits a full rollout is still likely a couple years—and financing rounds—off. But with the scope of its integrations, Elecar seems to do battle with what may be the electric car's biggest issue: People haven't been sure how owning one would work.

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