Today in Cleantech

Let’s start the day with a retraction — thankfully, not my own. Japan’s Nikkei newspaper may have to walk back a Monday story claiming that Toyota would make plug-in recharging a standard feature on all its new Priuses. “We don’t see (plug-ins) as a car for everybody,” Toyota spokesperson John Hanson told AOLAuto, and further confirmation has come out since then. Why not make every car plug-in? Well, it will probably cost a lot more, even though Toyota has declined to say just how much more. It turns out that plug-in cars have to come with a lot of hardware and software to manage recharging from grid-linked power sources, for accurate pricing as much as for the technical challenges in fast-charging and other emerging fixes to the EV range anxiety problem. For a sense of how complicated the car-charging world is, please refer to the mildly corrective comment at the bottom of this story I wrote in January — thanks, Nick Chambers — which lays out the AC and DC charging regimes, and just how certain standards may win out.

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