Electric vehicles face a lot of challenges in the push for mainstream adoption, and the proximity to domestic charging points is one of them. No problems there if you've got a driveway where you can install a charger, but for those living in built-up areas where on-street parking is the only option, getting an EV is all but out of the question. Enter Urban Electric, a company that's developed EV charging points that literally pop out of the ground. The British company has designed the app-operated UEone pop-up charge point with on-street parking in mind. It charges at up to 5.8kW and retracts underground when not in use, minimising its impact on the urban environment.
Walmart probably isn't the first place you'd go to charge an electric car, but you may have to rethink that belief before long. VW's Electrify America is installing (PDF) EV chargers at more than 100 Walmart stores across 34 states, with the rollout finishing by June 2019. And these won't be frugal installations, either -- they're some of the first 150-350kW DC fast chargers built to handle next-generation EVs. They should be three to seven times faster than the 50kW chargers you typically see today, so you may come back to a completely recharged car if your shopping trip is long enough. The initiative promises to "more than double" the number of chargers at Walmart stores in the US, Electrify America said.
Fiat Chrysler has cleverly re-purposed some not-state-of-the-art tech on its police cars to protect officers. The radar and cameras at the rear of its Charger Pursuit vehicles can now detect movement behind the car when its parked, alerting officers with a chime, locking the doors, rolling up the windows and flashing the taillights. It also activates the vehicle's rear camera, letting cops know what's going on at their "six." The tech could prevent a rash of incidents like one that happened recently in San Antonio, where 20-year veteran detective was fatally shot while sitting in his car during a traffic stop. "This technology is designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear while parked," said FCA Fleet CEO Jeff Kommor.
Target wants to make your next shopping trip worth the drive, so it's adding hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles to its parking lots across the country. SEE ALSO: There's a glaring weakness in electric vehicles. The big-box retailer announced Monday an expanded EV charging program, offering Tesla, ChargePoint, and Electrify America charging stations for battery-powered cars that may need some extra juice while on the road. Target currently offers the chargers in only 18 locations across five states (California, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas), but over the next two years, 100 stores in 20 states will have charging stations available. That's more than 600 parking spots where EV owners can charge up.
The debate over President Trump's criticism of NFL players who don't stand during the national anthem spilled over Sunday into the parking lot of the StubHub Center in Carson, where Los Angeles Chargers fans were gathered to watch the team battle the Kansas City Chiefs. Tobin Ellis, 43, was sitting with a group of friends a few hours before the game, tailgating in the parking lot outside StubHub Center. They were drinking beers and grilling carne asada on a small charcoal grill. Ellis said he heard Trump's comments and has been following the response. "Our president should be spending his time on more important things," he said from a lawn chair seated in front of a black SUV with a giant TV propped in its tailgate tuned to football.