JFE Engineering's quick auto charger does 50% charge in three minutes, hits parking lots in March

While range is an unfortunate limiting factor for electric vehicles, slow recharging time is perhaps even more troubling. Going 100 miles on a charge would be okay if you could stop at the corner electron stand and top up your cells while hitting the potty, and JFE Engineering's quick charger gets makes that a reality, able to charge an EV's batteries to 50 percent in just three minutes. Five minutes gets you a 70 percent charge, but from there things go downhill, with 30 minutes required for an 80 percent charge. The company is now pledging that these units will be ready for installation at convenience shops and the like by March -- in Japan, of course. The "low cost" version is said to go for $60,000, while the standard model costs twice that. Fast-flowing electrons: expensive business.