EV Carmakers to Standardize Charging System

September 5, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. standardized /ˈstæn dərˌdaɪzd/ (adj.) – adopting to certain standards or qualities
Example: The vehicle underwent standardized procedures set by the transportation agency.

2. impediment /ɪmˈpɛd ə mənt/ (n.) – a difficulty or obstacle that makes something hard to complete
Example: The lack of charging stations is the main impediment of using electric vehicles.

3. patent /ˈpæt nt/ (n.) – a government-issued document that gives legal right to a person or company to be able to solely use or sell an invention
Example: Companies secure patents for their original products.

4. unify /ˈyu nəˌfaɪ/ (v.) – to join together as a whole or as one
Example: Rival companies plan to unify their varied recharging mechanisms.

5. comprise /kəmˈpraɪz/ (v.) – to form or build up something
Example: Famous executives comprised the launching party of Nissan’s latest car model.


Read the text below.
Three of the biggest names in the electric vehicle (EV) industry are rumored to be working on a standardized car charging system that can be used by any EV car brand.

Recharging electric cars has been one of the main reasons why many car owners still stick to fuel-powered vehicles. Unlike gasoline stations where any car brands and models can be refueled, EVs have compatibility issues. This means that a Nissan LEAF cannot be charged on a Tesla charging station. Also, owners of Tesla Model S cannot just plug into a public charging station without a Tesla adapter.

The impediment of having different charging systems makes EV difficult to use for some consumers. Thus, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk [EE-lawn muhsk] decided to publicly share Tesla’s EV technology patents. Musk hopes to encourage the development of EVs and boost the technology’s popularity.

However, critics speculate that the announcement is part of Tesla’s plan to collaborate with its rivals Nissan and BMW to unify EV car charging system.

According to an executive, having standardized charging stations will be beneficial for both the companies and the consumers. Interestingly, a meeting between Nissan and Tesla happened shortly after Musk’s announcement. However, the two companies denied the rumors that the meeting was about the car charging system, giving no other details.

Nissan, Tesla, and BMW comprise about 80 percent of the EV cars in the market, with Nissan LEAF being the most popular. In January this year, Nissan LEAF reached the 100,000th mark in sales, while Tesla Model S reached its 25,000th.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Tesla made the right decision to publicly share its EV patents? Why or why not?
·         How do you think a unified charging system will help EV carmakers and users?

Discussion B

·         Can electric vehicles lessen the effects of global warming? Why do you say so?
·         What can be the other advantages of using electric vehicles?

September 5, 2014