What Does the Future Hold for Charging Electric Vehicles?
Many developed countries are making plans to decrease the number of internal combustion engine cars and to replace them with cleaner electric vehicles. Britain and France are keen on banning traditional diesel engine cars completely by 2040, thus contributing to the protection of the environment and to decreasing pollution levels in crowded areas and in big cities. According to experts at Morgan Stanley, by 2050, half of the billion cars on the roads will be electric. As batteries have become much cheaper, the total cost of owning an EV is the same as the cost of owning an ICE car.
Consumer Reluctance To Move To Electric
Although all these seem promising, drivers are still reluctant to replace their traditional cars with EVs, the main drawback being the lack of proper charging infrastructure.
According to Tom McGhie from Easyas HGV, the HGV training course provider, “The relatively high price is another frequent objection, but this is soon going to disappear since batteries are cheaper now than a few years ago. The relatively high price is another frequent objection, but this is soon going to disappear since batteries are cheaper now than a few years ago. Buyers need reassurance that they are going to have economic cars, with plenty of opportunities to charge them, as this is the only way they can be interested to make the switch to EV.
The new, more powerful batteries are also helping. The average electric car has now an autonomy of 190km or more. Nissan’s model, LEAF, needs charging every 400km. Tesla’s two new models have a range of 500km.
As more people choose EVS, one thing becomes clear: the average individual in Europe doesn’t need to drive more than 100km a day. The British drive on average 40km, while Americans drive about 70km a day. This means actual batteries are enough to allow these people to commute without worrying about charging their vehicles.
Governments, carmakers and providers of charging services are determined to invest in the development of this industry. Carmakers are starting to provide souped-up charging. Tesla aims to reach 10,000 145kW fast-charging stations. The replenishment to 80% will take 40 minutes. Complete charging isn’t technically possible when using fast chargers. Several other carmakers intend to build an infrastructure of public fast-charging points with charging times of four minutes for smaller vehicles and 12 minutes for larger ones. These charging stations will be able to replenish the batteries at three-quarters of their full capacity.
London Plans to Install 1,500 New Charge Points
Governments and city councils are working on offering EVs drivers slower roadside charging stations for drivers who cannot charge their vehicles at home. London officials plan to have 1,500 new such points installed and working by 2020. In addition, local authorities are experimenting with using the already existing streetlights to double up as charging stations.
Providers of charging services are also considering investing large sums as the number of EVs increases. Some of them intend to take advantage of the opportunity to offer drivers workplace charging facilities. The cost for employers will be fairly low, as the equipment costs only a few thousand dollars. The electricity consumption is also very cheap, so everybody could charge a vehicle for free in the office car park. Calculations show that the electricity required to charge one car would cost only as much as a cup of coffee. These commercial companies will probably end up by dominating the market of public charge points since this is their sole focus. this is actually a good thing, as competition is a good motivator for businesses to provide high-quality services at affordable prices.
As you can see from all the above, the poor infrastructure won’t limit the spreading of RVs. There are young entrepreneurs who dream about car parks of the future having hundreds of charge points, and who believe plugging in will become the norm within not so many years from now. Diesel and petrol will be seen as obsolete, and range anxiety may only be remembered by elderly motorists. The old phrase “fill it up and change the oil” won’t have a meaning any longer.