Many governments militate towards electrical energy, whether that be electric heating or electric fuel. Therefore, this comes as no surprise that the government is pushing to replace traditional diesel or petrol vehicles with cleaner electric ones. Britain and France make plans to completely ban internal combustion engine cars by 2040. The Morgan Stanley bank estimates that by 2050, half the vehicles on the road will be electric. The falling battery costs make driving EVs as cheap as driving traditional cars.
Nonetheless, according to some surveys, people are still reluctant to purchase EVs, the main reason being that they are worried about charging – where are they going to do it and how much time it will take. Until someone will reassure these buyers that they won’t have any problems with recharging their vehicles, most of them are going to choose traditional cars. This will slow down the progress of the EV revolution quite significantly. High prices are also one of the major drawbacks, but this isn’t going to stay valid for too long, as batteries become cheaper every year.
Powerful Batteries Help Change Perception
More powerful batteries are helping drivers change their perception of EVs. Today, 190km is a normal autonomy range. Nissan’s LEAF is even better, with its 400km between charges. Two Tesla models, one in the luxury category and one in the mass market segment are both able to travel up to 500km before needing a recharge.
As EVs become more widespread, something is becoming clear: the need for public charging facilities may not be that strong. Most people in Europe drive less than 100km a day. Britain, for instance, has an average daily distance of 40km, while US citizens drive on average 70km a day. Considering that many of them can charge their vehicles at home, the may never have to use a public station.
Government and Private Companies Push for EVs
Governments are not the only ones investing in pushing the EVs as a cleaner alternative to ICE vehicles. Carmakers and commercial charging companies are also interested in supporting this trend. Carmakers can provide their clients souped-up charging. Tesla has the intention to increase the number of their 145kW supercharger stations to 10,000. These stations need only 40 minutes to replenish larger batteries to 80%. The 100% percentage can’t be reached when it comes to fast chargers, due to technical limitations. Other makers are also interested in developing and extending their fast-charging networks. Although the needed kits are still expensive, these stations can bring the charging time down to the time needed to refuel a conventional car. Nissan already has a network of 4,000 fast charging points. Another group of major carmakers will install a total of 400 public stations delivering 350kW. These stations will be able to charge a car to 75% in four to 12 minutes, depending on the battery size.
One Thousand Five Hundred Additional Charging Points by 2020
City officials and governments plan to provide slower roadside charging for those who, for various reasons, can’t charge their vehicles at home. Officials in London have made public their intention to expand their network with 1,500 additional charging points by 2020. They also consider using streetlights by doubling them up as charging points.
Commercial charging services providers make plans to invest more as more electric vehicles get sold. ChargePoint, a company located in California, has spotted the opportunity to develop workplace charging facilities. Such systems would only cost employers a few thousand dollars and will enable them to offer free charging in the office car park. The additional costs would be similar to the price of a cup of coffee per car charged per day. ChargePoint and other similar firms will probably dominate the charging away from home segment of the market because their efforts are focused toward this direction of development.
It appears that the perceived lack of infrastructure wouldn’t stop the spread of electric vehicles. Since all major players in the car industry and the governments of developed countries make plans to encourage drivers to make the switch from ICE vehicles to EVs, the future can only be bright for this type of cars.