“In the recent times, many more people are starting to be proactive about environmental issues. While some are recycling more, others are using more electric heatings,” says a heating expert at Electric Heating Expert. In a larger scale, many countries aim to eliminate traditional vehicles with cleaner electric ones, also known as EVs. A couple of months ago, both France and Britain have stated that they intend to ban petrol or diesel-powered cars by 2040. According to Morgan Stanley, a bank, by 2050, half of the billion cars that are currently on the road will be battery-powered. Taking into consideration the falling battery costs, the total cost of owning an EV will soon equal the cost of owning an ICE vehicle.
Lack of Charging Stations Deter Car Owners From EVs
Surveys show that one of the major impediments to switching to an electric car is the car owners’ worry that they won’t find enough stations to charge their vehicles. They want to know where they can do it and how long it takes. They need to be reassured about the availability of charging points and about the speed of charging. Until then, most of them are going to stick to buying ICE models.
Better EV batteries with higher capacity can help car buyers change their mind. The current average mileage is 190km or more, which is not bad at all. Furthermore, the latest LEAF model from Nissan is able to travel as far as 400km before needing a new recharge. Even better, Tesla’s luxury EV Model S and the new Model 3, which is a car addressed to the mass market, have both an autonomy of 500km.
Only One in Five Drive Over 100km Per Day
As more car buyers switch to EVs, something is becoming obvious: the average mileage people need per day, combined with the ability to recharge their batteries at home, lead to the point that public charging facilities are rarely needed. Only one European in five drives over 100km per day. In Britain, for instance, the average daily distance people drive is less than 40km. In the USA, people cover about 70km a day.
Everyone in this market, from carmakers and commercial charging companies to governments is investing in this industry. Carmakers provide souped-up charging to their clients. Tesla intends to expand its global network of 145kW stations to 10,000 units. These public stations will be able to recharge even larger batteries to 80% in only 40 minutes. Due to technical limitations, fast chargers can’t provide 100% replenishment of batteries. Other carmakers are launching their own fast-charging stations. They need expensive kits, but they can bring charging times down to the average time required to fill a conventional tank with fuel. Nissan’s global network counts 4,000 fast chargers. Last year, Ford, Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW said they would install a network totalling 400 public charging stations across Europe delivering 350kW. These charging points will charge the battery of a small vehicle to 75% full in as little as four minutes, and a larger car in 12 minutes.
London Plans to Install 1,500 New Charging Points by 2020
Both local and national governments are also working on providing slower roadside charging points for car owners who can’t recharge their batteries at home. Officials in London recently made public their plans to install 1,500 new charging points by 2020. They are currently experimenting with offering low-cost kerbside changing by doubling up streetlights as charging stations.
Firms that provide solely charging services have their own business plans that take into consideration larger investments in developing the infrastructure as more EVs get sold. Pat Romano of ChargePoint, a company in California, which runs the largest number of stations at a worldwide level, sees workplace charging as another viable option to provide EV drivers more opportunities to charge their cars. He estimates that employers can offer this facility to their employees for a mere few thousand dollars, plus the cost of electricity, which is equal to the price of a daily cup of coffee. People would be able to charge their vehicles for free in the office car park. Businesses such as ChargePoint may well own the largest market share in the charging away from home segment, this being their main focus.
Apparently, chances are that the lack of proper infrastructure holds back the spread of EVs. Nonetheless, everyone in the automotive industry, as well as many are actively trying to eliminate traditional vehicles.