Over the past 10 years, electric vehicles have enjoyed an increasing rate of consumption amongst the general public. It’s clear, however, that the overall sales is not as impressive as many had expected. According to experts, such a lacklustre performance by EVs is caused by the absence of a sufficient number of public fast charging stations.
With the lack of easily available charging sites in the country, this makes people wary about switching to the EV mode of transport. With gasoline-engine cars, owners are assured that power problems will not be an issue as fuel stations are everywhere. The same cannot be said the same in the case of electric vehicles.
Electric utilities try to make a difference in EV industry
Different organizations and groups such as auto makers, retail shops, and players in the American EV industry have banded together in a bid to increase the number of charging stations. However, their efforts are yet to make a significant impact on US driver attitudes towards electric vehicle use, according to analysts.
Now, another group is trying to make a difference. The electric utilities want to push for the change from the traditional combustion engine vehicles to the renewable, electric version.
In many areas, big companies engaged in financing, manufacturing, and operating power infrastructure are now engaged in EV charging business. Electric utilities, which are involved in the business of selling electricity, want to install more fast charger stations to provide the essential service to EV drivers.
Electric utilities to ensure EVs become a convenient & economic alternative
The goal of these organizations is to make sure that electric car is made into a reasonable and economical alternative transport means for consumers. At the same time, the use of EVs and increased charging stations is set to improve the bottom line of the electric utilities.
For instance, the main utility provider in Kansas City is in the process of creating a network of over a thousand fast charging stations for its metropolitan areas.
In California, Pacific Gas and Electric is the most recent utility to file a proposal that will allow it to build 25,000 public chargers all over the state, at a cost of $654 million.
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All 3 California utilities plan to build as many as 60,000 fast chargers all over the state in the next few years.
US Energy Department confirm only 9,000 public station across the country
According to the US’s Energy Department, around 9,000 public stations with almost 30,000 chargers are scattered all around the country.
The EV industry is looking to many years of catching up before it comes up to par with gasoline availability. Two years ago, more than 114,000 gas stations are found in the US, as reported by the Census Bureau.
“We’re looking to really remove barriers to E.V. adoption, to really build to scale where all business models can work,” according to James Ellis, director of the Utility’s electrification and electric vehicles division.
Although California is on top of the list of biggest sellers of electric vehicles, it is also pressured to realize goals that would require 100,000 chargers faster than conventional types. This number is enough to support 1M EVs by 2020.
On the other hand, Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, is in support of the electric utilities’ decision to help but cautioned them that it might end up hindering a strong and innovation-inducing competition.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Ozawa on Flickr