Automakers and proponents of green energy are getting ready for the day electric vehicles (EV) dominate our roadways. Whether driven autonomously or operated by human drivers, EVs have been touted as a reliable way to reduce emissions, but there’s a major issue standing in the way of them becoming a standard: a lack of charging stations that could leave travelers stranded, or simply too anxious to travel far.
Image Source: Wikimedia
Uneven Distribution Of Charging Stations
Although some areas have made a push to incorporate more EV charging stations along major roadways, their distribution remains uneven. A large number of cities in Europe, and a growing number in North America feature an ample number of charging points for EV drivers to access during their daily commutes. For drivers in rural areas, however, the nearest charging station can be 50 miles or more from their homes.
The Problem Of Charging At Home
For those drivers with shorter commutes—who can make it to work and back multiple times on a single charge—there’s still a problem. According to National Grid, many homes lack the electrical capacity to operate an EV charger and other major appliances simultaneously without overloading the main fuse. That issue depends on the wiring of the structure itself. A home charging station can also be a problem for homeowners, renters, and apartment dwellers who don’t have access to a garage with electric outlets.
Image Source: Green Car Reports
Solutions Are Just Ahead
These hinderances may slow EV proliferation but automakers are optimistic. A recent report from Nissan suggests that charging stations could outnumber gas pumps in the UK as early as 2020. The lack of charging stations in DC have electric taxis dealing with lost hours and revenue, but some have suggested a pilot program—originally proposed for California—in which street lamps are equipped with chargers. EV automaker Tesla Inc. has also been working to double its network of Supercharger stations, while other manufacturers including BMW, Volkswagon, and Ford are working on their own broadening fast-charging distribution plans.
Do you think more consumers will make the switch to an EV if better charging solutions were more widely available? Tell us what you think in the comments.