I read in the industry news that we should be focusing on electrification of vehicles and become a charging station for EVs since in six years they will be taking over and we will be the place to charge them outside the home.
But wait. The major suppliers of EVs have cut their production in half for the next year or so. If these suckers are so popular and just flying off the showroom floors, why are they doing that? The government has proclaimed that we will all be driving EVs shortly, but the buying public doesn’t seem to be lining up to get their new car, at least to get their new EV.
There seems to be a number of reasons for this, including early adaptors, range anxiety, lack of charging stations, and cost.
Those folks who jumped on the bandwagon for EVs because they felt motivated to do so have jumped. Those cars are sold, those people are satisfied with their new purchases.
There is still the concern about range anxiety, particularly in cold weather. This combined with a lack of out of home charging stations (and the cost for installing them) has caused many to rethink their buying decisions.
Then there’s the cost – With EV prices up to 30% more than comparable ICE vehicles, dealers are finding that EVs are sitting on the showroom floors, while ice vehicles are selling like hotcakes. It seems dealers are refusing to take EVs off the manufacturer’s hands to the point of buying out their relationships with manufacturers.
What’s happening with charging stations, which seems to be the focus of the parking industry. There are issues. Installing level 3 chargers which are the quick charge units needed in parking is horrendously expensive, with costs exceeding $100K per unit. The other complaint from EV owners is that the chargers are in poor condition and up to a quarter or more in many locations are not in service.
Do you, as a parking operator, want to put yourself in the position of having to install and maintain these charging stations? Are you in a position to charge enough for electricity flowing to the EVs to cover your costs? Is maintenance readily available? Have you determined how you are going to ensure that spaces with charging stations are kept open once a vehicle is charged?
Are we as an industry listening to our customers (ie those who park in our garages or on our streets) or are we caught up in a government sponsored requirement. Capitalism makes choices and they are usually the right ones. Can you remember a time when the government, at any level, made choices that were the right ones?
Do we read the headlines that tell the tale or are we so caught up in the hype that we don’t listen. Is it not time to take a step back and let the marketplace shake out? I wonder…