EVs Still are only 2% of our Transportation Fleet


EVs Still are only 2% of our Transportation Fleet

I have been editing an article written by the EV charging industry about the potential for electric vehicles during the upcoming decades. One comment caught my eye. Whereas gas vehicle owners tend to fill up only when they are under a quarter tank, EV owners like to keep their charge as high as possible and tend to charge their cars two or three times a day.

Is it just me, or is that last sentence a major reason NOT to buy an EV, at least until battery technology catches up with demand. If it takes upwards to an hour (or even 20 minutes)  to fully charge your EV (that’s with the best charger) are you willing to invest that time and search for a charging station a couple of times a day?

I can whip in and fill up my Belchfire V8 in what, five minutes and I’m off to the races. You don’t hear the term ‘range anxiety’ any more, since the main stream media is locked in to promoting EVs. Fair enough.

The concept of the article is to promote charging stations in your parking facility. The project that a million stations will be needed by 2030. There are 100,000 now. That number supports about a million EVs on the road today. They expect that number to skyrocket to 19,000,000 in the next 9 years. Let’s put it in perspective.

The number of EVs on the road today equals just about 2% of the total cars on the road. Two Percent.

My betters here in California are passing laws to prevent sales of gas powered vehicles by 2035. They are going to completely change the desires of the consumers by force of law moving from 2% of the market, to 100% in 14 years. Wow.

Remember, in that 14 years they not only have to be able to cause auto companies to manufacture EVs at that rate, they have to have the infrastructure in place to charge them. That includes not only the charging stations themselves, but also the massive electricity infrastructure upgrade to provide the power to run them. Fourteen years. We can barely keep the lights on now. Oh well, these are just details.

Keep in mind that world wide the sales of EVs is less than 3% of auto sales. It sits right at 2% in the US, with more than half of those in California. If you live in most states, don’t expect EV sales to boom or skyrocket.

Look out the window – count the EVs you see on the road, and then remember that the ones that will be using your charging stations are the pure electric vehicles, and not the ones that are hybrid who have gasoline back up so they can charge their cars overnight at home.

There is one more thing to keep in mind. Gasoline in California averages a dollar a gallon more than the same product in most other states. That’s all tax and other folderol that adds to the cost. When we are forced to switch to EV, who is going to pay all that tax? Will people who bought EVs be so quick to do so when they find out that driving them won’t be so much cheaper after they have to pay for the electricity and then pay the road use tax that the state will slap on them.

I’m with the charging station manufacturers. Let’s be ready. Install the stations as you see the need. In California maybe it will attract more parkers to your garage. I’m not so sure about Texas.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

8 Responses

  1. Surely someone has or could determine how much electricity is required daily, monthly and annually to operate an EV. Then this figure could be applied to the power grid to determine how much more , the same or less electricity is needed to sully the EV over and above electricity needed to supply homes, businesses, factories, etc. I am convinced no one understands the requirements for any of this – especially adding in the power needs to just manufacture the batteries and the EVs. I can see the lack of electricity becoming a major problem. The so called greenies will never address this issue. So has anyone in the parking industry addressed this issue?

  2. Oh, some people understand, like the utilities themselves. However they don’t want to get on that bandwagon since they are basically controlled by the state government. I have seen numbers where putting half the fleet on electricity would completely destroy our electric grid. You are right, David, this is typical of folks having an agenda and driving it forward at all costs.

  3. Youir quote from the EV people. “EV owners like to keep their charge as high as possible and tend to charge their cars two or three times a day.” Likely story to sell more charging stations. That’s partially true because there are no charging stations on every block.” However, that quote is like the quote that 30% of cars are driving around looking for a parking space. EV spaces are like Reserved best spaces in the house. Pull in, park at the EV station, stick the cord into your car and maybe or maybe not actually turn on the charging. No matter how full the garage is, you have a reserved space that is larger than all of the other spaces and probably closest to the elevator.
    EV people are not charging two or three times a day, they are getting one of the best parking spaces every time they park (2 or 3 times per day). Not saying I know this from experience. At least I always turn on the charging station and actually charge my car.

    We, the parking industry, have to do a better job of managing those spaces and creating and managing the technology that can make management possible.

  4. JVH, I though would be good to share with your readers the EV experiance on this side of the pond.

    The dilemma the USA is experiencing with establishing and addressing the amount of electricity that will be required to handle the expected significant growth of electric vehicles, is the same across Europe. The big difference is that here in the UK our National Grid claims the investment is already under way during the next 10 years to handle the extra requirements and the current investments taking place in wind farms, will in a few years generate an extra 1/3 of electricity which will be more than enough to cover the whole of the UK’s 38.5 millions vehicles changing to electric

    Other important things to note is it has been established that the vast majority of EV drivers will be charging at home and at work (if available), so this means that about 75% of drivers will be charging 90% of the time in their garages, drives or company parking slot and with smart chargers, this can be programmed to take place during off-peak hours at the lowest cost per Kw.

    Does this mean we will only need to have a small % of chargers in parking lots? The answer is possibly, but is much too early to tell. It will depend on a number of things including; the cost of public charging, how much charging is provided on-street in urban built-up areas and the evolution of ultra fast charging in dedicated charging hubs.

    Here in the UK we are required to provide on new parking lots, a minimum of 10% of the spaces with an electric charger and these are typically either or a mix of 3.6, 7, or 22kw depending on the parking lot use. On existing lots, there are no requirements and is up to the owners and operators to decide what is required to serve their customers.

    The problem i see with all the political upheaval in the USA, is how will the neccesary long term investment be agreed and supported over the years by different Governments with such different agendas.

  5. Manny: I find it rather humorous when folks in a country one fifth the size (population) of the US and geographically the size of California tend to preach to us as to how to solve our problems. You are fortunate to have a form of government that allows a top down type of decision making. We have counties, cities, states and the federal government, all of which operate separately. Its sort of the way it is over here in the colonies. All that being said, the article said that most of the EV drivers will be charging at home, and also at their destinations. Meaning that the drain on the grid will be both at night and during the day. The problem isn’t just generating capacity, but also having the infrastructure to carry the load. (wires and the like). You are dealing with 38.5 million cars, here in the US we are dealing with 276 million. Somehow I don’t think that all the cowboys here in the US (except in California) will be signing up to buy EVs anytime soon. As for wind power — Unless I am wrong, you said most EVs will be charged at night, when there is little wind. But then, these are just pesky details. JVH

  6. John, I am surprised by your comments, as i have never heard anyone saying to me that sharing of information and experiances with others folks having similar issues is considered preaching.

    Personally, I have always believed everyone can always learn something from other countries irrespective of their size or world stature.

    I am sure you know the complexity of the USA federal and estate governments is not more complex than the huge difference across Europe with 44 separate countries and similar number of vehicles as the USA.

    Just a couple of points, countries in Europe are very much in favour of decarbonising our transport and significantly increasing the percentage of clean carbon neutral energy produced from natural resources to deliver clean energy to everyone, and most folks support this and are very pleased at long last is happening. The other item is that wind farming generation is actually produced during the day and night, infact i have been informed it generates even more at night during the winter months, and also works together with battery storage.

  7. Manny,. My apologies. you caught me at a weak moment. Of course you are right. However There are differences that should be considered. The distances folks drive here in the US, even in their commutes, are by and in the large much greater than those same distances in the EU, thus increasing the range anxiety built in to EVs. It is also true that public transportation has a much deeper development and usage in Europe than here. Its a trend that doesn’t seem to be changing. Americans love their cars. I note, also, that with the exception of places like California, we tend to rely on the free market. The tremendous reduction in pollution in the delivery of clean energy here in the US wasn’t due to government edict, but to the marketplace jumping behind fracking and the upsurge in the use of Natural Gas over coal. It is true that I don’t understand the nature of the EU. I certainly can do nothing but respect how those 44 countries both within and without the EU have learned to work together, something perhaps the 50 states here could learn.
    I use a technique in viewing the world. It has nothing to do with looking at the media, but looking outside my window. My city, Los Angeles, has spent millions to support bicycle and scooter use and it seems to me to no avail. People just aren’t using them to replace cars. With EV use in the US at just over 2%, I can’t see this huge turn around predicted over the next eight years. And by the way, that 2% is cumulative, taking all the cars on the road, not just those sold in 2020. I also note that my ‘green’ neighbors who buy Teslas, also buy gas guzzling SUVs. The Tesla just doesn’t cut it with soccer moms. I agree with Clyde (Who drives an EV and a Lincoln Aviator) that from what I can see, the usage of EV charging stations needs to be closely monitored or they will be come preferential parking spaces. I think that the fact that California has half of the EV population on the US is based more on political viewpoints than on a desire to save the planet (witness the owning of SUVs as well as EVs, and the use of private jets to travel). I drove through a huge windmill field near LA last week and found probably half of the critters not turning, even thought there was a brisk wind blowing. I don’t know what that means, but I do understand that these wind farms have a life.
    Manny, Sorry to preach at you above. I miss our personal conversations and note Parkex will be virtual again this year. I hope to see your smiling face and shake your hand again soon All the Best

  8. There are also the transactional fees we should take into account when evaluating the expansive use of electric vehicles along with the others you have mentioned. When electric vehicles first came out, I recall a family friend that leased commercial space for her business making a comment about how a customer had asked for access to the outlet located in the parking lot lighting fixture. Similar to the credit card use where businesses may absorb the fees associated with offering that service, we may see more businesses tacking on the power usage to customers either in their product pricing or at the point of access (since we already have some places that provide charging stations with an access card).

    Seems that along with all the fees, taxes, impact to the power grid, replacement of fossil fuels and personal efforts to keep the vehicle charged, it may still not be the preferred choice unless there is an elaborate dialogue to address the. An honest dialogue that is yet to be had.

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