I was reading a story about the EV charging industry and what operators should expect in the coming decades. Two figures stood out to me. First, the number of cars on the road is expected to decrease by 40% by 2050 and second, the number of EVs on the road are expected to be 42% of that number.
I guess that means that we would expect that EVs on the road in 2050 to be 42% of 60% of the number of cars on the road today. This is in the face of the fact that the US Government expects a 5 million car INCREASE over the next eight years. Plus ridership on public transit is unchanged over the last 70 years, at about 15% of the total number of commuters. TNC traffic is in the pits, but even if it increases, it will do so in the face of substantial ride cost increases which we have seen has made the Uber/Lyft world less popular with the riding public. You can only give it away so long.
The article goes on to discuss three types of chargers, Type 1, which fully charges you overnight, Type 2, which will fully charge most vehicles in Five to 13 hours, and Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) which will charge most EVs to 80% in about an hour. Costs Range from about $5000 for Level one, $15,000 for Level 2 and between $28,000 and $140,000 per stall for the fast charging DCFC.
It was also noted, to reduce stress on the electrical grid, that most cars should be charged at home, which begs the question as to why we are installing a gazillion charging stations around the country. But as Peter would say, lets forget that. What bothers me is that there is a very large number of people, mostly those who are ‘income challenged’ (read that poor), who don’t have off street parking near their homes. Plus these are the people who are most likely to use their vehicles in their jobs (gardeners, repair and maintenance folk, even TNC drivers.) As is usually the case, it’s these members of our society who get it in the neck, not only as to ‘where to charge’ but also in the fact that gasoline has nearly doubled in price in the past year.
All that aside, the article discusses how many charging stations you might need. My advanced calculus is far in the rear view mirror, but suffice it to say that in the end, the article recommends that you install 60% of your spaces with charging stations, and a load management system that will coordinate the charging stations, ensuring that only 15% of them are charging at any one time and then switching to another when one has completed its task. This will keep your system from overloading and…
Of course, charging for electricity is frowned upon at this time as we are attempting to get citizens to switch to plug in electric vehicles. (Can you say $5 a gallon gasoline). However once the goal is reached, then it is expected that one will charge for the electricity used.
I have no problem with that as long as the charge is equal to the cost of supplying the electrons. Won’t an EV owner be surprised to find that charging his EV will cost the same as filling an ICE vehicle with gas.
I do apologize to the authors of the piece mentioned above. I did cherry pick it a bit. But frankly not that much. This entire subject is fraught with pitfalls what with range anxiety, cost and location of charging stations, the variation of charging times for different vehicles, and studies that have shown that EVs aren’t that ‘green’ at all – See the Volvo study in Peter’s column in the upcoming April edition of PT.