The Profit Motive Will Solve this EV Problem


The Profit Motive Will Solve this EV Problem

Will wonders never cease. JVH is being proven right about something. A few weeks ago I wrote that the issues with the nonproliferation of EV charging stations would go away the minute the providing of electrons to EV batteries became economically viable. In other words, when folks starting making a profit from providing EV charging.

An article Astrid has posted in Parknews from E and E news goes to the heart of one of the problems. EV charging stations (except those provided by and for Teslas) are getting a bad rap from EV owners. The suckers either don’t work, cut off when halfway done, don’t accept the driver’s credentials, or any one of a myriad of other problems. From E and E’s energy wire:

Scroll through the comments on PlugShare, and one finds reports of stations that stir to life only with multiple plugging attempts, stations that refuse payment, stations that abort mid-session, stations that are disabled by vandals, and stations that are, for whatever reason, just not doing the job that day.

After all, the incentive wasn’t profit — the stations mostly lose money — but meeting government rules.. Policymakers wanted to create a market for electric vehicles, and that meant fueling stations. Impetus for the first wave of fast-charging stations came from the 2008 federal stimulus bill, which included $97 million for charging.

I don’t blame the EV charging station manufacturers. They are supplying a product to assist in the charging of an EV. Just like the company that supplies the pump at a gas station is assisting you in getting power into your Belchfire 12. But the gasoline supplier knows that if the pump doesn’t’ work, they make no money. So there are layers of things in place to ensure that a dummy like me (or my grandmother) can insert a card, and pump the gas. Little of that exists, it seems in the EV charging network.

More from E and E News:

“We are at a point where the demand for the charging is going to grow considerably,” said Nick Nigro, the head of Atlas Public Policy, which keeps data on EVs and charging networks. “If sites have stations down for days, weeks or even months, the more that happens, the more difficult it’s going to be to establish consumer confidence in public charging.”

Look at the second to last word in that paragraph. Can you find a gasoline station that you would consider “public.” Nope – They are all private businesses, in business to make a profit. And they ensure their supplying devices work. And at $5 a gallon, they had better.

The only charging network that passes muster, it seems, is Tesla. Elon Musk and Co. knew they had a charging problem so they set about to get ahead of it. They knew that if they were to sell EVs, people would have to be able to charge them seamlessly.

Tesla realized early on that convenient charging was essential to the adoption of its vehicles, and so in 2012 began building its Supercharger network. The company now has almost 1,200 charging plazas and 12,000 fast-charging plugs across the country, exclusively for Tesla drivers, providing an experience that other charging providers have struggled to match.

We are being asked to install a gazillion charging stations in our garages. Fair Enough. But remember they have to work, they will break down, and someone with more knowledge than a building maintenance engineer needs to be on call to fix them. If an EV owners leaves your garage with a bad taste because of an issue topping up his battery, will that bad taste stop at the end of the extension cord or carry on to your garage?

How serious is this? So serious that Ford Motor Company is developing a program that will place “Charge Angels” on the road to check charging stations and tell the owners when there is a problem. If the owner doesn’t fix it, they will be removed from the list of approved charging stations supplied by Ford to its EV purchasers. Read all about it on


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts


See all Blog Posts

Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy