Importance of Charging Infrastructure to EV Adoption
The Electric Vehicle (EV) market is rising and will only grow in the coming years. The International Energy Agency noted that there were 45,000 EVs sold in 2011. That number has ballooned to more than 6.6 million in only ten years. With so many electric vehicles on our roads, there is also a growing need for charging infrastructure to keep them charged.
The electric nature of these vehicles, coupled with the push in search of greener sources of electricity, points us towards a future of carbon neutrality. But what does this mean for me? Better air quality in cities. It’s liberating to finally take a deep breath in the middle of a big city without the smell of exhaust fumes.
If you’re looking to get into the EV revolution, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper facilities to support your vehicle.
Level 1 Charging
Charging your vehicle at home with the supplied 120-volt adapter is known as “Level 1 Charging”. While this is a great way to start using your new EV without much work, this charging method is slow at around 2-3 miles of range for every hour of charge. The charging time also fluctuates based on other factors such as temperature, so you may get less than 2 miles per hour of range if in unfavorable temperatures.
If you’re looking to preserve your battery’s lifespan, you’ll be glad to know that charging at Level 1 is the best way. The charger’s low voltage means that you can expect to enjoy your battery life for months, even years, before needing to replace the power pack.
Level 2 Charging
Level 1 Charging is not for everyone. If you’re looking to get more range sooner, Level 2 Charging might be for you. You’ll need a 240-volt charging dock to take advantage of faster charging times.
Depending on the charging dock you got, you may need to hardwire these to your electrical grid, or you might need to have a 240-volt outlet to plug it in. Either way, you’ll need an electrician to ensure the correct installation of your charging dock. You may also need to furnish a steel insulated access door to ensure that you can enjoy your assets for many years to come.
With all this work, you get around 30-40 miles of range per hour of charging, which is the way to ensure you’re on a full charge when you leave for work.
While it’s great to have the capability to charge your car at home, you might still be worried about the range of your vehicle. The fear of running out of juice while you are on the road is genuine, and no one wants to push a car all the way home to recharge.
Thankfully, public electric chargers are becoming more available as the demand for charging infrastructure grows. You may also have access to an EV charger at work, so you’ll have places to charge up.
On top of this, the range of electric vehicles has drastically increased since 2011. Even the base model 2022 Tesla 3 gets a range of 272 miles. Other car manufacturers, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, get a range of 250 miles. A far cry from the sub-100-mile ranges back in the early 2010s
Is it even worth getting an electric car?
Yes! The Department of Energy noted that to fully charge a 200-mile range with a fully depleted 54 kWh battery would cost around $6 for a full charge (at ¢10.7 per kilowatt-hour) or $0.03 per mile. In comparison, if a gallon of fuel is at $4 and you get 25 miles per gallon, the cost per mile on gas would be $0.16.
You’ll be glad to know that your transportation costs won’t fluctuate when gas prices do.
We have seen a need for a comprehensive EV charging infrastructure in the United States. Fortunately, we are starting to see more public-private partnerships emerge with organizations such as Charge Point, Electrify America, and others developing solutions that will help boost EV adoption across the country.
Overall, the future of electric vehicles looks bright, and there’s much potential to grow. With the proper infrastructure, they can finally grow out of niche product status and become a viable mode of transportation that anyone can buy.
Charging is a critical element of the EV experience, and there’s still much work to do before it reaches mass adoption, but there won’t be a journey in the first place without proper charging stations.