A few short years ago, the main questions customers had when purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) were about price and driving range. Today, the number-one concern is different: adequate EV power station infrastructure.
Vast networks of publicly accessible chargers will need to be built and put into operation in short order to keep pace with the rapidly growing interest in electric vehicles. A failure to do so could stymie EV growth and slow progress on decarbonizing road transport.
Advancing EV technologies lengthen driving ranges and cut prices and the expansion of the charging network. As we move toward an electrified future, here are some predictions for the future of EV charging stations.
Different types of electric vehicle chargers will require different strategies
During the “War of the Currents,” Edison espoused the belief that direct current (DC) energy would come to power the world while Westinghouse and Tesla believed alternating current (AC) was the future. Although AC eventually became dominant in the electric power industry, the issue isn’t quite so clear-cut when it comes to EV charging. In this market, both AC and DC are used, but for different reasons, and consequently, they require different competitive strategies.
Conquering range anxiety
In 2010, there were just 17,000 electric vehicles on the road worldwide. Fast forward to 2020, and that number increased to 7.2 million electric vehicles in use—including 1.4 million in the U.S.
To achieve anywhere close to that goal, the issue of range anxiety must be solved. The solution is simple: more electric vehicle charging stations. Electric vehicle charging station locations have been slowly added to our nation’s infrastructure in the last ten years, but most experts agree we’re behind the curve.
Electric car charging stations are more accessible, and as a result, drivers are overcoming range anxiety.
Challenges associated with fast charging stations
- Development of powerful charging stations
Fast charging stations should be available worldwide. That alone is already a major challenge. However, several technical obstacles have to be overcome before fast-charging stations can be integrated comprehensively into the infrastructure. This applies especially to the high power output.
Another difficulty is that the energy supplied from the grid must be compatible with automotive batteries.
- Power losses and heat
The charging station must convert the AC voltage from the electricity grid to a DC voltage that is suitable for the battery in the automobile. The components that are used cause what is known as power dissipation when this happens.
Private sector support is on the rise
More and more companies are supporting this growing industry. ChargePoint, one of the first charging station companies in the U.S., started up in 2007 with just a handful of stations. Today, they’ve set up more than 30,000 spots worldwide
But ChargePoint isn’t the only electric vehicle charging company anymore. Today, similar businesses are working side-by-side growing this vital industry. They are:
- Electrify America
- FordPass Charging Network
Each of these companies is supporting the availability of electric vehicle charging stations around the globe.
Our mobility is constantly changing. The changes in our lifestyle and increasing awareness for a more sustainable future will determine where this journey takes us.