Thursday, February 22, 2018

Charging Past Failure:  A Plan For More Effective Electric Vehicle Powering - by Matt Conway

EV Charging, Boston (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
There is a growing urgency to correctly legislate the next steps in developing electric car charging networks.  In California alone, PGNE is in the process of installing over seven thousand public chargers.  Similarly, Eversource in Massachusetts is moving ahead on installing four thousand stations.  Both initiatives represent valuable endorsements of electric transport.  Unfortunately, the chargers that most new programs plan to install are unlikely to win many converts to electric cars.  Evidence of problems with the existing approaches is highlighted in the expanding number of lease buyouts that are being advertised by electric owners.  Essentially, people who are desperate to get out of leases for electric cars that they find do not meet their driving needs.

Why Build a Network of Ineffective Chargers?
I recently passed 30 months and just over 32,000 miles of electric diving.  I’m left with two overriding impressions:
  1. The age of the internal combustion engine is over.
  2. Current charge networks are a complete failure (with the exception of Tesla’s).
Full Electrics Are A Better Fit—And More Fun to Drive
As a consummate “Car Guy,” that statement rocks even my world.  Electric cars are winning almost every automotive award and distinction because their power systems better meet the engineering design characteristics we like in vehicles.

My fairly mundane-looking five-door hatchback fits five comfortably, is quiet beyond imagination and yet handles better than any other car I’ve owned.  It also accelerates from 0 to 60 faster than all but one model of Porsche that was on the road when I was in high school.

The Charging Disconnect
The most common hang up when it comes to buying an affordable electric is anxiety about driving range.  Yes, a car with 200 or even 300-mile range would be more convenient.  But in my experience, range is not the biggest problem.

The real issue is that the 6.6 kW rated chargers that have become the default standard are ridiculously slow.  The bad news is, charge times are only getting worse.  Second-generation electric vehicles (with ranges of 150 to 200) are likely to require more than eight hours to refill on a 6.6 kW charger.  In fact, the Chevy Bolt requires over nine hours to fully charge on a 6.6 kW charger.  There are many scenarios like one-car families where these charge times will not even work for home-based charging.

Read more at Charging Past Failure:  A Plan For More Effective Electric Vehicle Powering

No comments:

Post a Comment