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Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage is a California-based journalist covering clean vehicles, alternative energy, and economic and regulatory trends shaping the automotive, transportation, and mobility sectors.

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Number Of EV Charging Points To Rise Significantly

Gasoline stations outnumber electric vehicle charging stations by a wide margin in key global markets. That gap is expected to narrow with planned charger installations and significant growth in fast charging.

University of Michigan researchers earlier this year reported 16,000 public charging stations in the U.S., with nearly 43,000 individual charging connectors or plugs, based on federal government data. That made for only about one-in-10 charging stations to gas stations, with about 112,000 gas stations operating in the U.S. as of 2015.

China had 190,000 chargers installed by September 2017, with big plans in place to expand the network to 800,000 charging points.

The premise behind commitments made to EV charging infrastructures is that installing plentiful charging stations - especially fast chargers - will alleviate “range anxiety” over EVs running out of power, leaving drivers stuck out on the road. It’s one of the necessary elements to make EVs competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles.

Gas stations won’t be forced to shut down anytime soon over competition from global EV sales and its charging infrastructure. But the competition is there.

Tesla hasn't reached its commitment of doubling its global Supercharger fast-charging network this year. The electric carmaker earlier this year claimed it would go from about 5,000 Superchargers up to 10,000. It did bring an impressive number to the network, with more than 3,150 more Superchargers added this year. Related: The Biggest Factors In Future Oil Production

German automaker Volkswagen has agreed to add a substantial number of charging stations to U.S. cities - as part of restitution for its ‘Dieselgate’ deceptive practices on vehicle emissions reporting in its diesel cars. The Environmental Protection Agency had confronted VW about its emissions cheating scandal in September 2015.

Volkswagen will be installing 2,800 charging stations in 17 of the largest U.S. cities by June 2019, the company announced in December. The automaker’s Electrify America subsidiary will deploy about 500 locations. About 75 percent of the stations will be at workplaces and the rest at multifamily dwellings, such as apartment buildings and condos. The remaining charging stations will be placed in high-traffic areas with more frequent charging activity.

While many of the new chargers being installed run at 240 volts, fast chargers tend to start at 150 kW with new chargers being installed with the capacity to reach 350 kW.

An alliance of automakers will be deploying about 400 fast charging stations across Europe by 2020. BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen with its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries in November formed a joint venture called IONITY to carry it out. The High-Power-Charging (HPC) network will install chargers that will have the capacity to go up to 350 kW and will use the brand-agnostic Combined Charging System as the standard. Related: Saudi Arabia Eyes 80% Jump In Oil Revenues By 2023

Europe just saw the first of its "ultra-fast" charging networks installed with the capacity to go up to 350 kW. Installed in Germany, it was the first of 21 that will be placed soon in the region. On December 21, Allego announced the installation of the first one in Kleinostheim near Frankfurt, Germany. Under the Ultra-E project, 21 stations will be installed throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.

Gas stations still have an edge over EV charging by delivering a full tank of gas in five-to-10 minutes. EV chargers have taken much longer, making fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars a tough competitor.

The next-generation fast charger is expected to recharge electric cars for 200-to-300 miles of range with a 15 minute fast charge. That will certainly increase competition, especially if they’re widely available.

By Jon Le Sage for Oilprice.com

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  • michael smith on December 27 2017 said:
    So all I have to do is wait 15 to 20 minutes to charge my overpriced electric car LOL thanks but no thanks
  • Peter Breedveld on December 27 2017 said:
    This whole EV push is going to create problems in an emergency. How well will EVs hold up in floods vs conventional cars? What happens to these charging stations during a heat wave when they are competing for scarce electricity with life saving air conditioning? If you run out of gasoline during an evacuation someone can come along with a plastic gasoline container and help you out or even siphon gas out of another vehicle. As far as I know when an EV runs out of electricity during on evacuation the only is to tow it to the nearest charging location or manually push it off the road so at least other vehicles can evacuate. Replacing our internal combustion vehicles with this unproven technology will have lots of negative unattended consequences.
  • snoopyloopy on December 28 2017 said:
    The expansion of charging points, especially at multifamily residential and office locations will definitely be big catalysts to boosting EV adoption, but focusing on the number of charging points vs. gas stations isn't a great comparison. A significant number of people have access to charging in their garage at home already and with the increasing number of EVs coming to market with ranges that are multiples of the average daily driving distance, the availability of public chargers becomes less crucial. Between the flood of Tesla Model 3s and all the other EVs on the market that will really hit the market in earnest in 2018, the EV scene is about to change radically.

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