The Promising Future of Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are rapidly gaining popularity in the market. The share of electric cars in Europe has tripled over the year from 3.3 in 2019 to more than 10 in 2020. Experts predict that by 2030, every fourth car purchased will run on electric traction.
The Concerning Trend of Switching Back to Gasoline:
However, there is a concerning trend for electric vehicle owners. One in five electric vehicle owners in the United States exchange their eco-friendly cars for gasoline-powered vehicles. This trend is most common in the state of California, which is the leader in the U.S in the adoption of electric vehicles.
The Problem of Abundance in Charging Stations:
The problem is not the lack of charging stations; rather, it is the abundance of it. Many companies are involved in the distribution of electricity, which causes inconvenience for motorists. There are different tariffs, various mobile apps, different charging connectors, and different charging speeds depending on the type of station.
This situation makes choosing a gas station a real quest, which causes irritation for drivers. Not every driver has the time and desire to understand the nuances and buy adapters for charging, be tied to a mobile application, or be worried about the phone discharging along with the car.
The Problem of Charging at Home:
One may ask why not charge the car in your garage or in the parking lot near your home or office. Firstly, electric cars are mostly abandoned by those who don’t have their own garage. In addition, standard home outlets in the states provide only 120 volts, which is absolutely not enough to charge a car in a couple of hours.
With this voltage, it may take at least a day to fully charge a 60-kilowatt-hour battery, available on almost all electric vehicles. According to statistics, 70% of those who switched back to gasoline experienced problems with the speed of charging at home.
The Problem of Public Charging Stations:
Secondly, even in such an advanced state as California, public charging stations are not installed everywhere. You would be lucky to have a fast charging station of a suitable type near your home or work, providing up to eighty percent of the charge in 30 to 40 minutes. Slow charging stations, giving a voltage of 120 or 240 volts, are easier to find so far.
Tesla, which is at the forefront of electric vehicles, has developed Tesla Supercharger fast charging stations that charge even the largest Tesla Model S battery 90 kilowatt hours in just 40 minutes. Nevertheless, the battery may be killed by such an express charge at a fairly high speed.
The Problem of Lack of Charging Stations in Other Countries:
In other countries, such as Moscow, there is only one Tesla Supercharger station, and on the highways between cities, they are even less common. This significantly reduces the likelihood of using electric vehicles for long trips.
Comparing Filling Up Speeds:
To bring it into perspective, filling a full tank of Toyota Corolla with gasoline, which is enough for 700 kilometers of driving on the highway, takes only three minutes, and you can refuel at literally every corner.
To charge a Tesla for 350 kilometers, you will have to find a Tesla Supercharger and spend about an hour charging. In the age of super speeds, this is prohibitively long.
The Study on Electric Vehicle Owners in the United States:
The Institute for Transportation Research at the University of California published a survey of 14,000 electric vehicle owners in the United States. Those who decided to switch from electric vehicles to gasoline lived in small families, so they had fewer cars per family.
In other words, they did not have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a gasoline car for an unscheduled trip. Instead, they had to depend on an outlet. Furthermore, they were younger, had a lower income, predominantly rented housing, and only a few living in their own home.
Tesla Owners and Ultra Fast Charging Stations:
The study also found that Tesla owners were less likely to switch back to gas than owners of other electric vehicles, such as the Fiat 500e. This is not surprising when you consider that Tesla still invests a lot of money in ultra-fast charging stations. People with higher incomes can afford such an electric car for whom Tesla is not the only car in the family.
It cannot be denied that the future lies with green, zero-emission vehicles, particularly electric vehicles. We are moving quite quickly in this direction. However, we cannot ignore the fact that we are still at the beginning of the journey on issues such as charging times and the availability of fast charging stations.
But don’t forget that only ten years ago, modern internet speeds seemed fantastic to us. Electric vehicles have come a long way, and with continued innovation and investment, they will continue to improve, overcome these challenges, and eventually replace gasoline cars.