The great vision of an electric vehicle can fail on something most motorists take for granted: a quick pit stop.
The unfortunate truth about electric vehicles is that they are terribly impractical in ownership and operation. Most cars have to be recharged after a journey of 200 to 250 miles.
To recharge, first find a charging station and then an open bay.
The New York Times reports LA to Vegas and back with the electric car: 8 hours drive; 5 more connected devices.
NYT author Ivan Penn drove a LA Chevrolet Bolt to Las Vegas, a 540-mile round trip that many people travel regularly.
Penn reports that in addition to eight hours on the road, he spent nearly five and a half hours charging the car. That's about 41
It could have been a lot worse. "We've always provided a charger, even though we've got the last one more than once, and the drivers who came after us had to wait," Penn said.
What was 5.5 hours could easily have been 8 hours. It would have only taken a bad wait. It is known that Tesla owners wait at least one hour for a charger to open. And Tesla owners can use either Tesla stations or public stations. The opposite is not the case.
There are approximately 24,000 public charging stations in the US, with fewer than three charging stations on average. By comparison, there are about 150,000 service stations, some with dozens of pumps.
Will the number of charging stations increase as fast as electric vehicles?
I do not know, but the alleged savings on gasoline are not as good as reported.
The store costs on average $ 10 for about 200 miles, depending on the car. That's about half of the typical fuel cost for this route, according to AAA.
"Our experience was not so economical: we spent about $ 67 on electricity, maybe $ 10 less than gas," says Penn. Of course, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, no one can predict how much future electricity costs or gasoline prices will be in the future.
Is that really "green"? It's ridiculously impractical to spend 8 hours or even 5.5 hours charging a car for an 8-hour drive.
There are no standards for plugs, quick chargers or the number of parking spaces. Regulations have not caught up, but Mountlake Terrace, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, is forcing developers to set up charging stations.
- signage. Each charging station slot must be marked with a sign indicating that the space is intended only for charging electric vehicles. Operating days and hours must be included if deadlines or towing conditions are to be enforced.
- released. Charging station equipment mounted on pedestals, light poles, bollards or other devices must be at least 24 inches from the curb.
- charging station equipment. Charging station sockets and connecting devices shall not be less than 36 inches or more than 48 inches from the top of the surface to which they are mounted, and shall have a retractor and / or a place to hang permanent cables and connections sufficiently above the ground or paved contain surface.
- Charging station device protection. If the charging station compartment of the electric vehicle is vertical or inclined to the curb and to the charging device, adequate protection of the equipment, such as As wheel stopper or concrete steel bollards are used.
- maintenance. The charging station must be maintained in all respects, including how the charging station works. A telephone number or other contact information must be provided on the charging station to notify if the equipment is not working or if other problems occur.
Required number of stations
When do EV vehicles make sense?
- Currently, nowhere from a cost point of view. People buy electric vehicles or hybrids in the questionable belief that they are doing something for the environment.
- For those who drive very rarely and for those who are on foot, by public transport or with Uber, no car is a viable economy option. For those who demand the comfort of a car, however, the following points apply.
- If and when the cost of an electric vehicle is not higher than the cost of a gas-powered vehicle (consideration of gasoline, insurance, life cycle) car, maintenance costs) Electric vehicles will be practical for those who rarely, if ever, exceed 150 miles or so drive in front of a well-known longer stop that also happens to have a charger. In most cases, the charging station must be at home or at work.
- As long as batteries are not charging as fast or nearly as fast as there is a gas-powered vehicle or readily available battery-changing stations, electric vehicles will not make sense to a large percentage of drivers.
Number 3 may or may not occur soon, but 3 is likely to be over a longer period of time. 4.
Those who live in a large metropolitan area rarely travel outside this region, which also requires the convenience of having their own car, whether it makes economic sense, EVs might find workable in the near future. Many millions of people fulfill this description.
In general, the cost of ownership and inconvenience must be reduced before ownership of electric vehicles begins. For many we are a decade away, unless there are immediately available super fast loading or changing stations.
For city dwellers, I assume that ownership rates will decline as self-driving Uber and new rental options prevail.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock