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Monday, 18 October 2021 22:05

Finding an EV Charging Station Shouldn’t be Game of Hide-and-Seek

Written by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press
This brand new parking structure has six Level 2 240v EV chargers but no outside signs to help drivers find them. This brand new parking structure has six Level 2 240v EV chargers but no outside signs to help drivers find them. Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press

Index

...failure to promote their service is a significant obstacle to widespread adoption of EVs.

 

“Part of the problem is that EV owners have apps to locate nearby stations, but people who don’t have an EV don’t even know the apps exist, much less the chargers,” said Chelsea Sexton, EV advocate and a consulting producer for  the documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car.”

 

EV owners generally do most of their daily charging overnight at home, when they’ll pay a lower rate and there’s no rush: A level 2 charger is fine when you charge through the night.

 

More powerful DC fast chargers are important when people need to get back on the road quickly, said Andrew Fox, chairman and CEO of Charge Enterprises, which advises companies on charging.

 

“Even with DC fast charging, it’s not a five-minute process," he said. “What if there are four cars in front of you? We want fast chargers in as many places as possible. We need great marketing and we need big, lighted signs, and you need corner entry from the street.”

 

The days of a lone charger sitting in an empty corner of a parking lot must end. Gas stations make most of their profit on food, drinks, everything but gasoline, Fox said. Charging stations need to be similar, but with the financial benefit that drivers are paying for every minute their cars sit in the parking lot.

 

How to Fix It

 

The infrastructure bill awaiting congressional action includes $7.5 billion to promote a national network for charging EVs. Not a single, government-owned network, but a collection of private and public entities putting up enough charging stations that availability ceases to be a concern.

 

Qualifying for the funds should include a few simple steps---and key information---that make it...


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