Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Walking through any big city these days you will come across electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. There are multiple charging types but the main four are the slow 3kW charger which is for overnight charging taking 6-8 hours, the fast 7-22kW which can recharge some vehicles in 3-4 hours and the rapid AC and DC 43-50kW chargers which can give you an 80% charge in just 30 minutes.
In 2003 Tesla Motors arrived on the scene with the first electric cars, quickly followed by other motor manufactures such as Nissan with the Nissan Leaf released in 2011. Despite the initial burst in popularity especially in California, electric vehicles still only account for 2% of the market so they haven’t made the fast impact that was expected to transform the car market.
But why? The answer is quite simply that EVs do not have the same level of infrastructure available to them as fuel powered vehicles. According to the World Energy Council, for global fuel efficiency to reach its goal the EV industry needs to increase 16% by 2020. To reach these goals governments will have to really concentrate on improving and increasing the infrastructure for EV vehicles.
According to Nissan public EV charging points will outnumber petrol stations in the UK by 2020, which is just three years time. This was predicted based on current trends of increasing charging stations and decreasing petrol stations which could tip the scales towards zero emission vehicles.
There are now over 4,100 public charging stations located in the UK which is a huge increase from the couple hundred that were available in 2011. On the flip side over three quarters of petrol stations have closed in the past 40 years.
Globally the United States leads the way for the number of public EV charging stations, with the top ten countries being:
- United States: 23233
- Netherlands: 7634
- Germany: 6111
- United Kingdom: 4270
- Norway: 1630
- Japan: 1506
- Italy: 1205
- France: 1106
- Spain: 633
- Belgium: 606
During my recent visit to London and Paris, charging stations could be found on every other street and seemed to always be in use.
Currently over 30 different models of electric cars are available in the UK with this number predicted to rapidly increase over the next decade. There are more than 70,000 registered EV’s and with the ever improving infrastructure this is the time to consider investing in an electric car or even a hybrid vehicle.