Broken EV Chargers Could Stall the Electric Car Movement

Matt Hirsch has it He has long liked the idea of ​​electric vehicles and rented his Hyundai Ioniq for the first time in 2020. He even installed a charger right next to the entrance of his house in the suburbs of Boston. , where he does most of his top-ups. But lately the relationship has begun to fade.

He sometimes travels longer, forcing him to use a variety of apps and websites to meticulously map charging stations during his journey, so he doesn’t get caught without charging. A frequent trip to a brother’s home in New York often takes him to a station run by Electrify America in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he often finds some, if not all, of the four broken plugs available.

This is an annoying situation for Hirsch, and he is concerned about the effects that broken and slow chargers will have on the country’s largest electrification project. “It ‘s hard to convince someone to change their behavior unless [the alternative] It’s much easier and much cheaper, ”he says. Right now, this is not always true for electric cars. Anxiety about autonomy, the fear of being trapped somewhere unloaded, has prevented some Americans from seriously considering electric cars as a viable option. They’re worried that a charging error will get them stuck on the side of the road.

More than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation industry. Politicians argue that the massive adoption of electric cars will be vital in combating climate change. Last summer, the Biden administration set a national goal for electric vehicles to account for 40 percent of all car sales by 2030. But if the United States wants to make a transition to electric vehicles, other greener transportation alternatives will require many more charging stations. The vast majority of current electric vehicle drivers charge at home, and the country has about 46,500 public fast chargers, which can typically charge a battery in 20 to 30 minutes, to fill the gaps. But it will need 180,000 by 2030 to cover more of the U.S., the International Clean Transportation Council predicts. More than 856,000 more “level 2” chargers, which are cheaper to install but take longer to charge a car.

U.S. governments — states, municipalities, and especially federal governments — seem willing to spend a lot of money to get there. California, whose governor has pledged to phase out gas vehicle sales by 2035, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building its charger network. New York has committed nearly $ 1 billion to the effort. A federal infrastructure bill, passed last year, has spent $ 5 billion on a network of half a million loaders along interstate highways.

But according to its history, it is unclear whether any of these new chargers will run for the required time. It is difficult to find definitive data on the maintenance of public electric vehicle chargers or how current chargers work in nature. Companies that build chargers often say they have an “uptime” of 95 to 98 percent nationwide, an industry term that means the technology is charging or ready to charge. But talk to the owner of an electric vehicle for a while, and you’ll probably hear complaints about slow or broken chargers.

A recent survey of 181 public charging stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, partially funded by the nonprofit Cool the Earth, suggests that 23% of them may be “out of order.” at some point, hampered by broken screens, poor credit cards, or payment systems. network connection errors or damaged plugs. Only half of the functional chargers tested by the research team successfully completed a payment transaction with just one click of a credit card. “A 50 percent success rate in any other retail transaction would not be considered acceptable, and it should not be here,” Patty Monahan, a commissioner for the California Energy Commission, said at an early industry meeting. of this month. A survey of electric vehicle drivers conducted by a California agency found that more than a third of them, and nearly 60 percent of those who said they used public chargers, had encountered others that did not work. Sixteen percent had had payment problems. Nearly half had to call customer service for a charger issue.

Source link

Leave a Reply