The world is moving towards a greener future… or is it? California is the hub of EV manufacturers but a new study by the University of Cali has some really shocking revelations. The study done by a pair of researchers with the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis has disclosed a serious problem of 1 out of every 5 electric vehicles owner reverting back to gasoline-powered cars. The report suggests the primary reason behind this is the poor charging infrastructure of the EVs (Quite ironic! Isn’t it? People are facing inconvenience in charging their vehicle batteries in the homeland of brands like Tesla and Genesis).
Someone has rightly said, “Time is money.” The people who participated in the research confessed the real issue with the EVs is their charging time. Vehicles using gasoline take significantly less time to fuel up than their electric counterparts. Out of those EV owners that switched back to gasoline, more than 70% didn’t have access to level 2 fast charging at home. This can charge most electric vehicles from empty to full in 6 to 10 hours, depending on the size of the battery and exact charging speed. (So in case, you forget to switch your charger on before going to bed, you can have a healthy walk to your workplace the next morning).
A standard home-charging unit (Level 1) in California puts out 120-volts, exactly half of a fast-charger (Level 2) which offers 240-volts of power. By comparison, Tesla’s “Superchargers,” which can fully charge its cars in a little over an hour, offer 480 volts of direct current. So, one can understand the plight of EV owners to charge their vehicle on the go in case their cars run out of juice. Or, plan every journey in a way that you get to charge at a place where you’d be staying anyway for almost as much time as it takes to charge. Yeaup! Seems like a headache.
The research results also suggest that two-thirds of the electric car owners don’t use public charging stations. (Well this makes perfect sense though, with their longer to charge period, it can be harder to find a vacant spot and equally inconvenient to wait up at a charging station when you’re already late for your work. Just call an uber, right?) The expensiveness of these charging stations are no motivator as well.
The researchers mentioned in their study that although EVs have come a long way in terms of safety, tech and comfort; the process of recharging, however, has remained mostly the same. They also stated that if this trend continues, it will result in a slow PEV market growth, making 100% EV adoption more difficult. And it’s California we’re talking about. Imagine markets like India, where electricity is still a luxury in some remote places of the country.
The Indian government has plans to convert the automobile space into all-electric by 2030. But, India hardly even has 500 charging stations nationwide. And the EVs available in the Indian market right now don’t offer that brilliant of a driving range when compared to the international offerings. Those that do come with a decent range, don’t come with that decent price tag. Tata, while launching the Nexon EV, had plans to set up 3500 charging stations nationwide. But, the pandemic hit India and we all know the story afterwards.
So, is it time for the electric car manufacturers to revisit their plans? Maybe an on the go swappable battery unit just like electric bikes? Or maybe a higher-powered charging stations with a widespread network? Or vehicles with longer ranges or is it just too early for the world to become totally electrifying!