Global demand for electric cars hits the accelerator

Need for More Charging Stations alert!  For consumers, especially in places where there’s little support from government. Aka the supply of charging stations isn’t keeping pace.

BY DEE-ANN DURBIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Electric Car tesla

DETROIT — Around the world, support is growing for electric cars. Automakers are delivering more electric models with longer range and lower prices. Take the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. China has set aggressive targets for electric vehicle sales to curb pollution; some European countries aim to be all-electric by 2040 or sooner. Yet, charging stations?

Tesla fast electric vehicle charger for electric vehicles

Those lofty ambitions face numerous challenges, including one practical consideration for consumers: If they buy electric cars, where will they charge them?

The distribution of public charging stations is wildly uneven around the globe. Places with lots of support from governments or utilities, like China, the Netherlands and California. They have thousands of public charging outlets. Buyers of Tesla’s luxury models have access to a company-funded Supercharger network. However in many places, public charging stations remains scarce. That’s a problem for people who need to drive further than the 200 miles that most electric cars can travel. It’s also a barrier for millions of people. These are owners who don’t have a garage to plug in their cars overnight.

“Do we have what we need? The answer at the moment is, ‘No,”‘ says Graham Evans, an analyst with IHS Markit.

In addition, take Norway. They have publicly funded charging and generous incentives for electric car buyers. Architect Nils Henningstad drives past 20 to 30 charging stations each day. Yup, on his 22-mile commute to Oslo. He works for the city. So he can charge his Nissan Leaf at work. His fiancee charges her Tesla SUV at home or at one of the world’s largest Tesla Supercharger stations. However, that’s 20 miles away.

Charging stations

In conclusion, it’s a very different landscape in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Jeff Solie relies on the charging system he rigged up in his garage. There he charges two Tesla sedans and a Volt. Finally, Solie and his wife don’t have Charging stations  at their offices. As well, the nearest Tesla Superchargers are 45 miles (72 kilometers) away.

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BUSINESS Posted August 11, 2017 Updated August 11, 2017

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