A report by IHS Automotive has certainly caught the eye of EV enthusiasts around the world, with a suggestion there will be 100 times the number of electric vehicle fast charging stations we see today by the year 2020. At the end of 2013 there are expectations of just under 6000 fast charging stations with over 15,000 by the end of 2014, compared to 1,800 at the end of 2012. This report suggests they will be 199,000 fast charging EV stations by 2020 which would reduce concerns amongst EV enthusiast.
At this moment in time this is all speculation because as we know the EV industry has been through many ups and downs over the last 100 years. Indeed, even the staunchest of supporters of the EV industry never count their chickens with regards to the future of this sector.
EV battery charging times
The more traditional, slower electric vehicle charging station of today can take up to 4 hours to fully charge a standard EV battery pack. This compares with just 20 minutes for a high-voltage DC charger, which is starting to become the norm amongst companies such as Tesla. There is currently some competition in the battery charging sector with regards to a standard protocol going forward and while this is dragging on a little more than many had hoped it will surely be resolved fairly soon.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There is a petition on the White House petition page that asks for a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. The idea being that it would help promote electric vehicle adoption by eliminating range anxiety."
In the meantime, we can only hope that electric vehicle manufacturers and their counterparts continue to plough significant money into the battery technology sector in the hope of increasing journey capacity and reducing recharging times.
Is battery charging time the next major hurdle?
On the surface you may be forgiven for thinking that there are significant challenges with regards to battery charging times when in reality the technology for improved faster charging of EV batteries is already available. It is simply a case of rolling out this technology, which is perhaps a little more expensive at the moment than many had hoped, and then reaping the benefits with regards to greater electric vehicle sales.
As ever, one problem seems to be a lack of PR from the EV industry because many EV enthusiasts may not be aware of the new fast charging technology which is currently being rolled out. In a repetition of issues which have impacted the take-up of electric vehicles in the past, many people are still of the opinion that it could take up to 4 hours (and in some cases longer) to recharge your electric vehicle when that is not necessarily the case.
Ticking off the problems
As the electric vehicle industry continues to gain momentum it is worth noting that an array of different issues have been addressed and ticked off over the years. These include the cost of electric vehicles, efficiency of electric vehicle motors and the reliability of EVs, as well as significant progress with regards to journey capacity. The next major problem to face the industry could well be electric vehicle charging times although the fact that fast charging technology is already available should ensure that it is only a matter of time before this is rolled out across the globe in a cost efficient manner.
After that, what other issues will be left to address?