Even though there is a long way to go before electric vehicles are accepted by all motorists, there is no doubt that the Kansas City Power and Light company is putting Kansas City on the map. The company announced very interesting and very ambitious plans to install 1001 electric vehicle charging stations across the area which it serves. This is certainly a very interesting development at a time when advances in electric vehicle battery technology are hitting the headlines but consumers are still concerned about range anxiety.
Will this move make a difference?
As one executive put it, "if you install the charging stations they will come" which just about sums it up. The $20 million "clean charging network" will consist of 1001 charging stations which will be able to charge two cars at the time. Not only will this encourage more electric vehicles in the region but it will also greatly help with charging at busy times of the day. The simple fact is that until somebody actually took the plunge and decided to install electric vehicle charging stations we would always be at the beck and call of electric vehicle battery technology.
Many people automatically assumed that the likes of California would be the first to introduce an electric vehicle infrastructure which would attract the masses. While there's no doubt that the likes of California will still look down this particular avenue, perhaps the move by Kansas City will speed up any plans that they had?
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There are still many sceptics regarding electric vehicles but the fact remains that they are fast approaching mass-market recognition and we are most certainly past the point of no return. When you bear in mind companies such as Tesla have opened up their technology to competitors "for the good of the industry" this certainly shows where we are today.
Working with electric vehicle manufacturers
The new proposed electric vehicle charging station network across Kansas City is being sponsored by an array of EV manufacturers. The likes of Nissan have already stepped forward with their seal of approval with more others also following suit. The ability for manufacturers and local authority/corporate companies to work together for the good of the industry will certainly quicken the time to mass-market appeal.
One thing which does appear to have changed over the last couple of years is the idea of companies working together, as opposed to working against each other. The reality is that unless all companies work together, to some degree, it will take longer to reach the promised land and it will certainly be more expensive.
The fact that the Kansas City Power and Light company has taken the plunge by investing $20 million into a new electric vehicle charging station network speaks volumes for the industry going forward. The so called "chicken and the egg quandary" has now been answered and it is likely that more local authorities across the US will follow suit with significant investment.