While the mechanics are there and the technology is improving, one of the major issues for the electric vehicle charging market was the fact there were so many different types of ports. However, a number of car manufacturers and electric charging companies have now come together to agree on a universal port going forward. It is difficult to highlight the immense importance of this movement, which should clear the way for global electric vehicle travel in years to come.
At this moment in time General Motors and BMW are working with an array of electric charging companies such as ABB, Aker Wade and Eaton to come to an agreement worldwide. The "Society of Automotive Engineers" has agreed an industry standard for DC charging on the road, which is now part of the General Motors/BMW test programme. So what does this mean for the future?
Co-operation is vital
Co-operation between electric car manufacturers and electric charging station providers, whether home charging or on the road charging, is vital to the long-term future of the industry. If, as we have seen in the past with regards to issues such as electric plug sockets, there are an array of different plug connections then this will play havoc with worldwide electric car travel.
Historically there has been some reluctance on behalf of parties within the electric vehicle industry to work together because of the sensitive commercial nature of their technology. However it now seems that inter-sector competition is reducing in favour of a global agreement on which all future products and services will be based.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "As we see more and more electric cars on the roads perhaps we now need to look more closely at electric car charging stations. How far away from you is your nearest car charging station?"
What does this mean?
The fact that we are moving towards a global format for electric vehicle charging services effectively means that investment for the sector will increase dramatically. Now that investors know their technology will work in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, etc., means there is more scope for a larger return on investment as immediately markets are increased overnight.
The likelihood is that this global co-operation will lead to major worldwide players in the electric vehicle charging industry as opposed to strong local entities. There is an argument that this will in due course reduce competition but the truth is that the electric vehicle industry itself is still in its relative infancy and the input of all participants is vital going forward.
Is the electric vehicle charging network now falling into place?
One of the major issues in the minds of many motorists was the fact that there are relatively few electric vehicle charging networks compared to their gasoline counterparts. In reality, it will take many years to build up a network of electric charging stations to compete with the current network of gasoline stations around the world but the industry certainly needs to make a start on a global plan sooner rather than later.
Bit by bit the industry is starting to catch the attention of motorists, with an improvement in electric car technology, significant developments in battery technology and now news of co-operation across the world by electric car charging companies. We may not be there yet, it may indeed be a few years off, but it seems almost inevitable that the electric car market will crash into the mass market sooner rather than later.