Over the last week or so we have seen the Japanese government put aside $1 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, with the UK government following suit with a £37 million investment programme. It seems that electric vehicle charging stations are emerging in places all over the world, but where would you like to see electric vehicle charging stations?
Are there any specific places you would feel more comfortable charging your electric vehicle? Would you like some privacy charging your car or do you believe that the most public of places will create the best return on investment and mass usage?
One location that seems to be attracting more than its fair share of attention is railway stations, with a number of local authorities looking to install modern electric vehicle charging stations. It is surprising, but many people around the world park their vehicles at local railway stations, use the train network to go to and from work, and then return to pick up their vehicles. It would seem sensible to give drivers the opportunity to park up and charge their vehicles although the only downside would be a lack of movement, i.e. the charging station would be unavailable until that particular person returned to pick up their car after work.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Each day seems to bring news of extended charging networks around the world, from the US to the UK, from Australia to China. Have you seen an increase in the number of charging stations in your area?"
Public car parks
Public car parks would seem to be the most appropriate and the most useful way in which to address the issue of increased electric vehicle charging capacity. Many public car parks will see a constant flow of traffic throughout the day and therefore this will allow specific electric vehicle charging bays to be used more than once during the day. A number of councils have already introduced electric vehicle charging stations into public car parks and many of these services are free once you have paid your parking charge.
The idea of installing electric vehicle charging stations at some of the larger employment locations around the world would also seem to make sense. Any financial incentives which governments could give businesses to install such services would be very much appreciated and significantly speed up the roll-out of charging bays. The only downside to this particular type of service is that it would only be available to those working at the specific location, meaning that the general public would be unlikely to have access.
Large retail outlets
Many people will be unaware, but the likes of IKEA already have an array of electric vehicle charging stations in many of their outlets around the world. This has created quite a stir and many electric vehicle owners are making full use of the investment by IKEA. In countries such as the UK there is continued talk of supermarket giant Tesco looking towards electric vehicle charging stations in the future - as a means of attracting customers who can shop while their vehicle is charged. There is no doubt that large retailers will join the party if EV sales continue to grow.
Residential charging stations
More and more people now seem comfortable recharging their electric vehicles from a charging facility installed at their own home. A number of utility companies have already announced plans for specific financial incentives for customers looking to use residential charging stations and indeed others would appear to have similar plans in the pipeline. The only potential issue with residential charging stations is that relatively few people would have access to them, therefore we may see more direct investment in non-residential charging stations at least in the early days.
Where would you best feel comfortable recharging your electric vehicle? Would you prefer to charge your EV from home? Or do you have any other ideas about where future electric vehicle charging stations could be located?
There is enormous investment waiting in the wings for the electric vehicle charging sector, with both government and private money flowing freely. In some ways it seems as though a switch has been flicked which has opened the floodgates to enormous taxpayer funded programs. The $1 billion put aside by the Japanese government for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations is the largest to date but it is only one of many similar schemes around the world.