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Do you own an electric vehicle July 11, 2023

Do you own an electric vehicle or an EV? Electric vehicles are gaining popularity all over the world. Some estimates say that almost 50% of all cars produced by 2030 will be EVs. However, one problem owners seem to encounter is finding out where the charging stations are located. But -- isn’t everywhere with power a charging station?

Yes and no. There’s a difference between a charger and a rapid charging station. Most EVs come with some way to plug into any 110-volt outlet, a standard household outlet, and charge. This form of charging takes time, especially if the battery is nearly empty, too warm, or too cold.

Rapid charging stations, like you see branded with Tesla or other firms, can pump more energy into the batteries in a shorter amount of time – usually 90%-95% full in 45 minutes or less.

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Can’t we just build more charging stations?

Drive around town, what do you see all over the place? In easy to access spots, sometimes on all four corners of an intersection? We’re talking about gas stations. The infrastructure for fossil-fueled vehicles has had over 100 years to develop into what it is today: stops conveniently located all around town and dotting the remote highways of the world.

Electric vehicles have had a few decades, at best, to establish a foothold in this world built for petroleum-powered cars. Building charging stations in convenient locations can be a challenge, mostly because something is already in its place.

Highways stretching across an entire state may have dozens of gas stations but in that same stretch there may only be a handful of EV charging stations. That’s a long way without much to fall back on in an emergency.

Somewhere there is a tipping point where it makes sense to put EV charging stations all over the place. Currently, the market hasn’t created that demand. It costs less money per unit to build more chargers, but building chargers that won’t be used is a waste.

Looking at the efforts that automakers are putting into electric vehicles, a lot of this will be shifting in the coming years. As more and more EVs are built, and the ranges expand along with prices mirroring those of fossil fuel vehicles, the demand for charging stations will rise. The market will reach a tipping point and the shift from gas stations to charging stations will start to become obvious.

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So, should you purchase an EV?

The infrastructure is there for cross-country road trips. They just take more planning than a fossil fuel vehicle. But you’re also helping push for more infrastructure when you buy an EV!

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