Car Charger Network CEO: Enough on Cities, We Need to Focus on Highway Chargers Now
Electric vehicle infrastructure is such a well-known issue that it is almost too tiresome even for the commenters going “but there isn’t enough charging infrastructure” on most every article on electric vehicle trends.
So, when someone of authority says, “I think we may have enough car chargers in this area,” it kind of rings out with bell-like clarity.
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That authority, in this case, is ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano, who, in an interview with Bloomberg, said that there are enough electric car chargers at workplaces, parking lots, and shopping centers, so highway infrastructure is the next step to electric vehicle adoption—specifically, he adds, “Getting a highway infrastructure up and ready is critical. It’s a red herring that there is no charging network in cities.”
ChargePoint, for those who haven’t heard of the company, runs one of the largest networks of electric car chargers, with about 39,000 spread across the US, Europe, and Australia, including public and private installations.
While I personally am not sure I would agree that there are enough car chargers in city centers, I do agree with the crux of Romano’s statement—highway charging infrastructure, with the exception of Tesla’s Supercharger network, is abysmal.
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A quick look around the alternative fueling station locator on the US Department of Energy website shows that, for example, in Ohio electric car chargers (that, again, aren’t Teslas) are largely clustered around the state’s cities of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland (although kudos to the Lima Mall for being ahead of the curve). The same can be said for several other states, and changing that could “remove a buying hurdle for many drivers,” according to Romano.
I would have to agree—when I have heard complaints against electric vehicles, it has never included the phrase “what if I’m driving around town and start to run out of energy?”, because that situation would be defeated mostly by charging your car each night, and getting a car with a suitably long range to handle even emergency trips (like the Chevy Bolt, for example). The major question is, “What if I want to go on vacation?”
If the answer to that could be “Chill for 10 minutes at a truck stop with DC fast chargers,” I agree that that could sway some naysayers.