Hybrid cars have now become the norm on U.S. roads and car company Tesla is showing more established car companies exactly how to build a safe, profitable electric luxury car. Though electric vehicles appear to be the future, the infrastructure for the change-over from gas is not yet in place.
Analyst firm IHS this week reassured consumers, predicting that fast-charging stations are set to blanket the work in the coming years. The firm predicted that the number of fast-charging stations in the world will reach 199,000 by the year 2020 - over 110 times the number of stations that existed as of last year (around 1800). The number of stations is expected to climb to just shy of 6,000 by the end of this year, and to just over 15,000 by the end of 2014.
“The length of time it takes to recharge an EV continues to be one of the major stumbling blocks inhibiting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” said Alastair Hayfield, associate research director at IHS Automotive. “Compared to the time it takes to refuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, the recharge time for EVs is incredibly slow—at about four hours to charge a 24 kilowatt-hour (kWh)-capacity battery using a 6.6 kW on-board charger. If EV auto manufacturers could overcome this obstacle, it could lead to a high rate of adoption from environmentally minded consumers as well as those seeking to cut gasoline expenses. That’s where fast charging comes in.”
While the numbers of fast-charging stations will rise quickly in the coming years, not all of them will operate a single charging standard. According to IHS, two major fast-charging standards, CHAdeMO and CCS (combined charging system), will be competing for driver dollars. CHAdeMO is backed primarily by Japanese auto manufacturers such as Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, as well as by major Japanese power companies. The CSS standard is backed by German and U.S. car brands such as BMW, GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and Chrysler.
(Image courtesy Ludovic Hirlimann)