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Electric vehicles Energy

A spike in energy is required for the EV revolution to succeed

The electric vehicle transition may blow a fuse unless the charging problem is swiftly solved. True, drivers are responding to the concept, but they are hesitant to make the move due to range anxiety and a lack of fast-charging facilities. They are correct to be apprehensive, based on the experience of many drivers over the last six months.

Traditional carmakers may have been late to get on board, but they are now producing some fantastic electric vehicles that are both environmentally friendly and enjoyable to drive. The requirement for additional charging infrastructure emphasizes the necessity of “complements,” as economists refer to them, in the expansion of any new market. Without software, computer hardware is useless, tennis rackets are useless without tennis balls, while movies are less pleasurable without popcorn.

Volkswagen may be a hardware expert, but its voice recognition and mapping software is a disaster. On one occasion, instead of the fast-charging outlets, a driver had specified, the car signaled neighboring Indian restaurants. Drivers of electric vehicles must also struggle with fragmented charging services, which necessitate a bewildering assortment of different apps; charging stations that are inconveniently positioned and inadequately signposted; malfunctioning terminals; lengthy stops, and opaque pricing. To avoid running out of energy, cross-country travels must be organized with near-military precision.

The industry recognizes the challenges and is working to improve battery technology and charging infrastructure. In a recent LinkedIn post touting Audi’s new charging center in Nuremberg, Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chair, stated, “Charging must be pleasant, dependable, and rapid.” This contrasted with an earlier speech in which he chastised the charging firm Ionity (in which VW has a stake) for its bad service in Italy. “There’s no bathroom, no coffee, and a charging station that’s out of service or damaged, which is a sad state of affairs.  IONITY, it was far from a premium charging experience!”

The key concern is whether charging facilities can be created quickly enough to keep up with the surge in demand for electric vehicles spurred by government incentives. This is particularly true in Europe, which is now their fastest-growing market. In December, Europe sold 176,000 battery electric vehicles, surpassing monthly diesel vehicle sales for the first time. If governments are to meet their emissions targets by 2030, the International Energy Agency estimates that more than 200 million public and private electric vehicle charging outlets would be required. In 2020, there will be around 9.5 million charging points, with China contributing for half of the global stock in some categories.

Car manufacturers are progressively investing in charging providers, led by Tesla, which has built up its premium charging network. The main oil giants, such as Shell, Total, and BP, have been pouring money into the charging sector to compensate for expected drops in gasoline sales, while a small contingent of start-ups has also entered the game.

The charging business BP Pulse’s head of insight, Tom Callow, is optimistic that this “vibrant and young” market will rise to the challenge, fueled by the certainty of expanding demand. For example, the British government has ordered those sales of diesel and petrol cars be phased out by 2030. This has given charging corporations the confidence to invest on a large scale.

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