More Electric Vehicles Means The Need For More Convenient Charging Stations
Electric vehicles are nothing new and have been around for many years. Only over the course of the last 10 years have we seen a growing demand for electric vehicles that has increased in pace, namely due to the success of Tesla as a company. One of the main issues that has been overcome by Tesla in order to create a more widespread use of their product has been the creation of a network of charging stations that can be used by their vehicles, and only by other EVs if a special adapter is used. This private network can service other electric vehicles but only with an adapter, which generally promotes Tesla as a brand but does not solve the issue that is faced by the industry as a whole: the need for universal charging stations. One of the greatest hindrances to electric vehicle ownership is the perception that the vehicles cannot go very far in between charges, and there are simply not enough charging stations to be convenient. For example, there are roughly 136,400 gas stations in the United States and only 41,400 electric vehicle charging stations. Of those charging stations that exist, as of this writing only 5000 are fast charging which means that the remainder of those charging stations will need vehicles to park for more than an hour in order to gain an 80% charge. With these types of encumbrances to wider adoption, the United States faces an uphill battle changing people’s minds. While the conservation effort is not being rejected by the population, they still do not want to be inconvenienced by their choice of vehicle. For this reason, many people who would like to own an electric vehicle still choose to drive a gas-powered vehicle. The answer to wider spread adoption is to create a more robust grid of universal electric vehicle charging stations that will work on more of a variety of vehicles. The United States government is attempting to encourage this to happen by providing tax incentives and rebates as a part of the infrastructure Bill that is currently being worked on in Congress. But that Bill is anything but a sure thing, even though it would provide monetary benefits to those not only driving electric vehicles, but to those businesses who are participating in the expansion of the electric vehicle market in general. These incentives would translate to more companies creating businesses that will function within the electrical vehicle space, both producing more charging stations as well as upgraded chargers. The faster the charger, the more expensive the charging station is to install, many times costing upwards of $250,000. By bringing down the cost of install or operation through incentivized programs, the United States hopes to encourage the public to purchase more electric vehicles.
One of the ways that the costs of operation of an electric vehicle charging station can be brought down is through the integration by the OEM or integration partner of more robust surge protection devices. This is because lightning and power surges are one of the largest costs of operation due to the damage that can be expected if there is a lightning strike or power surge near the equipment. Through the protection of this expensive equipment, the costs of operation and can be reduced, resulting in higher levels of uptime, profitability and attracting new players into the market.