The Infrastructure Bill Encourages EV Charging Station Development
One of the primary aspects of the infrastructure bill that is being moved through the US Congress is the creation of programs that will encourage people to make smarter choices for the environment, including switching to electric vehicle ownership. While the obvious push towards tax savings or benefits for driving electric vehicles as the primary mode of transportation for the public is obvious, some of the more interesting aspects of the bill address more difficult issues to solve in the electric vehicle market. At the current time only 2% of the 17,000,000 new vehicles sold every year in the United States are electric, ultimately moving forward towards the goal of less carbon emissions, but doing so at a slow pace. While Tesla has made great strides towards the changing of the public’s perception of what an electric vehicle can be, one of the main challenges for the entire market is still the availability of charging stations at convenient locations. Tesla has created their own network of supercharging stations which will deliver an 80% charge to the vehicle in less than half an hour, but the majority of charging stations within the United States are still not fast charging stations. In order to build a level-three charging station at the current time, the average cost is between $120,000 and $260,000. Couple this with the fact that these stations are expensive to maintain and operate, and we can see why private industry has not moved faster towards the rollout of a significantly larger number of electric vehicle charging stations in the United States. There are simply too few people driving the cars to make it worth the investment, and the people are choosing gas powered vehicles in part because of the lack of investment. This vicious circle has created an issue that needs to be solved, and cooperative between the government and private industry will go far towards achieving this the goal. There are only 41,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the United States, and only 5000 of those are fast chargers which can deliver the speed that the Tesla systems do. When compared to the 136,400 gas stations, it is obvious why people are still shying away from electric vehicles.
Every technological advancement that can be worked into the electric vehicle charging system in order to improve profitability will ultimately move the industry closer to that goal. One of the technological advancements that has proven successful in this regard is the improvement of industrial surge protection devices that are integrated into the chargers themselves, and the station footprint. A main cost of ongoing operations for electric vehicle charging stations is the repair and replacement of equipment that has been damaged, including by electrical power surges. The equipment is expensive, so any ability to extend the lifespan will help to improve the profitability that the station can produce. Surge protection devices from Raycap have proven they can reduce the amount of damage as a result of power surges, and ultimately reduce the operating expenditures. Innovations such as this are playing a major role in the expansion of the industry as a whole.