Biden hopes to have more electric cars on the road. Where’s the charging station?


Last week, the president Biden summoned the executives of the three major U.S. automakers–Ford, General MotorsAnd Stellattis (manufacturing Fiat Chrysler cars)-at the White House. Biden must drive an electric jeep happily for this. More importantly, the three companies have jointly promised that by the end of this decade, at least 40% and as many as half of the cars they sell will be zero-emission vehicles.

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Congress is busy making this lofty goal easier to achieve.A bipartisan infrastructure bill, the details of which have not yet been finalized, will allocate 7.5 billion US dollars to support the national network Electric car charging station.Experts say that if the United States wants to reduce carbon emissions, it urgently needs funds Increasingly dire influence On this planet. 29% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, of which more than half come from light vehicles such as passenger cars.

If the United States is to achieve the White House’s electric vehicle goal by 2030, a series of tasks must be done.Last year, about 2% of the cars sold in the U.S. were electric cars, and almost half of them were electric cars In California, Which means that sales must increase 20 times. Even so, this means that by 2030, only about 10% to 11% of the cars on the road will be electric vehicles.

Adequate charging infrastructure is not the only obstacle to achieving the goal. Automakers will have to fulfill their promises to provide more electric vehicles at lower prices. Utility companies will have to bear the additional burden of powering transportation at a price that people can afford. Americans will have to simply get used to the idea of ​​abandoning the kind of car they have always known.

However, Mike Nicholas, a senior researcher on electric vehicles at the non-profit research organization International Committee on Clean Transportation, said that creating more charging stations, especially more publicly accessible charging stations, is the “Holy Grail.”A sort of Recent analysis Nicholas and colleagues estimate that if the country is to achieve its goals, it will need 2.4 million public and workplace chargers by 2030. Today, it has 216,000.

Biden initially asked for 15 billion U.S. dollars, and the White House said it would provide 500,000 charging stations. Congress halved the proposal, which means that it is estimated that there are enough funds for 250,000 fast chargers; if this money is used for cheaper chargers, it can provide more funds. Considering the charging stations that private companies may build, “it won’t cover all aspects, but it’s a good start,” Nicholas said.

Interestingly: Most electric vehicles, especially in the early stages of the transition, are likely to be charged at home, away from gas station-style public fast chargers. Charging at home will be slower, and it may take all night to recharge. For two-thirds of Americans who live in single-family homes with their own garage and driveway, this may be no problem. They go home from get off work, plug in the car, and prepare to set off the next day. This is especially true now, because electric car owners tend to have higher incomes, better education, own more than one car, and live in single-family homes.

But research shows that people with many charging options at home are nervous about the lack of public charging infrastructure, even if they don’t need it often. The most popular electric car today has a range of 250 miles. Potential car owners will ask, if they need to drive 300 miles in a day, what will happen? So what kind of charger can support them?

On the one hand, this feels like a silly worry. With an average daily commute of less than 40 miles, electric vehicles can handle it easily. But drivers want to know that they will not get stuck, especially if, for example, someone needs to go to the hospital and they forgot to plug in the car last night.


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