Prepping for our coming CleanTechnica + GreenWay 1st annual EV charging conference in Warsaw, Poland, I’ve been interviewing leading thinkers and doers in the EV charging world and in the Central & Eastern Europe EV industry who will be presenting or sitting on panel discussions during the conference*. This time, I peppered one of my ELMO Carsharing and Tesla Shuttle co-founders, Jacek Fior, with some questions. Check out the discussion below.
1. The basic tech barriers to mass electric car adoption are falling quickly. In the next 5 years, what do you see as the top remaining barriers (whether technical, regulatory, sociopsychological, etc.) to rapid adoption?
Regulatory will be the easiest to deal with — most countries are already doing it. If they go a bit further and start restricting city access for ICEs, that could be a game changer. The barriers, then, will remain in our heads and in the infrastructure. Even though we will charge our EVs mostly at home, each situation of range anxiety not supported with a charger where it is needed will push a user or potential user back in the arms of “safe” ICEs.
2. How can cities help to remove these remaining barriers?
Only by providing infrastructure that is ubiquitous and conspicuous — people need to see chargers in shopping centers, outside their block of flats, at work. Cheap, small, but many. Granting EVs special privileges such as using bus lanes and enjoying free parking will soon come to an end when they start blocking bus lanes. 🙂 It will only work short-term.
3. How can entrepreneurs help to remove them?
Hard to say. If we are talking about entrepreneurs involved in electromobility, they should simply focus on the anxieties people have about EVs and make sure they provide adequate solutions. Companies in general should make sure they provide car park chargers for employees.
4. Thinking about the “average person,” what are the features of electric cars that you think will most pull them out of their gas and diesel cars?
Initially, it will be quality and fun of driving. In the longer term, ease and economy of using an EV.
5. EV charging is the focus of this coming conference. You just spent some time in Norway, so I assume you saw some great EV charging infrastructure while there. What are some specific improvements to infrastructure in Poland that you’d love to see?
Improvement at all. 🙂 Seriously, I will be repeating myself here but I want to see massive rollout of simple 22 kW chargers everywhere. In Norway, I could see such chargers in the most unusual places, like mountain hostels where cars hardly ever come. The point is you see them all around and your range anxiety is reduced a bit. I am quite confident, not only watching Greenway’s operations but charging operations in Poland in general, that fast charging on major routes will be adequate quite soon.
*In case you’ve somehow missed it, CleanTechnica and GreenWay are co-hosting a Central & Eastern Europe EV charging conference in Warsaw November 6–8. We have EV charging leaders coming in from the Netherlands, Norway, Costa Rica, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA to discuss ways of advancing EV charging and EV adoption both in the region and globally. We’ve also convened a working group to create a white paper on EV charging guidelines for cities. Join us in Warsaw! (Jump straight to the tickets here.)