Electric Car Charging Is Misunderstood By Non-EV Drivers

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A new report from the UK notes that an “impatience barrier” with regard to electric vehicle charging could be due to a major misconception around how electric cars will be charged.

“Fast” is not always the way to longevity or positive health outcomes. I hope we do some shifting in all directions back to a more naturalistic flow, naturalistic life. Maybe EV life could help with that?

“Fast food” leads to more heart disease, and worse things than that, it shortens one’s life and one’s quality of life. Filling up at gas stations is “faster” than charging a car, but it involves inhaling particulates and other cancer-causing pollution that might take years off your life — and that doesn’t even capture the point that you don’t have to stand next to the car as it charges, like you do while filling up a gas tank. Rather than standing at a gas station once a week, you can enjoy the fresher air of a park next to a charging station and a walk that improves heart health.

Apparently, all of this additional info and context is something not often known or considered by non-EV drivers.

My experiences with no home charging and time are straightforward. It’s simply not that big of a deal — although, some basic adjustments must take place. I’m fortunate in that I like to exercise regularly. I like to read regularly. One has more daily time for these two top activities while charging outside the home. If you are a social media person — you will be charged before you know it while scrolling your Instagram, Twitter, or other social media feeds.

If people are considering this time charging as a negative issue compared to a smelly refuel at a gas station, the question is how to help them to learn that there is no comparison in terms of opportunity for better health with a 30-minute walk while charging. One is blind to the future, because as with many lifestyle changes, one cannot see the other side of change until the transition is complete. It reminds me of the surveys of people done before and after pedestrian pathways were added to previously automobile streets. Many people resisted, but then found added refreshment, improved health, and more freedom/happiness from the changes.

Many chargers in my area are walkable and friendly to pedestrian life while charging. There are also plenty at the malls these days — if walking inside is your preference. We can reset our state of being in the world and drop the assumption that the particulates at the local gas station are a normal part of life. Perhaps it is simply seeing more and more EVs charging that will bring the mass market to this consciousness.

I’ll admit that it could be a different kind of experience for me if I did not live in an EV charging friendly city. If I worked at a place far from chargers and had tight work schedules, the issue might take more changes in my daily life. I believe charging would still be possible and inconveniences met, but it does depend on charger availability.

I am a person more inclined to be outdoors than not. I enjoy walking while I charge. I enjoy visiting a library or food store to shop while charging. I find my charging time offers that impetus to walk, keeping my brain functioning better in car-oriented Florida. Is that for everybody? Maybe not, but it would probably help a lot of the population to enjoy these benefits of EV life as well.

Back to the new study, the findings are based on the results of an online survey of 2,004 UK adults (18+) conducted by Opinium. This took place from the 27th to the 29th of March 2018. The full report can be found here: Is the UK ready for electric cars? 

Impatience with electric car charging puts drivers off, but perception is based on false assumptions.

“New research from Baringa Partners shows that people may be put off buying electric cars because they don’t want to wait more than a quarter of an hour to charge them when out and about. The specialist energy consultancy is warning that this impatience may require the Government, charging infrastructure providers and car manufacturers to launch a public awareness campaign about when and how owners of electric cars are likely to charge their vehicles,” a press release about Baringa’s new report states.

“[M]ore than a third (36%) of people say that the battery taking too long to recharge is a key reason not to consider buying a 100% electric car. On average, people say they are willing to wait a maximum of just 13 minutes to fully charge an electric car at a service station. This is far shorter than the 50 minutes it typically takes a standard 50kW rapid charging point, and more in line with what would be possible from a 350kW ultra-rapid charging point.

“However, the report notes that this impatience barrier could be due to a major misconception around how electric cars will be charged. Just under half (48%) of people say they are unlikely to buy a 100% electric car because they are concerned about not being able to travel far enough with one charge to reach the next charging point. But the average car journey in the UK is just 8.7 miles and most existing 100% electric cars have a range of around 100 miles, with newer models able to travel even further on one charge. This means that the majority of electric car journeys could be completed without the need to recharge.”

Oliver Rix, Partner in Energy & Resources at Baringa Partners, comments: “Concerns about charging are often cited as a barrier to further growth of the electric car market, and our research shows that there is considerable work to be done.

“As a first step, the Government, charging infrastructure providers and car manufacturers urgently need to work together to correct the misconception drivers seem to have about how reliant they will be on public charging infrastructure. Most journeys are far shorter than the average range of an electric car, so there will be little need to charge at service stations or other public stopping points. Instead, the majority of people will charge their cars at home most of the time.”

That’s not to say more and better EV charging infrastructure isn’t needed. There is much development to be done in the public EV charging arena. In particular, along with a working group of EV charging execs and experts, we have gone through the process of creating EV charging guidelines for cities (with a particular focus on Europe, but applicable widely).

Take those EV charging guidelines to your city decision-makers, local shopping centers, and so on to improve Ev charging access and quality in your area. But perhaps more importantly, get involved in an EV awareness raising effort in your area — or start one!

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor. Pronouns: She/Her

Cynthia Shahan has 947 posts and counting. See all posts by Cynthia Shahan