What do you do when your car is nearly out of fuel? Simple. Go to a petrol station, fill it up, hand over the money and carry onwards with your journey. With the whole process taking normally less than 5 minutes (if you discount the journey you have taken to get to there).
The future will be different.
This article suggests that one of the barriers to switching to an electric car (whether that is plug in hybrid or full electric) is the amount of time it takes to charge your car up and the need for an increase in rapid chargers. I somewhat disagree, as surely installing a charging point at your home would mean every day you’d be starting the day with the electrical equivalent of a full tank of petrol? I understand that there is a requirement for rapid charging points but I’d say the majority of those will need to be positioned at service stations for when you are traveling long distances.
So I’d challenge this and say that actually the biggest barrier is the range of distance available currently on electric cars. I’d be fairly confident in switching now as my current commute to work is less than 10 miles to work. However an upcoming trip to North Wales this weekend would present a challenge, with a driving distance of circa 180 miles. How many EVs currently on the market would get me there?
Rapid progressions in the technology means that this probably won’t be an issue in a couple of years but for the moment, I genuinely believe it’s the EV market’s biggest problem.
Improving energy acceptance rates, therefore, could substantially improve charging times. And while it won’t fix the charge time problem, EV manufacturers could render charge times less important by improving battery capacities. Batteries that can store more energy will not need to be charged as frequently. The same effect could be achieved by producing more energy-efficient cars － that is, EVs that are lighter or more streamlined, and thus capable of traveling further on a full charge.