Charging at Home is a Big Drawback to Electric Vehicles
【Summary】The majority of buyers looking for a new vehicle are interested in an electric car, but shy away from EVs as charging at home remains a major issue with the vehicles.
Electric vehicles have come a long way since their inception. Electric vehicle automakers, like Tesla, Chevrolet, and Nissan have made fully-electric cars that owners can enjoy without having to worry about range anxiety or long charge times. But there's a new concern for drivers that are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle – charging at home.
As a report by the San Francisco Chronicle points out, a lot of drivers are shying away from EVs as they don't have a way of charging their cars at home. The article cites Jerry Griffin, a resident of Russian Hill – a neighborhood in San Francisco – who laid out a clear reason for not wanting to purchase an electric car.
EVs Are Popular But Hard To Live With
"I would have, if I had a place to charge it, definitely gotten one of the battery type," said Griffin. He eventually settled on a compact vehicle that ran on gasoline. While Griffin's story may sound like one in a million, it's actually a recurring theme for drivers shopping for cars. The main drawback, especially in a place like San Francisco where electric vehicles are extremely popular, is charging for those who only have access to street parking.
"Obviously, we want to have significantly more charging infrastructure, not just in San Francisco but all around California," said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco. Ting, as the outlet reports, has plans to introduce a bill in 2018 that would ban gasoline and diesel vehicles after 2040 – something that a lot of countries around the world are planning to do in the near future. Ting, though, is one of the luckier owners that has access to chargers at home and at work for his Chevrolet Bolt, claims the SF Chronicle.
While the number of chargers in the United States is growing every day, finding a free charger and getting to them can prove to be a hassle. And, as the outlet points out, purchasing a parking spot at work can cost a lot of money.
More Charging Stations Are Right Around The Corner
Automakers, like Tesla, know that there's a shortage of chargers in the U.S. for EVs and are working on a solution. Tesla is reportedly working on building 1,000 new supercharger stations in California and, according to the outlet, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. are planning to spend $130 million to install roughly 7,500 chargers in the Northern and Central parts of the state. But it may not be enough.
"There's no silver bullet for sure, but I think the PG&E program is not to be underestimated," said Max Baumhefner, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. PG&E also has plans to spend $22 million to create more fast charging stations near multifamily buildings. The plan, as Baumhefner claims, would help the state see if the fast-charging stations are a necessity.
While the changes will take some time, plans are in place to remedy the situation in the near future. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco will require all new buildings, including residential and commercial ones, to have at least 20 percent of parking spots to allow for EV charging. Ten percent of those spots, as the outlet claims, will have to be ready to serve electric cars as soon as the building opens.
San Francisco is looking to fix its EV problem, but the city is also looking forward to the moment when autonomous ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft come out with vehicles that replace traditional cars. The vision at the end of the tunnel is to have autonomous cars that can be hailed by an app, which is exactly what Lyft is looking to do in Los Angeles in the future.
"It will be interesting to see how many people in San Francisco even continue to own their own cars," said Ting.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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