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EVs Have A Higher Ratio to Charging Ports Than ICE Automobiles to Fuel Pump Nozzles


One in all my greatest pet peeves within the EV trade is when individuals examine “EV stations” to “gasoline stations.”

It simply isn’t that straightforward and you’ll slice any such comparability about 10 other ways to make the info inform no matter story you need. Let’s take a look at a latest instance from the November 29, 2022 Wall Road Journal article (subscription could also be required): “Why America Doesn’t Have Sufficient EV Charging Stations“:

“There are greater than 145,000 locations to refuel a gas-powered car. Thus far, the U.S. has 11,600 factors the place any EV can cost rapidly, in response to the analysis group Atlas Public Coverage.”

First, let me make it clear – we completely do want much more public chargers/pedestals/ports (“station” is the time period for location, like a “gasoline station” – however let’s put that nomenclature mess apart for now). Second, the present state of public charging exterior of the 2 Tesla networks is mostly thought-about a large number, with reliability being a major problem.

EVs Have a Higher Ratio to the Variety of Charging Stations Than ICE to Fuel Stations

OK, let’s get again to the maths. No matter the way you slice the info, electrical autos (I’m together with each BEVs and PHEVs) immediately within the US have a greater ratio to charging stations (web site/places) than ICE to gasoline stations. And in addition public Stage 2 + DCFC ports versus gasoline pump nozzles. And considerably higher ratio if you happen to you rely public Stage 2 + DCFC + residential changers. For this I’ve used 60% of whole EVs on the highway to estimate the variety of EV drivers with entry to charging the place they stay.

Notes: I acknowledge that PHEVs can’t cost at DC quick chargers so this math will not be completely appropriate. However if you happen to take away PHEVs from the EV rely, then the BEV to charging port ratio will get even higher. Secondly, sure I do know that non-Tesla EVs can’t cost at Tesla chargers. However if you happen to separate Tesla and non-Tesla EVs, the ratios are nonetheless fairly near the general however very barely within the grand scheme.

If you happen to drive a gas-powered car, there are 197 autos to each gasoline pump nozzle. If you happen to drive an EV, there are 25.7 EVs to every public Stage 2 + DCFC port, and 1.6 to 1 if you happen to embrace these chargers at residence the place you park your automobile every night time.

Residential Chargers Should Be Included within the Comparability

Bear in mind, these individuals who can cost at the place they stay (whether or not a single household residence, house, or condominium), most, not all of them will accomplish that recurrently and depend on public charging minimally — apart from when taking medium to longer journeys. Sure, there are in fact exceptions equivalent to my Tesla Mannequin 3-driving neighbor with the 3-car storage who for some purpose recurrently fees at a Tesla Supercharger close to his workplace (which reduces the battery lifetime of his EV). Or individuals who drive lengthy distances recurrently. However these are usually within the minority.

Any proprietor of an EV that has entry to charging the place they stay will let you know that is among the single greatest advantages of driving an EV. You plug in and fall asleep and get up with a totally charged EV. Now if you happen to stay in a apartment, or house, or downtown city setting with no storage or driveway, you then in fact do need to depend on office and public charging.

And so IMHO fixing that problem is definitely a much bigger want than DC quick chargers out on some freeway. Sure, these too are actually, actually vital to get individuals comfy with the thought of taking highway journeys. But when somebody can’t conveniently cost the place they stay — then they’re lacking out on one of many greatest advantages of driving an EV. Again to fundamental level of this rant …

STOP COMPARING CHARGING STATIONS TO GAS STATIONS!

A number of Variables When Evaluating Charging Stations to Fuel Stations

There are a number of combos of how you may make the comparability between refueling and ICE car and an EV. However at its basis, you MUST embrace the ratio of the variety of autos on the highway immediately. And there are roughly 285 million gas-powered autos and about 3.2 million EVs (together with PHEVs). So in fact there are going to be fewer charging stations than gasoline stations. So it isn’t simply the variety of autos that need to be included on this usually used and misused comparability, but in addition should incorporate ALL varieties of chargers. Which means together with public Stage 2 and residential chargers and never simply DC quick chargers as these non-fast chargers are how EVs are charged more often than not.

Now, a related comparability or metric can be utilizing the variety of BEVs that journey on freeway corridors and the variety of DC quick chargers out there versus gasoline vehicles and gasoline stations. However that will get at some fairly advanced information. Moreover, as many individuals identified on my authentic LinkedIn publish (upon which this text was based mostly), further elements should be included in any sort of gasoline versus charging station comparability, together with:

Refueling Time: It takes about 5-7 minutes relying on the scale of your gasoline tank and gasoline stage to refuel it. EVs have comparable, however much more variables past the scale of the battery pack and state of cost (p.c charged). This contains the ability stage of the charging {hardware}, if the charging pedestal has two ports and the ability is shared throughout the ports, the utmost charging functionality of the EV, its charging curve, the ambient temperature, whether or not of not the battery was pre-conditioned, and extra. So for an EV it would take 15-20 minutes to succeed in 80% (or extra) or it would take greater than an hour.

However, and an enormous however, is that skilled EV drivers plan their meals, procuring, and different actions at the start — after which their EV fees whereas they do these different actions. So if you happen to plan accurately, your EV will attain the specified battery state of cost stage at about the identical time (of earlier than) you’re completed consuming or procuring. This strategy gained’t work for everybody in fact. However personally in a number of highway journeys I’ve completed with my spouse and daughter, we’ve typically solely needed to wait 10 minutes or so after ending our meal.

Reliability: Another person identified the present problem of many EV charging items not working or unavailable. And that is true. With gasoline pumps they not often appear to be damaged and if one is there perhaps 7 or 9 different ones working. Whereas it’ll take a couple of years for DC quick chargers to grow to be extra dependable, I consider the trade will ultimately grow to be almost as dependable as we see with gasoline pumps.

So for a way more correct comparability between gasoline stations and charging stations, refueling time and uptime would additionally should be factored into the maths — along with the variety of autos on the highway and ALL varieties of chargers. However once more, this was my final level — not the ratios within the chart — however quite that making a quite simple comparability like what was completed within the Wall Road Journal article, is simply meaningless. I’m typically additionally not a fan of utilizing ratios, except they’re confined to very particular area, use case, and kind of auto and charger sort.

In a future article I’ll write about all the variables that really decide what number of EV chargers are literally wanted within the US.

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