Have you seen the viral video?
The one where an electric car owner drove around for miles with a low battery in an unfamiliar area, desperately looking for a charging port. After visiting numerous sites, the driver discovered each one was already in use.
Although it seemed like a seemingly harmless thing to post, it was bad news for our industry and resulted in negative press, starting a conversation among our prospective consumers.
Eventually, audiences came to a conclusion. Our existing car charger infrastructure isn’t enough to facilitate or support the ongoing adoption of electric vehicles.
A 2021 study published by Deloitte revealed that concerns about cost, range and reliability are holding people back and creating a “sense of trepidation” in the market.
The State of the Electric Car Industry
Looking at the vast growth of electric car sales in the UK (which saw a 76.3% increase from 2020-2021), it’d be easy to assume that we don’t have a crisis on the horizon. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
(Source: Next Green Car).
Threats Facing the Electric Car Industry
Whether you are driving through a high street, commercial block, or residential area… you’ll soon find a petrol station. The same isn’t true for charging stations, which are few and far between.
It’s no wonder, then, that consumers are wary.
As of late 2020, the IEA reported 7.3 million public and private electric car chargers around the world. Although this is no small number, it doesn’t compare to their estimation that 145-230 million electric vehicles could be on the road in the next 8 years.
To put it into context, that’s approximately 31 cars per charger if our existing infrastructure doesn’t change.
Taking into consideration that a typical driver would need to recharge every 4 days (Source: EV Charging), and could need a charger for anywhere between 2 to 8 hours, the complaints about queues at each station is just the beginning of an issue that will continue to escalate.
One that needs to be addressed.
Ultimately, we can’t force the owners of public facilities (like car parks) to offer charging zones, especially when the cost of just one station runs between $1000 to $2500 (Source: EVSE). If they don’t anticipate a profitable return on investment, they aren’t going to bother.
So, other than dramatically subsiding the cost of installing power points, and letting companies set their own usage prices, what can the industry do to address this problem?
(Source: Climate Action).
3 Technology Innovations in Electric Car Chargers in 2022
At the moment, there is a multi-faceted approach to electric car charger innovation, with businesses and organisations disagreeing on the most efficient solution for saving our industry.
Thankfully, there is one thing all providers agree on… ease-of-access to charging ports must become a priority.
1. Fast Chargers
Across the world, engineers are continuing to advance “fast chargers”, which allow cars to hit full battery in as little as 8-minutes (Source: EVSE). This would significantly reduce waiting times for public charging ports.
Although this seems like a perfect solution, it’s not one without flaws. Fast charging has been proven to significantly reduce the lifespan of car batteries by an average of multiple years (Source: My EV). As lithium is already a precious commodity, this isn’t ideal. Not for consumers or providers.
2. Energy Efficiency
Alternatively, some organisations are looking to make personal car charging ports more accessible at home.
Going forward, this would entail either:
Increasing energy efficiency to reduce electricity bills.
Looking at how voltage can be safely “boosted” to result in a faster charging rate.
After, all nobody wants to come back after a long trip only to have to wait for 2 days before they can use their car again.
3. Wireless Charging
That’s what wireless charging could promise to the average consumer, making them increasingly more interested in purchasing electric vehicles.
Rather than having to manually climb out of your car to plug it in and having to mess around with long wires that could get tangled, you can simply park in a designated spot that has a charging coil underneath the road.
With a £3.4 million scheme being funded by the Department of Transport in Nottingham (Source: Energy Saving Trust), this is one technology innovation that is quickly becoming a reality.
Plus, public places like car parks might be more willing to adopt such infrastructures knowing that they won’t be taking up any additional space. This concept is also leading to a rise in popularity of “pop-up” chargers.
Will Technology Innovation in Electric Car Chargers Save the Day?
If businesses and organisations continue with their effort to fuel investment into improving car chargers across the world, then it will certainly make a difference in worldwide adoption rates for the industry.
Already, thousands of electric buses have been introduced to the public transport system in the UK, to great success. (Source: Gov UK).
While it’s hard to tell which car charging innovation will have the most impact on the market, it’s obvious that they will each be powerful in their own way.
Add Your Voice to the Technology Innovation in Electric Car Chargers
All businesses in the electric vehicle and e-mobility sectors should consider diverting financial and human resources into car charger improvements. This is a problem that could affect everyone and requires a team effort to fix. In the years ahead, your ability to recruit innovative staff members could prove critical to your survival.
Recruit with Xcede
Xcede is a global tech recruitment specialist, sourcing employees for a range of dynamic job positions, selecting the top talent for every single one of our clients.
Our dedication to finding experienced candidates with the right qualifications allows businesses to foster growth and continue scaling. Get in touch.