In recent weeks a small panic has broken out. With so many new electric cars poised to enter the market in the coming year many are pondering about how we are actually going to charge all these vehicles.
Its a fair question to ask, after all there are roughly 15 electric cars for every one public charging station. Even in the most mature electric car market, California, its not much better with a 10:1 ratio. These numbers don't reflect that nearly 95% of the existing public chargers are Level 2 chargers meaning it'll take about 8-12 hours to fully charge a Tesla. When electric cars do eventually become mainstream its going to be a herculean task to build out a public network that works the way that people are used to. So are electric cars like the Tesla Model 3 doomed to fail like some have suggested?
No, not by a long shot.
The Gas Station Model Doesn't Apply
Too often when talking about electric cars people say they like the idea, but are waiting for more public chargers to be built out before they make any commitment. The thing is the gas station model of building out multiple places to charge up at nearly every intersection doesn't make a lot of sense for electric cars. The reason the gas station model exists is because gasoline is a highly volatile substance and needs to be monitored, regulated, and transported in a particular way. Simply put there is a reason most people don't have a gas station in their garage.
Electric cars on the other hand don't suffer the same drawback. Electricity is ported in to nearly every house and garage on the planet and its a relatively simple task of adding a 240V NEMA plug in your garage to solve all of your day-to-day driving needs.
On average, most drivers only go about 40 miles in a single day and as such would need to charge up for 2-3 hours to add that power back into the battery. Basically, electric cars are a lot like your smartphone. You use them during the day and when you're done at night you plug them in and they recharge while you sleep. Regardless of where the battery life was at the end of the last day you wake to a fully charged battery that's ready to go.
While this solves the day-to-day issues for most single family homes, those living in multi-family dwellings like apartments and condos will have different issues.
Multi-Family Charging is No Easy Feat
While the charging problem for single family homes is easily remedied its not so straight-forward for those living in apartments and condos, but why?
The problem is two-fold, one most parking garages were never designed to power the vehicles in them and as such don't have the necessary access to power in order to charge all these vehicles and bringing in more is extremely expensive. Furthermore, even if the garages did have the power necessary there is the other issue of monitoring who uses the power and reimbursing the building for that cost.
In all honesty its a difficult problem, but there is already a solution. EverCharge, has been a pioneer in bringing electric car charging to apartments and condos and devised a solution that not only maximizes existing building infrastructure allowing for more chargers to be installed for far less money, but also provides full billing and reimbursement too. On top of that, EverCharge gives all its customers best in class service with 24/7 service, support, and on-site maintenance, meaning no matter what happens every resident is covered.
While EverCharge has solved the day-to-day charging issues for multi-family homes there is still one missing piece, road trips.
Supercharging Makes Long-Haul Journeys possible
Even though a Tesla Supercharger station can fill a Tesla in about 45 minutes its not the best solution for day-to-day use. While it may not be great for your daily charging needs it certainly makes perfect sense for long-haul trips.
Admittedly, the industry still has some way to go in continuing to build out a network that works for all electric car drivers and not just Tesla owners, however Tesla has provided the blueprint on how to make long-haul journeys possible and the other large automotive OEMs should follow suit.
In short if you're getting a Model 3 or any other electric car you really don't have much to worry about as long as you make sure you install a charger at your home. While it may be some time before we see a vast network of fast charging stations, the charger that you really need already exists.