More EV Charging Needed: Everyone Pitch In!
04.05.2017 - by Katherine Stainken
More EV Charging Needed: Everyone Pitch In!

Building EV charging is one of the most effective ways to encourage more EV buyers. Luckily, we’re about to see the single biggest investment in EV charging ever with the funds from the VW settlement. The settlement will result in thousands of new EV charging stations across the country. While the final VW nationwide investment plan isn’t yet public, you can see the first 30 month investment plan for California here. And, you can continue to submit comments and proposals at the Electrify America website.

But even with the VW investment into charging infrastructure, we will still fall short on the number of charging stations needed to have them as ubiquitous as gas stations. Will those dollars reach remote communities in the southwest, the Rockies, and the Great Plains? Probably not. Will private charging station companies have business strategies that reach these communities in the next three to five years? Probably not. They will likely focus where the markets are biggest and easiest, like major cities and highways. The best solution to this challenge is for utilities to become involved in EV charging infrastructure in a major way.

The EV charging infrastructure pie is big, and there’s a slice available for everyone. Plug In America believes that utilities should be allowed to invest in and install EV charging, especially DC fast charging. You can read about our EV Charging Infrastructure Principles here. But some utilities are actually prohibited from building EV charging. Over the coming months, we’re working to change that.

This past legislative session, there was a bill to allow some publicly-owned utilities in Washington state to build EV charging. In Colorado, there is an active bill right now, HB 17-1232, sponsored by Representative Danielson and Senator Priola, that would allow Colorado utilities to build EV charging. If you’re a Coloradan, you can take action here to contact your state Senator to support HB 17-1232.

We’ll continue to monitor legislation and engage where we can to give electric utilities the ability to build EV charging. Stay tuned for more, especially for some big events we have coming up this summer on this issue.

Image credit: Designed by FreePik for FlatIcon.

4 comments on “More EV Charging Needed: Everyone Pitch In!”
  1. Ray Cardona says:

    I have had a Nissan Leaf for three years and the comments address many issues. At infancy, the EV movement has reached high levels of progress as more states and cities do see the advantages. While the success is limited, it is expanding. As to car charging, EV’s are not convenient for traveling. Just ask even Tesla owners as to waiting. Just like any invention, it takes time to come up with an acceptable solution. But as a city or regional transportation, EV’s are doing exremely well followed up by the PHEV vehicles. DC Fast Charging, while faster that others, still has a long way to go. My Leaf does so well locally that it is the car we use the most, idling the hybrid SUV and even a sports car. With solar panels, an EV is a win-win. As to cost, I got the Leaf used for cheap and recently decided to upgrade to a new 2017 battery, in effect, a new car! Depending on temp, speed and use of AC/Heat, 80 to 100 miles of range has been noted. This car shall be around for at least 8 more years. But, buy an EV for what it does best: local city/region driving. “More” charging stations can be a solution but location and cost of charging are equally important. Cheers.

  2. ken says:

    What was the incentive for gas stations to be built on almost ever corner in populated areas? Whatever the incentive, it was not cheap. The electric charging stations should initially be at a lesser price provide the electric utilities are incentivized to provide transformers capable to provide the HVDC power needed. We just need to provide the proper incentives and there will be an abundance of the HVDC stations so people will not have to wait hours to get their car charged,

  3. Richard says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Standardization being the most important followed closely by rapid level charging infrastructure. I live in the northeast and drive all electric with a 200 mi + range. However thats still not sufficient for taking road trips to many places if going all electric.

  4. Reed says:

    The biggest thing that will move EV charging forward is the standardization of the DC Fast Chargers. Having 3 incompatible models makes it difficult and expensive to have multiple ports. Unfortunately, Level 2 charging has few scenarios where it is truly helpful.

    Most commuter charging is done at home/work so building out the infrastructure is only really addressing travelers at which point it has to be Level 3. The value I see in building out the infrastructure is primarily a psychological one: it will alleviate any range anxiety and will also be a constant reminder the EVs are a viable option hopefully influencing people to go electric!

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