Gas stations spar with utility companies, rural areas predict years of losses on chargers, spotty equipment threatens reliability: The U.S. EV charging network is a mess….that sone way to look at it.
One of the biggest roadblocks to the mass adoption of electric vehicles is the troubled business model for the commercial chargers that power them.
This article makes five main points that can be broken down:
The government is pouring billions of dollars into developing a national highway charging network.
This is correct. There are hundreds of incentive and rebate programs on the federal, state, utility and local level. The landscape is confusing at best and a labyrinth at worst, but there are billions of dollars accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.
But businesses aren’t sure how they will make money, and the nascent industry looks messy.
While every new industry is messy, businesses have figured out the own & operate model to make money though EV charging stations. In fact there are dozens of investment funds willing to help make this happen.
Utility companies and gas stations are at war with each other over who will own and operate EV chargers.
This may very well happen but as of now, gas stations have largely sat on the sidelines as everyone else has jumped into the EV charging station industry. If the gas stations have anyone to blame, it is their own industry.
Rural states say some charging stations could operate at a loss for a decade or more.
This is completely true, but much like gas stations rural states have only themselves to blame. EV adoption and charging station utilization will lag behind Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) states. As of August 2022, fourteen states have adopted both California’s ZEV program as well as the LEV standards: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
If there is no appetite for EV adoption in some states, then the market is not going to force the issue with infrastructure. Florida spent money on diesel buses that was earmarked for electric vehicles. Some states just don’t care.
New companies that provide charging gear and services are contending with the equipment’s spotty reliability.
New technology presents new challenges and EV charging is no different. Station uptime, maintenance and customer support thus far has been abysmal.
Original article – https://www.wsj.com/articles/ev-charging-stations-electric-vehicles-11669737656