All you want to know about Electric Vehicle Charging Station’s Infrastructure:
Electric vehicles are quickly gaining popularity in all segments of automobiles. B2B giants in the relevant sectors are already investing a lot on electric delivery bikes.
However, electric vehicles only account for less than a third of all on-road vehicles currently. This number is expected to see a drastic rise in the near future.
Although this seems to be good news, electric vehicles require a specific infrastructure to be the viable option in the future.
Most of the large cities today have infrastructures that support the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
Globally, there is a glaring scarcity of infrastructure to support a massive shift to electric vehicles. Without the right infrastructure, an increase in the number of electric vehicles could be detrimental.
It is the need of the hour to create suitable electric vehicle infrastructure lest we relapse into using the ICE vehicles.
An important element of EV infrastructure is the charging station. The charging station supplies power to the vehicle for recharging plug-in electric vehicles.
In most cities of the world, including those in developed countries, there is a huge dearth for charging stations.
This causes a great deal of inconvenience for the users of electric vehicles; particularly so considering the expected increase in the number of EV users.
Multiple kinds of charging stations need to be developed which may be used alternatively.
The most popular types of charging stations are:
- Residential charging stations: This type of charging station involves the user plugging in the vehicle for an overnight charge.
- Public charging stations: This involves providing charging stations at parking lots for a fee. These are most suitable to be installed near public places where users may charge their vehicles while spending time at a mall or a cinema. There may be slow and fast charging options which may vary based on the power availability.
- Battery Swapping Options: This option may be used when charging stations are not available. The users may swap their batteries with fully charged batteries. This option is aimed at matching the quick refueling that is easily achievable with ICE vehicles.
- Electric Vehicle Networks: Another important step in creating the right infrastructure for electric vehicles is the development of electric vehicle networks.
Electric vehicle networks are large establishments that combine the convenience of charging stations and battery swap stations.
It is necessary to have electric vehicle networks established at various strategic locations.
However, most countries have not been able to commit to the development of EV networks owing to the heavy investments involved.
In developing countries, EV network projects are far in the future as many parts of these countries have not even been electrified.
In some countries, especially in Europe, governments have taken special initiatives for the development of electric vehicle networks.
The Indian Government is offering a subsidy to states for the deployment of 5000 electric charging stations in cities & highways.
In other countries, private automobile makers are working in conjunction with the authorities for the development of electric vehicle infrastructure.
Renault-Nissan Alliance and Tesla Motors are two such leading automobile companies. Tesla Motors currently operates the largest electric fast-charging network in Shanghai, containing 50 charging stalls.
In developed countries, there is not much need for the development of new infrastructure. Since they have a well developed electrical grid system, the only task is to suitably exploit the available resources.
On the other hand, the scene is much different in developing countries. With complete electrification of these countries still pending, the possibility of governmental initiatives to develop electric vehicle infrastructure is very faint.
With the growth in volumes, the cost of setting up the charging infrastructure is now reducing. Encouraging home charging option can also become a solution to the problem of infrastructure temporarily.
Fruitful collaborations between the government authorities and private automobile manufacturers may be the only viable option to develop the necessary infrastructure for the future.