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Public Charging Stations For Electric Cars: Who Leads The Way?

For the majority of the general public to consider purchasing a fully electric car, they first want accessible public charge points located at or near places they frequent in their daily life.

It’s also clear that most people won’t end up using them nearly as much as they think they will. However, having them in place and available is necessary to ease the concern that charging has to be there when it may be needed.

The proliferation of DC quick charge stations will also play a big role in electric-car adoption, as they will allow short-range battery-electric vehicles to reach destinations they couldn’t conveniently do otherwise. The CHAdeMO vs SAE CCS mess is only going to cause confusion, and it needs to get sorted out as quickly as possible–but that’s a matter of years, not months.

I’m hopeful that will happen over the next few years, but perhaps the short-term solution is installation of charging units that have connectors for both standards.

However, another issue has to be discussed: Who should be leading the charge to install public charging infrastructure?

Utility companies will surely profit from the slow transition to using electricity as a fuel for personal transportation, but most haven’t really embraced the idea of installing and maintaining charging stations.

Automakers clearly realize they won’t sell many electric cars if the public doesn’t feel confident they will have places to plug in while on the road.

Governments mandate that manufacturers make zero-emission vehicles, so they share the responsibility to make sure people have a place to plug them in.

The private sector also has an opportunity to profit–directly or indirectly–from offering public charging. Shopping malls, movie theaters, sporting venues and basically any destination can benefit from installing public charging at their location.
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