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Better Planning Is Needed To Expand EV Charging Infrastructure

Many electric car industry experts prescribe a massive investment in public infrastructure for charging EVs. As the argument goes, only ubiquitous public charging will accelerate the adoption of electric cars around the world and alleviate the range anxiety that keeps drivers from going electric. While the motivation to install more public electric car charging is good, the way in which charging installations have played out so far has all too often been myopic—undermining the goal of increasing EV adoption.

As the number of public EV quick chargers and Level 2 stations continues its pace, we must also acknowledge the missteps to date.
Mismatched Charging

There are too many EV charging locations where the installed infrastructure does not match the requirements of its visitors. One example is installing a Level 2 240-volt charging station in a grocery store parking lot, where customers are likely parked for an hour or less. On cars equipped with just a three-kilowatt on-board charger, one hour of Level 2 charging means adding as little as six miles of range. Locations like this would benefit more from a DC quick charging station.

A similar mismatch occurs when more powerful DC quick charge stations are installed at airports, rail stations or city centers, where cars may be parked for hours or even days before needing to be fully-charged. In these situations, less expensive Level 2—and in many cases a Level 1 charging station—would be better suited.
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