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US rollout of electric charging stations slowing down

Falling numbers of electric charging stations could exacerbate ‘range anxiety’ of electric vehicle drivers
Pic: Dylan Passmore/Flickr

Pic: Dylan Passmore/Flickr

By Gerard Wynn

Private sector and government owners last year opened fewer electric charging stations, US data suggest, while distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) showed a small increase from a very low base.

That reversed a previous trend of year on year rises in the installation of electric chargers. The data also showed continuing falls in the distribution of hydrogen and higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.

The data did not provide the dates that filling stations opened, in the case of liquefied propane gas (LPG), which were therefore excluded from this analysis. In addition, there were missing values for the opening dates for about half of the electric charging stations, but the scale of the decline last year appeared robust nevertheless.

The number of new electric charging stations for which opening dates were available fell by two thirds in 2013, to 685 new stations from 2,003 in 2013 and 1,347 in 2012.

That slowdown will be a concern for the electric vehicle industry, given that poor charging infrastructure is cited by drivers as a top reason for not buying an electric car.

Such concerns include the short distance that electric vehicles can typically travel on a single charge, and the fear that their batteries may therefore go flat mid-journey, also called range anxiety.
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