ECOtality DC fast charger - Portland, OREnlarge Photo
Struggling to find a rapid charging station for your electric car could be a thing of the past by 2020, says a new study--as the number of quick chargers worldwide will increase by one hundred times that of today.
By the end of 2013 this is expected to rise threefold to 5,900 and triple to 15,200 in 2014. With rapid growth, worldwide fast charging stations could top 199,000 by the end of this decade.
IHS Automotive sees public fast charging as a vital step in the acceptance of electric vehicles, though does note that better education on more traditional charging methods is equally important--"there will need to also be better consumer education regarding behavioral changes that may need to happen when owning an electric vehicle--such as charging overnight or at work", explained Alastair Hayfield, associate research director at IHS Automotive.
The report explains that DC fast charging, capable of delivering most of a vehicle's charge in 20-30 minutes, could break down one of the electric car world's biggest obstacles to EV adoption, that of long reported charging times.
While many electric car owners find they get over long charging times and relatively low range fairly quickly, concerns over both factors do limit electric cars' appeal for many. Fast charging helps side-step both of these concerns.
Which--if any--system will dominate?
IHS believes that the Japanese CHAdeMO standard found in Nissan Leafs, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and Honda Fit EVs will play a large part in the expansion, supplying as many as 80 percent of the electric cars on the road. Worldwide, over 57,000 CHAdeMO-compatible electric vehicles have been sold, and up to 2,445 current fast-charge stations use the standard.
The Combined Charging System (CCS) will also grow, allowing 1-phase, 3-phase and DC fast charging from the same connector, while Tesla already has plans for far more of its Supercharger stations both in the U.S. and other markets. "“These Superchargers represent a powerful proposition for Tesla—drivers can charge faster, have U.S.-wide coverage by 2015 and will charge for free for life" said Hayfield.
It isn't yet clear which charging system will cover the majority of vehicles--CHAdeMO will remain big in Japan, CCS will likely serve much of Europe and the U.S. will feature a mix--but the upshot for electric car customers is a huge increase in accessible fast charging--if the numbers become reality...