The biggest hurdle faces rising demand for electric and plug-in hybrids is the accessibility of public recharging areas.
Many would be driver of electric vehicles are discouraged due to their short range. Charging at home is an option, but what if your travels to and from work would extend beyond the range of the vehicle? This presents a problem and the solution is not easy.
Owners of electric vehicles will need public charging areas. However, providing those spaces for charging is not going to be easy. Many concerns surrounding public charging of vehicles arise.
Who will pay for the infrastructure or charging stations to be put in place? How will you be reimbursed by someone who uses the charging station? What incentive is there to build a charging station at a public place such as a mall? And the list goes on.
According to Mark Duvall of Electric Power research, "Providing street level spaces is the most difficult problem. These are expensive, and we're not sure who we're going to handle it. But we know we need it, because people need the opportunity for daytime charging."
Further complications arise when you consider that most Americans arrive at work at a similar time. Considering that most would plug in their electric vehicle when they arrived at work, would the electrical grid support such a jump in energy demand. One solution is to provide smart charging stations that will vary the start times of the charging cycle while still completing the charging before the work day is over.
Though there are hurdles to overcome, the future of electric and plug-in hybrids looks bright and the industry will grow with support from many areas. Infrastructure is critical though.
As Duvall said, "We want the widest available access to the infrastructure. That is absolutely the critical piece of making any EVs economically and logistically feasible."
Source: Wards Auto