Where Are the Best Places to Build EV Chargers?
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Currently, the choice to buy an electric vehicle (EV) is a personal one, however, many states are pushing towards a future of zero-emission vehicles.
You might be hesitant to switch to an EV considering the increased cost of car insurance, and the lack of charging stations available. A better charging network can help make EVs more mainstream and lead to reduced costs to own one overall.
According to Car and Driver, researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) are working on figuring out the best areas to build charging stations. The government and private companies may not be placing chargers equally across different areas.
Joe Biden's administration is funding charging infrastructure
President Joe Biden announced the government would spend $174 billion to help Americans switch to electric vehicles. Car and Driver reported that Biden plans to build 500,000 national EV charging stations by 2030. The Congress is divided on support for this initiative.
Mehrnaz Ghamami, assistant professor for civil and environmental engineering at MSU, said that not every government is placing charging stations where they’re needed. Ghamami leads the team of researchers working to improve Michigan’s EV charging network.
The state asked them to distribute the chargers evenly when they’re planning, and not just focus on areas where a lot of people are already driving EVs. The team has faced criticism for planning to build stations in remote areas. In response, Ghamami said that "the infrastructure needs to be there, and users need to be educated about these vehicles."
Where can you find electric vehicle charging stations?
PlugShare has mapped out locations nationwide for charging stations. Currently, there are major gaps for stations in the upper midwest and the Rockies, as mentioned by Car and Driver. Most stations are located in heavily populated areas with access to major roadways.
Moving forward, to build a strong charging network depends on partnerships between companies and local governments to fund the stations. Ghamami said that the Michigan government had issues finding partners to shoulder the cost of installing a station that they’ve planned.
Ideal locations for charging stations
Some of the biggest charging network providers focus on placing them where lots of people already go. London used data on taxi trips and electrical grid capacity to build chargers where people most commonly travel. However, cities without high taxi traffic will be left out.
Ghamami’s team will have to work out how to store energy in batteries so that the electrical grid doesn’t get overwhelmed for both rural areas and highly-populated cities. The old infrastructure might not be able to handle high-demand. The Biden administration will have to make similar considerations for their plans to build stations nationwide.
There’s not yet a guide to show states the best layout for building charging stations. Ideally, to encourage the adoption of EVs, stations will have to be built in remote areas as well as high-traffic ones. But, states will still have to figure out how to ensure the power grid doesn’t get overloaded.
Why is it challenging for consumers to switch to EVs?
Countries are still in the early stages of building EVs and EV infrastructure. The lack of charging stations and cost of electric cars versus gas cars makes it difficult for consumers to switch.
Government tax breaks and incentives for owning green vehicles can help with the cost of the vehicles and increased insurance rates. If you own an electric car, but don’t want to overpay for car insurance, Jerry can help. It takes less than a minute to sign up and you’ll be presented with competitive rates from up to 45 top providers.