The people who are concerned about keeping an electric vehicle charged are those people without an electric vehicle. Once you’ve experienced living with an EV, all of your anxieties drop away. We’ll cover off on some facts and stats in this post to help you imagine being an EV driver.
The commonwealth government recently released a report* which showed that 70% of EV drivers use home chargers 99% of the time. They come home, plug in and walk away. Charging takes them 15 seconds! Their experience will be like managing the battery in a mobile phone, and visiting petrol stations will be quickly forgotten.
The other 30% of drivers don’t have access to a dedicated parking space and therefore a dedicated charging space. Consumers in this segment will require public charging for 100% of their charging requirements. 99% of their kilometres can be satisfied using Level 2 public charging at work, or public fast chargers in locations like shopping centres or gyms. Their experience will be more like filling up at a petrol station, perhaps once a week.
If you want more evidence, a US study involving 17,000 plug-in EV charging locations and 8200 plug-in EVs showed that the majority of charging (~96%) was found to be done at home and work, regardless of the vehicle type (PHEV or BEV)**.
The driving range of the latest-model EVs is large. Over 200km and in some cases over 400km. Compare that to observed driving habits. People don’t drive very far, in fact, 80% of (round) trips are under 14km. A recent Australian study (Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel & Activity (2013) shows that more than 99% of daily trips were under 50 km, implying a round trip distance of 100 km, which is well within the range of new PEVs.
The cars that Good Motive supports have driving ranges between 230km and 424km on one full charge.
And how fast can you charge?
This varies depending on the type of car and type of charger. Plugging in at home using a 240-volt socket is the slowest, but will typically fully charge an EV overnight. A public DC fast charger can charge an EV to 80% in 40-50 minutes; with some achieving up to ~400km of range in 15 minutes. The technology in these fast chargers is improving rapidly too – they are getting bigger and faster all the time.
You’ll always know how much charge you have and how many kilometres you can travel just by looking at your indicator. You can easily see where all of the public charge points are too. If your car doesn’t tell you (most do), then you can use an app like Plugshare to find the nearest charge point or plan a longer trip.
Typical Plugshare search result – eastern seaboard.
Public fast charging networks are being added to all the time – the Australian government, Queensland government and the NRMA have all recently invested in new infrastructure. The truth is that the number of charge points is currently outstripping the demand for EV charging in NSW.
Going EV will let you feel the freedom of easy fueling (plug in and walk away), reduced costs ($1,700 - $3,000 / year) and less pollution (~50% less CO2/km when charged at home with no solar), just by making the right car purchase.
* Australian Electric Vehicle Market Study, ARENA & CEFC, May 2018
** Myers, E. Utilities and Electric Vehicles - The Case for Managed Charging. [Online] June 2019.
[July 1st 2019]