Electric Car Owners Deserve A Simple Charging Solution

Electric vehicles are poised to change not only the automotive world, but also our social, political and economic landscape, but not before there is an established network of easy-to-use, no hassle charging stations for them.

In 2011, there were seven electrified vehicles available. Today, there are more than 30, with most major car companies offering something.

As a matter of fact, there are over 600,000 electrified vehicles on the road in the U.S. and Canada alone, a figure that although impressive by itself, is a mere fraction of the nearly 20 million vehicles that were sold in the region during 2016.

There is room to grow, and as more and more EVs are sold, the question of charging becomes ever more critical. Unfortunately, the widespread adoption of electric cars continues to be held back by the lack of a strong charging infrastructure.

Despite some studies downplaying the phenomenon, range anxiety — that is, the fear that an EV won’t have enough stored power to handle daily driving, especially long trips — remains an issue for many prospective car buyers unfamiliar with electric cars. In addition to charging at home, drivers will want to charge on the road — quickly and conveniently.

Governments around the world continue to provide incentives to expedite the growth for the segment, but progress has been slow. But despite the slow progress, there has been an increase in the number of charging stations around the world, and together with the longer driving range provided by modern EVs, range anxiety is will eventually be a thing of the past.

The growth of the EV charging infrastructure will be an exciting stage in the evolution of the electric car. And with one study conducted by Ernst and Young identifying 143 companies globally with a claim to the emerging EV charging infrastructure, you can be here is no looking back.

So, as an owner of an electric vehicle, where can you charge? Sure, everybody and their grandmother knows about Tesla and its proprietary network of stations, but there are quite a few lesser known companies doing the good job.

Up in Canada, for instance, those looking for a convenient charging station will become familiar with flo, which provides the country’s largest network of charging stations. In addition to its public network, the company also provides sturdy charging stations for the home and workplace.

Tesla and flo are just two of a growing number of players entering field, most fielding their own proprietary systems. But for the EV segment to truly take off, there needs to be one standard across the board so that drivers don’t get locked into one network, making it difficult or costly for them to charge at other locations.

In many ways, the existence of different standards limits the growth of the EV segment just as much as the lack of charging stations. Automakers need to be accepting of an open standard that allows EV owners to mix and match various EV charging stations with any back end (plug) they choose.

If not an open standard, then at least a universal charging system for all EV owners of the world.

Needless to say, the EV segment will continue to be stuck in the muck, progressing slowly, until the world’s tech companies join forces to make the lives of current and prospective EV owners easier. The much-needed strong and expansive charging infrastructure needs to be accompanied with a universal or open charging standard.

Let’s make it happen.

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