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The Challenges of Electric Vehicles

SOURCE: Various

The sales of electric vehicles – EVs – are projected to rise in 2024, but are slowing due to challenges facing current and potential EV drivers. For existing EV owners, vehicle range and charging anxiety are among the biggest challenges. Those may also be the primary concerns for potential EV buyers. An additional concern for many is price. Many of today’s all-electric models come from luxury automakers, and even when they don’t, most come with premium price tags.
Charging Challenges
The biggest and most publicized concern for current and potential EV drivers, as well as the EV industry itself, is the charging infrastructure. Although the U.S. has tens of thousands of chargers across its Supercharger network and through other providers, the supply of chargers is dramatically outpaced by demand in many highly-populated areas, while in rural zones, infrastructure expansion efforts have largely just begun.
Unless you have an at-home charging station, public charging station challenges will include:
• Charger Up-time / How many chargers might not be working at any particular time when you pull in to charge up?
• Charging Wait time / There is the built-in charging wait time after you get your vehicle plugged in, but what if all available chargers are in use when you arrive at a charging station and you find yourself in line behind a number of other drivers waiting to charge their vehicles? You could have a significant wait time to factor into your day.
Range Challenges
In an electric vehicle, when you’re planning a trip – whether it’s a long daily commute or some kind of getaway, the first step is to plan your route and then determine where the charging stations are located along the way. You’ll know the stated range of your vehicle, but it’s more than just saying you’re going to hop on Route 80, go to exit such-and-such and drive five more miles to your destination. There are other factors to consider.
• Are you driving in the heat of summer, or on a super-cold winter day? Temperature extremes will affect your battery charge and therefore your range.
• If you get stuck on the highway in a traffic jam and your range keeps dropping, you better know where the nearest charging station is.
Other things to consider include day of the week and time of day – as it relates to traffic congestion, those charger locations along your route and elevation. If your planned route involves long, steep climbs, your range will suffer as the battery has to work harder. Interestingly, an EV battery drains faster on the highway versus the city, where it can recapture energy when decelerating by slowing the vehicle using the electric motor rather than the braking system
Is It for You?
If you’re looking for a new vehicle and are considering an EV, you have to consider whether or not the different realities of owning an EV are right for you. According to research from a company called GBK Collective, the majority of buyers who are moving away from the gas combustion engine are moving to hybrid engines and hybrid “plug-ins” as their “bridge” to a potential all-electric future. Taking stock of the situation, Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda, predicted that the vast majority of vehicles sold in coming decades will not be fully electric.



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