Battery-powered vehicles may now face a different kind of stumbling block on the path to widespread acceptance. A new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that over the next 30 years, penetration of EVs into the national fleet will be curtailed if society doesn't first find a way to solve its parking problem.
Titled "US Residential Charging Potential for Electric Vehicles," the study contends that only 56% of vehicles now have a dedicated off-street parking space and just 47% have access at an owned residence. Those numbers are important, the study says, because consumers will be less inclined to buy EVs if they don't know where they'll charge them.
"Many consumers will be wary of making the extra investment if they can't plug in and charge at home," Jeremy Michalek, professor of mechanical engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told Design News.
At least two studies have forecast EV adoption rates of 80%. A study by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (blue line) predicts 80% by 2030. The Electric Power Research Institute (brown line) forecasts 80% by 2050. Carnegie Mellon’s study, however, argues that changes will be needed to reach such numbers. Exceeding 22%, it said, calls for more residential infrastructure investment to increase access to home outlets. Exceeding 47% calls for chargers to be available to renters. To pass 56%, major changes will be needed in residential parking. (Source: Carnegie Mellon University)
In the long run, the problem could have a profound effect on the overall penetration of electric vehicle technology, which is projected by some studies to rise as high as 80% sometime between 2030 and 2050. Carnegie Mellon's study argues that just to reach beyond the 22% level, however, "would require residential infrastructure investment to increase access to outlets." Hitting 47% would necessitate additional accommodations, such as the availability of residential charging for renters.
In some cases, the accommodations could pose costly engineering challenges, Michalek told us. Bringing charging stations to public parking spaces could require laying of new electrical lines and possible addition of transmission equipment to handle the load. High-voltage fast chargers, which can recharge an EV battery in 20 minutes, might require costly special connections to the electrical grid, he said.
Michalek, who is a plug-in car owner, told Design News that he regularly deals with the charging conundrum. When he's able to secure a space near his home, he runs an extension cord out to his car. "Even then, it's not a great idea because the extension cord has to cross the sidewalk, creating a trip-hazard," he said.
Michalek contends that the parking challenge could affect sales of both battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, largely because both need to find a charging outlet. "Some adoption is happening now and that's great," he told us. "But this tells us that for electric vehicles to be a really big part of the solution, we're going to need some major changes."
What will happen is that people will start plugging in their EV's when ever they see an outlet. Similar to what you see in an airport when everyone is trying to charge their phone, tablet, or laptop. Of course, this leads to an issue of who pays for the 'free' electricity:
Road rage will not be an issue in the future, parking rage will become a news item we will start hearing about. Seems I recall hearing that in the big downtown metro areas, parking spots are sold for a premimum (I maybe thinking of Europe?). Imagine if you bought a parking spot and found someone in it. I think sparks may fly (pun intended).
Sometime back i came across that either they are planning or they have already implemented the installation of EV charging stations throught the cities. If such charging stations are installed or are in the process of installation then how come the rise of these vehicles can decline instead of increasing .
"What will happen is that people will start plugging in their EV's when ever they see an outlet. Similar to what you see in an airport when everyone is trying to charge their phone, tablet, or laptop. Of course, this leads to an issue of who pays for the 'free' electricity:"
GTOlover, that's a tricky situation but the thing is most of such charging points are kept inside the airport, where passengers are lobbing. Anyway we won't be able to take vehicle that much nearer to the plugging point.
"Road rage will not be an issue in the future, parking rage will become a news item we will start hearing about. Seems I recall hearing that in the big downtown metro areas, parking spots are sold for a premimum (I maybe thinking of Europe?). Imagine if you bought a parking spot and found someone in it. I think sparks may fly (pun intended)."
GTOlover, in future EV vehicles there may be options for charging the vehicles, while running through road. Recently I read about similar experiments in EU by embedded some charging strips over the road. So by electrical contacts through strips, vehicles can get charged.
Charging while parking ismindeed going to be a very large challenge in the proliferation of all plug in electric vehicles. But I wonder how many of those who would expect charging at work or in a public parking lot presently get their vehicle fuel tanks filled while they are parked? It certainly would be nice to have my tank filled while I am at work, but I don't think that many are that privaleged. Likewise in public parking lots.
Common sense would dictate that one should plan to have enough fuel, or charge, to achieve the days driving, and then recharge at home. Indeed, I would not consider the purchase of an electric vehicle that was not capable of doing a day's commuting with an adequate margin of charge remaining. Who else owes me a charge? IN addition, who else owes me the cost of my share of a public charging station? I don't believe that anybody is obligated to provide those for me, and I do imagine that such stations would be operated for profit by those willing to invest in them, much as gas stations today are mostly run for profit. Why should charging stations be any different?
So what we are discussing here is the unintended consequences of something that seems like a good idea, until the requirements for the supporting logistics come into play. The bottom line then is that folks should anticipate recharging at home, and not believe that anybody else is obligated to provide you with other options.
I would not vote to spend public money to install charging stations to be used for private vehicles. There are arguments today suggesting that in addition to significant tax rebates and government refunds to enable the purchase of EVs, we should adopt a national policy of mandatory infrastructure upgrades to permit recharging of them. This, of course would not be a tax, but cities, towns, employers, and private parking lot owners would be fined if they fail to comply. For those who do not have a dedicated off-street parking space at home the options are limited but I believe where there is an opportunity for profit, someone will come up with a method.
Isn't it just a simple matter of standards. All ev manufacturers standardize on the battery packs and how they are placed in the vehicle. Then it becomes am infrastructure change from gas station to battery swap out station.
Bob, you are certainly right about the people finding a solution to make a buck.
But I disagree about it not being a tax. Every cent that the government chooses to take from me is a tax, period. If I CHOOSE to spend money for something that is different. But all of that which I have no choice about is a tax. Calling it something else is just a diversion. A pig is a pig, no matter how many times they call it a butterfly.
I agree that charging presents a serious challenge, William K. Battery-electric cars have always been assumed to be the solution for cities, in part because of EVs have such good fuel efficiency numbers in city traffic. The problem, though, is that crowded urban areas often have parking problems. Here in Chicago's urban neighborhoods, many people live in three-flats, which often have one small garage or no garage. So where does the EV owner charge up in those situations?
When it is not possible to charge at home, which will occasionally happen to almost everybody at least once, the solution would be to have a hybrid vehicle, so that it could charge with it's own generator. The other choice is for free enterprise to build charging stations to rent. I have also read about some city, not in the US, in which one must be able to prove that they have a parking spot before they are allowed to purchase a car. While it cewrtainly is a loss of freedom, it is one way to handle the parking problem.
Of course the same thing that prevents me from purchasing a propane fueled car ought to discourage folks from buying a car that they can never charge at home. But I am certain that the complaint will be that the government must do something to help the poor fools who did not think a bit ahead. Once again, the hybrid would seem to be the solution. Not that everybody would need one, but for some it will be the only smart choice.
In the city of New Orleans there were neighborhoods where very few owned cars because there was no place to park them. BUT it was no problem because they could take a bus any place they chose to go. The downside was no car to escape the flood with, and the city does flood every 80 years or so.
"I, too, think the hybrid is a logical solution, William K, particularly so for those who don't have a place to charge at home."
Charles, exactly. Any vehicle runs on hybrid fuel has the advantage of switching between these two fuel source, as and when needed. My car is hybrid with petrol and gas. So when I require more power, I can switch to petrol and on plain surface to gas, which can yield more mileage.
I guess these charging problems will not slow the rise of Evs. Definitely if someone is going for Electric vehicle he knows that he should keep the vehicle fully charged according to the daily requirement of commute .
D.H. Almost every day I come across people who are quite devoid of that amount of sense that you mention. You are certainly correct that folks should know how much range they have left, and it is reasonable to expect that they should, but there are a lot who simply won't know and won't even understand how to know. They will believe that it is somebody else's responsibility to take care of that detail.
The most logical user of an electric vehicle is an urban dweller and the lack of a dedicated off or on street parking space could limit the ability to keep your vrhicle fully charged. While suburbanites with a dedicated space or garage can have some assurance of being able to charge their vehicle, utban dwellers may be parked far away from rheir power connection.
That's the problem in a nutshell, Monster69. To make it worse, costs of recharging stations could be high, especially the "fast charge" type. The New York Times reported in November that a "super speedy public charging station" could run $30,000. See link.
Charles (and others) make good points about hybrids, it is a good interim solution that doesn't require a plug when away from home. I think this is going to go by the wayside in the future, and electric cars will get their electricity from H2 and fuel cells. This is the kind o of thing that will keep people chained to the pump, and still provide a source of income for the greedy rich who want a steady cut of our income. The smart people will have H2 charging stations on their property to power their house and cars, powered by the sun and wind. There will still be plenty of people left that will still pay a the pump religeously, especially those in a city environment, where such power generation is not possible with homes on top of each other (apts and condos). Of course, living in a city... who needs a car?
@Akwaman yes if people are provided with proper and good public transport why would they feel the need of having a vehicle or buying a vehicle . Secondly people will go towards these electric vehicles definitely if they feel certain advantage either in case of saving money of feuling or getting good luxary and milage . Again all these varry from person to person some needs cost saving some are just carefree about cost they just a luxurious and good vehicle .
"I guess these charging problems will not slow the rise of Evs. Definitely if someone is going for Electric vehicle he knows that he should keep the vehicle fully charged according to the daily requirement of commute ."
Debera, as long as customers have charging point at their home and office, no worries. Moreover, now a day's there are many charging stations too, so on the way, if needed it can be get charged. Charging point at parking lot is just like an added advantage.
For urban dwellers, I especially like the idea of a plug-in hybrid. I believe there are many people in cities who could drive back and forth to work and use very little gasoline, but the gasoline would be there when needed. The advatage is that most of the commuting could still be electric.
"For urban dwellers, I especially like the idea of a plug-in hybrid. I believe there are many people in cities who could drive back and forth to work and use very little gasoline, but the gasoline would be there when needed. The advatage is that most of the commuting could still be electric."
Charles, am using a hybrid vehicle. So based on power requirement and situation, we can switch between this two sources for deriving maximum efficiency.
"Common sense would dictate that one should plan to have enough fuel, or charge, to achieve the days driving, and then recharge at home. Indeed, I would not consider the purchase of an electric vehicle that was not capable of doing a day's commuting with an adequate margin of charge remaining."
William, exactly. Peoples has to charge enough either from home or work place for a break-less journey. Moreover there are many public charging stations are also there for charging EVs. Charging at parking lots are just like an added advantage and it's not mandatory that all parking lots has to be equipped with charging points.
No question that this is becoming more and more of an issue.
Home charging still accounts for 80% of charging. There is no question that EV adoption will be reduced if we don't address the issue for those living in condos and apartments.
Recently during the relocation of our office, I negotiated a charging station for our new building. This is the first commercial building in our area providing a charger to ONLY the tenants (limited use for proxy card holders). This clearly raised the bar in our area and added to the growth of EV adoption.
Unfortunately, the chargers are normally located close to the building (perhaps due to proximity of available electricity). This creates some anxiety as the Non-EV-ers see the EVs as the "privileged and elitests" that get the "special" spot.
I have lately been reading, and conversations with friends that live in core areas of Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, New York city, and San Francisco corroborate that in many cities gasoline stations are slowly disappearing over time. No new ones are being built and older end of life gas stations in high cost of living areas are being closed and repurposed for other uses that make more money for the owners. So now in many core city areas people are being forced to drive to the near suburbs to find an open gas station. So in these core city areas maybe the electric infrastructre will be just as good, or better than the fossil fuel infrastructure.
Any1 , agree with you that there are certain areas where gasoline stations are just ending up but what i think is it varies from city to city and country to country as well. In some aeas there is shortage of gasoline so definitely people will move towards EV but in some areas there is no shortage so people will prefer gasoline only . But no dount EV is the next upcomming technology which i guess no one can deny .
Seems to me that what we have is a classic example of the "chicken or egg" conundrum. UNTIL the local gov'ts, electric utilities, etc. come to a common solution, good throughout the land, regarding charging/parking facilities, the number of EV or HYBRID vehicles sold will be stymied.
And, all this new investment of infrastructure does NOT come free. There will be a mighty significant cost involved to outfit all these "spaces" to accommodate the EV-class vehicle.
Call me Neandrethal, but I STILL maintain that the gasoline or similar fuel-powered vehicle is as viable today as it was at the turn of the last century when the automobile challenged the horse & steam engine for transportation needs. I am NOT opposed to new technology, BUT unless science & engineering & manufacturing can come together to make an electric power storage device with the same or better overall efficiency of the modern gasoline or diesel fuel powered vehicle, I see these EV type vehicles as occupying only a niche market for decades to come.....
EV purchasing is already greatly hampered by local (too cold or hot), commute distance (can't make it to and from work on a single charge), lack of resources (can't afford to buy a second commute car).
The final approval of the new Apple campus meeting brought up this problem. Apple is planning to provide only 1,000 charging stations in their parking lots. The Cupertino Village is concerned because Apple employers are already parking in Village charge stations, then pulling their bikes out of their trunks to ride to work.
There's a lot of infrastructure and control over who gets to use what before EVs become a significant part of everyday life.
By the way, running an extension cord across the sidewalk is not only a hazard but it is not a legal use of public right of way, for obvious reasons. Provision of dedicated parking would seem to run counter to the whole sustainable development movement.
Fast has a valid point. In my residential area about a third of the people don't park in their driveways, they park in the street because then they don't need to back out of the driveway. Just plain LAZY, but running a power cord across the sidewalk would indeed be a real hazard, not only because of the real tripping hazard, but because of the hazard of finding the cord missing in the morning and the vehicle not charged. Also, consider that the best that could be done with a regular #12 wire cord would be 20 amps, which it would take a while to recharge with that rate. Also, none of the houses have outside outlets for anything like vehicle charging. And in our area having it done by a contractor would be a few hundred dollars and the city hall will demand both a permit and an inspection, so there is a lot of money already and that does not include a charger. That is just the labor costs. But it is possible that people could be convinced to park their EVs in the driveway and have an outlet close to it on th house. That would be a real plus.
BUT, for those folks who don't have a personal parking spot, charging at any kind of charging station puts them at the mercy of the same type of folks who would love to charge us $5 a gallon for gasoline. So my vote is for the plug-in hybrid type of vehicle. They may never need to plug it in.
I think the benefits of an electric car against the conventional gas powered cars far outweigh the inconvenience of having to drive around looking for charging points. In the end, once people wake up to these advantages, they will find innovative ways to charge their cars anyway; society is like that.
Exactly Andy, you are absolutely correct initially every technology has to pass the hard time but once it gets fully marketed the consumers are totally aware of the advantages then they find innovative ways to overcome the weakness of the technology and this is actually happening these days as well.
You're correct. Consumers will find innovative way to overcome inherent weakness in the infrastructure...or lack of...to support EVs.
San Francisco is well known as a bicycle friendly city. The city's first transit policy promoted cycling in 1973. But no infrastructure was created to support cycling until recently. That's because organizations like the Bicycle Coalition fought for more bike lanes and bike parking or years. None of which was funded by the city until 2009, with completion in 2011.
EV parking will be plentiful if and when EV owners get together to fight for it.
Most people who already drive electric cars were used to paying for gas in the past and am sure they won't have any issues paying to charge their cars if they can do it conveniently. Once enough people have bought the EVs, I believe we will see many parking spaces/ paid charging spots opening all over.
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