Electric vehicles (“EVs”) are poised to replace internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicles over the next couple of decades, but a slew of issues stand in the way of mass EV adoption. The United States is working towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and electric vehicles will play a major role in reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and cutting emissions. However, America’s EV charging infrastructure is not developed enough to support an influx of electric vehicles on the roads.
Not only does America have a woefully insufficient public charging network, but most chargers are slow, meaning drivers have to spend hours at the chargers to get their vehicles fully charged. If you’re planning a road trip or just traveling long distance, you will have to carefully plan your route to make sure you don’t run out of juice without a charging station in sight. And even if you do find a station, the plugs may not be compatible with your vehicle because some companies, including Tesla, have built networks that are only accessible by their vehicles.
Consequently, a YouGov Poll conducted in October 2020 found that charging time and the hassle of charging was one of the reasons drivers weren’t comfortable with the idea of switching to an electric vehicle. As such, developing a widespread and reliable network of public charging stations will go a long way in encouraging individuals to exchange their petrol and diesel-powered vehicles for zero-emission EVs. President Joe Biden is of the same school of thought, and his ambitious American Jobs Plan would see the government invest $174 billion on boosting EV supply chains, subsidizing the cost of EVs for consumers, and developing a massive network of 500,000 public charging stations.
At the moment, there are an estimated 42,490 public EV charging stations in the country, compared to 115,000 gas stations, most of which have several pumps. If Biden’s plan is successful, the government would deploy hundreds of thousands of charging stations by 2030, just five years short of 2035 when several American automakers have pledged to go fully electric. But studies show that most EV drivers charge at home, and the government will have to find ways to ensure middle- and lower-income families that cannot afford to install home chargers aren’t left out.
Scott Hardman, a researcher who has been studying EVs and hybrids at the University of California Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies, says that ultimately home charging is the most important if the government wishes to increase EV adoption. The Biden administration has plans to propose credits supporting the installation of home chargers, especially for the middle- and lower-income families that make up most of the population.
The quest for a reliable charging network for EVs is being helped by the work of for-profit entities such as Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX), which are helping to establish wireless charging facilities for electric vehicles.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IDEX
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