You have probably heard that one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is a shortage of charging infrastructure. To fix this, manufacturers such as Tesla are setting up their own charging networks and governments at local, state and federal levels are also coming up with their own ways to fix this problem. However, the solutions being considered so far, such as setting up charging stations along major highways, are based on old technology whose time has passed.
To understand why that thinking is “old school,” think about the things that you can do with your smartphone today. In today’s world, we no longer need to go to a movie store in order to stream our favorite blockbuster. It seems equally absurd that current thinking is focusing on setting up charging stations modeled after the gas stations of the ICE vehicles being shoved aside as the fight against climate change intensifies.
What is needed are level 1 chargers. True, they are the slowest and least glamorous, but they also happen to be the most affordable and easy to use of all the current charging systems out there. Let’s look at cost, for example. DC superchargers — the fastest so far — cost about $30,000 to procure. Add to this the cost of installation and maintenance, and the cost becomes rather prohibitive.
In contrast, level 1 chargers, or the ones that can be used almost anywhere (at home, in public parking lots, at shopping mall parking lots, and anywhere else an electricity connection exists) cost just a few hundred dollars to buy. In fact, nearly every EV manufacturer offers this charger when delivering a new EV to its owner.
One drawback of these level 1 chargers is that they are slow, and you may need to leave your vehicle plugged in for several hours in order to see the range on your battery bump up by a hundred or so miles.
However, statistics show that most Americans drive an average of 40 miles a day, and their vehicles spend most of the day parked. And that seems like the golden window for level 1 chargers to shine. When you take your kids to the park, you can plug in your car and you won’t have to stand around counting the miles getting added to the battery. When you go to watch a movie, plug your car in. While you sleep at night, plug your car in. And so on.
Can you now see how convenient these chargers can be?
The icing on the cake is that an ordinary wall socket is sufficient for this system, and the billions of dollars going into charging infrastructure establishment make a significant impact if deployed to install level 1 chargers instead of the pricy D.C. superchargers.
When attention is finally directed at creating an extensive charging network featuring level 1 chargers, EV manufacturers such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) will encounter fewer customer objections based on having limited charging options.
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