Electric Vehicles: When I Will Buy
As a society, convienence is a selling point: We have drive thru’s for our coffee and food, the ability to order everything online, free two day deliveries, hailing rides through apps, and more. But, there are numerous less obvious convienences when it comes to driving.
For one, you can predict where gas stations are. You get off the freeway and there’s bound to be 1 to 3 gas stations near the intersection. It also takes all of about five minutes to fill up the car. It’s not terribly out of the way on a commute or a road trip to fill up your internal combustion engine car, commonly referred to as “ICE”. Granted, EV’s have come a long way over the last decade but there’s still plenty of ground to cover.
The Proprietary Plug
The biggest turn off for EV’s is the proprietary plug. Before I consider an EV I want them all — or at least a majority — to share the same plug, much akin to how all ICE vehicles can use the same gas nozzle. However, I know there are caveats to this.
Similar to the home, we do have different power outlets for various appliances; the washer and dryer at my parents use a different outlet than all the other appliances and devices. That’s because the washer and dryer require more energy than a typical power outlet so they rely on a different standard to deliver that power.
I want some form of standardized charging platform.
Where I live, just about every major mall, shopping complex, and corporate work environment has EV charging stations. But I want charging stations to be synonymous with gas stations. I want the comfort in knowing that any of the gas stations off this freeway exit will offer EV charging. They may only have 1 or 2 stalls but that’s a start. I just want to know that I can charge anywhere an ICE vehicle can refuel.
On that note, I want more charging locations. Malls and business parks have a lot of parking lot space, most of which is typically open to the sky. Solar panels above the parking lots will help shade vehicles as well as provide the ability to charge the vehicles. I wouldn’t mind paying to charge. That said, designated charging spaces would have to go. When I go to the mall I don’t want to come back to my car after 45 minutes to move it to a non-charging spot, especially since mall parking lots can get really full during weekends and for popular shopping holidays.
We’re way beyond the range anxiety of the 80mi EV. We’re now at the point where people are afraid that their car will take 8 hours to charge because they expect to charge their car like the refuel an ICE vehicle — when it’s empty. With an EV you have the ability to charge it whenever and wherever you want. It’s why I’d like every mall, business park, restaurant, etc to offer EV charging at every parking space; it’ll allow drivers to get into the habit of charging at every stop so that they’ll always have their full range.
Should a driver go a full 300+ miles before charging, there should be dedicated fast chargers at gas stations and likely elsewhere so they can fully charge their car in considerably less time than a traditional stall.
I see the EV market as volatile and competitive. There’s nothing wrong with that, the market is new and companies are trying lure customers which is — ultimately — great for consumers. However, in the short term this fractures and alienates them. Cars bought today could be obsolete in a few years because the industry moved to a standard that earlier cars can’t adopt.
My next new car purchase will be an EV, and while I’m roughly 3–5 years away from this purchase I want to make sure my car will last me 20+ years. I don’t want it to be incompatible with an agreed standard after 5 years.
I’m watching the EV market carefully and looking forward to it’s maturity over the next few years.