Alleviate range anxiety
Globally, drivers also regard battery range and limited charging stations as a top barrier to purchase. Even in European countries where there’s a higher concentration of charge points, these concerns top the list next to cost. However, our research indicates that consumer perception is beginning to shift, as more than a quarter of people cite improved battery range and increased availability of charging stations as reasons for considering an EV.
By the end of 2020, the average battery range of EVs in the U.S. will be 254 miles. Even without Tesla models that inflate the numbers, average battery range will still remain over 200 miles – well over the usual trip. When it comes to longer hauls, however, the infrastructure still has to catch up. Per mile of road, the Netherlands has more than 14 charging stations, China has 2.5, the the UK and Japan have less than two, and the U.S. less than 0.6 charge points per mile of road. And with people driving more often and for longer distances in lieu of public transportation and air travel as a result of the pandemic, the lack of charging infrastructure may be a deterrent for those considering an EV.
Ionity, a joint venture between automakers (BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, Mercedes Benz AG and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche) have set out to make European long distance travel with EVs possible – and anxiety-free. Not only has the venture created a charging network along Europe’s major highways, automakers, as part of the venture, provide free or discounted access to their customers. Ventures like this one can help take the anxiety out of EV travel by assuring drivers that the next charging station is not far off.
As it stands, sales of EVs in Europe have more than doubled over the past three years, but the number of charging points has grown by only 58 percent to just under 200,000. Despite this slower rate of infrastructure development, energy businesses continue to make headway. Ubitricity, a German charge point business, is rolling out a network of residential on-street charging points for EVs, retrofitted into existing streetlights to keep installation and maintenance costs low. Fortnum, Octopus and Shell Re-Charge provide simplified access to charging for their customers through thousands of public charging points – with plans to expand to home and work charging locations.