Electric vehicles: What are the obstacles to its adoption in 2023? | Environment

The open forum is written by Sarah Mouton, Content Manager of Virta France

Recent studies show that drivers are more afraid of being left “dry” than anywhere else, or stopping (too often) for long charging sessions if they go electric. A survey by Statista in 2022 shows that the French worry about the (perceived) lack of autonomy of the electric car, surpassing all other fears about the transition to zero-emission mobility.
Are the fears of lack of autonomy in 2023 really justified? Does he blame the lack of sufficient payment infrastructure in the area for this reluctance?

Lack of autonomy: information or intoxication?

Electric cars already exceed the needs of most drivers in terms of autonomy, as 8 out of 10 electric motorists travel less than 100 km per day!
A study of more than 600,000 users even shows that 6 out of 10 drivers drive less than 50 km every day.
Given that most electric cars have a range that allows them to travel an average of 300 km on a single charge, this fear is often unfounded.

In practice, for electric motorists who use their car on a daily basis, being able to charge at home and/or at work is enough to eliminate any risk of failure. For those who do not have the opportunity to charge at work or at home, it is enough to change their habits by waiting a little for their movements: trips – to work, shopping or restaurants – are all opportunities to charge their cars. The charging offer is diversifying and becoming more widespread in, for example, shopping areas or the hotel industry, which is good news for users who are seeing an increase in the number of charging options.
When it comes to long distances, they can now rely on fast or ultra-fast charging, which is developing on major roads.

Lack of public infrastructure

Part of the range concern is also based on the issue of charging infrastructure – real or perceived. The number of charging points in the area is charging in France and elsewhere. At the end of 2021, there were 330,000 public charging stations in 27 EU countries (ChargeUp report) and at the end of September 2022, France had just over 70,000 stations open to the public.
While existing public infrastructure alone cannot support the predicted rapid adoption of electric vehicles, most charging (90%) occurs at work and at home.
Regardless, the EU wants to guarantee car drivers by approving mandatory rules forcing each country to have charging stations at least every 60 km on the continent’s main axes.
According to European Commission estimates, we will need 3.4 million public charging stations by 2030. This is 15 times more than the current configuration.
Between 2011 and 2020, the number of public charging stations in Europe increased to 84. But this good progress is not the most important indicator to watch. It is primarily about observing the number of charging stations per inhabitant or per electric vehicle. Currently, there are an average of 73 terminals per 100,000 inhabitants on the European continent. To maintain a healthy and financially viable infrastructure, there should be 10-14 EV charging stations.

Slow or fast charging

Planners are increasingly equipping fast and ultra-fast terminals so that filling up is as easy as filling up with gas. But globally, slow terminals will dominate the public charging market for a long time. They will eventually represent 69% of all installations, as fast charging is more expensive (for both planners and customers) and is not intended to be used outside of long journeys.

The French are somewhat apprehensive about going electric, mainly due to the lack of autonomy and infrastructure. If manufacturers can be taught about autonomy, it’s still up to public and private investors to build a vast infrastructure network that will appease hesitant motorists. Everything is already done for the drivers to increase the speed!

Image by Nerijus jakimaviÄ ius from Pixabay

Open forum Written by Sarah Mouton, Virta Content Manager, France, written on 02/01/2023.

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