Fea­ture: the no­to­ri­ous CVT ex­plained

Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Be­side cost and ef­fi­ciency, two fur­ther is­sues in­hibit EV up­take: in­fra­struc­ture, and how EVS are used.

In 2011, we trav­elled to Cal­i­for­nia to ex­pe­ri­ence first-hand the bur­geon­ing EV in­dus­try in one of the most pro­gres­sive re­gions in the world (in terms of green tech­nol­ogy). There it quickly be­came clear that in­fra­struc­ture would be un­der duress as more EVS hit the road. Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern is how al­ready bur­dened elec­tric­ity sup­pli­ers will fig­ure out how to sup­port these con­sumers.

How­ever, there ap­pears to be an even big­ger is­sue fac­ing EVS: how they will be used.

An EV does – and will con­tinue to do so – re­quire driv­ers to change their be­hav­iour, specif­i­cally when it comes to recharg­ing (ver­sus re­fu­elling, which would hap­pen far less fre­quently). This is a big headache for com­pa­nies mar­ket­ing EVS, sim­ply be­cause con­sumers are gen­er­ally stuck in their ways.

The EMERGE study found driv­ers re­quire that about 25% of charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture to be public, with more than 50% needed in spa­ces such as park­ing garages and other semi-public spa­ces.

An in­ter­est­ing find­ing was that night-time charg­ing forms the bot­tle-neck for in­fra­struc­ture, be­cause there is gen­er­ally only one night­time charge per charg­ing point, whereas sev­eral charges are pos­si­ble dur­ing the day­time.

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