Experts and officials involved with the electrification of American cities are looking at a ‘chicken and egg’ kind of a situation. For sake of better understanding, decoding the analogy is necessary. The question baffling people participating in the process is – what comes first –electric vehicles or their charging points? To explain further, how can they create demand for something that has no supporting infrastructure in sight? Asking people to make a lifestyle switch without having something to hold onto is asking too much. But on the other hand – who creates new infrastructure for something that has no customers?
But this not it, as the situation is further complicated with the question of whose responsibility is it to come up with charging solutions. Currently, it looks like people are waiting for the first mover but hardly anyone looks ready to jump in. And, this in turn has its own set of challenges, that are not easing anything for anyone as of now.
Few Critical Questions:
- Who will own and operate charging stations – Some people feel it is the government responsibility. Others are of the opinion that since most charging would happen at homes and at the workplace, employers should take up part of the responsibility.
- What will the infrastructure look like – There isn’t much clarity on the topic. As per clean-transportation Director of the City of Chicago’s Department of Transportation, Samantha Bingham, it is hard to guess. Her comment decoded means even the public officials do not have much idea.
Other major considerations:
- In order to drive adoption for electric vehicles, it is important to focus not just on infrastructure within cities but also across cities so motorists do not feel limited in terms of usage.
- It is also important to figure the volume associated with infrastructure. How will density play a role? Will it be a set number of spots per user or something else? Does time need to be factored in in terms of allocation per unit?