Charging station manufacturers would have you believe that they will swamp the world with their products although they typically have no payback. The argument is that they are essential for the deployment of the pure electric on-road vehicles considered vital in combatting both global warming and deaths in cities from noxious emissions.
For example, one leading analyst has recently participated in the typical mindless extrapolation by saying, "The UK by 2040 needs 1 to 2.5 million new charging points. An average public charging point costs 25 to 30,000 euros so it would need to invest 33 to 87bn euros from now until 2040."
However, engineers do workrounds and they prefer to fix the device not the infrastructure. That is why all those stalk parking meters have vanished. For pure electric vehicles that has meant doubling of range in the last year and many announcements of vehicles with around 500km range within a few years as they progress to having longer range than conventional vehicles. The result will soon be charging only at source for most people and only at source and destination for others.
Indeed, energy independent electric vehicles (EIV) are starting to be sold that never need electricity from outside because they make their own electricity from "free" daylight, infrared, wind, waves and tide. There is a clear roadmap to multiple energy harvesting leading to EIV range being thousands of kilometers before planned maintenance.
Dr Peter Harrop of analysts IDTechEx predicts, "EIVs will be a multi-billion dollar business long before 2040. Yes, engineers do workrounds and trillion dollar investment in charging stations providing electricity or hydrogen for EVs is simply not going to happen. Many big names are involved in EIVs including Facebook, two sister companies of Google, Airbus and the Chinese Government. This is not the wild-eyed dream of some hobbyist."
Indeed, Toyota gives a keynote at the world's first conference on, Energy Independent Electric Vehicles embracing land, water and air. It is on September 27-28 at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands where the winning solar road and water racers are made and all the leading technologies are researched.
Six optional masterclasses on EIVs and their new enabling technologies on September 25 and 29 and a small exhibition and viewing make it well worth the trip. Hanergy of China, Lightyear of the Netherlands and Sono Motors of Germany present on their street legal, on-road solar cars that will be on sale within three years and IFEVS of Italy on a wind+solar energy independent restaurant van, including the cooking!
These vehicles, one an SUV, have the option of operation without ever using a charging station. Nissan and other famous names will be in the audience.
To view the full agenda for the "Energy Independent Electric Vehicles" conference, and book your place, see www.IDTechEx.com/delft17
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Top image: Contra Costa County