Charging stations are becoming a more common sight in our cities but the existing generation often takes many hours to recharge an EV. One Dutch company has decided that the key to mass acceptance of electric cars is rapid charging available from a network of roadside stations as convenient to use, as plentiful and as easy to find as an ordinary filling station. Fastned’s rapid chargers can already add almost 200 miles to an electric car’s range in just 15 minutes. Before long it’s clear that, mile for mile, recharging an electric car will be as quick as refuelling a normal one. You may be thinking: this sounds great but surely BP, Esso and their like can compete simply by adding electric car chargers to their own forecourts. It sounds plausible but there are many practical hurdles. And, as so often with disrupters, it is their ability to devote all their attention and resources to the new that gives them the edge over incumbents that must grapple with the problem of adapting to innovation while keeping their existing business alive and profitable. One investor in Fastned, Tal Lomnitzer, co-manager of the Janus Henderson Horizon Global Natural Resources fund, told Questor: “It’s not as easy as you’d think to add chargers to a petrol station – there’s safety to consider and it’s hard to balance provision of chargers against the need to cater to owners of conventional cars, who will be around for many years to come.” He said a BP executive in Europe had admitted that it was almost impossible for existing stations to handle both for reasons of space. Fastned builds its stations from scratch and makes them highly visible to motorists in electric cars – not least thanks to its distinctive canopies covered in solar cells. It has developed a modular approach, allowing it to add more chargers quickly and cheaply.
Telegraph 21st March 2021 read more »
The “disjointed” electric car charging system is in “dire” need of reform as it puts people off buying electric, Which? has warned. The consumer rights campaigners said drivers faced prohibitive charges and a confusing array of brand names and systems when trying to charge their cars. There are over 30 providers in the public charging network, and almost all have their own app or require users to have a specific RFID card to use their chargers. High-end electric car company Tesla has affordable ultra-rapid chargers but these are limited for use by its own customers. Government advice suggests that all companies should allow card payments but this is not enshrined in law, meaning most types of chargers do not accept cards.
Telegraph 19th March 2021 read more »