Electrify America DC fast chargers in Gulfport, Mississippi
Our readers seem to think charging networks are doing just fine with their plans to build out additional public charging stations.
Several networks have recently announced expansion plans, focusing on putting more DC fast chargers in cities to help bring new drivers to the electric-car fold who may not have their own driveway or garage to charge them in.
All these plans, however, seem to involve expanding the old-fashioned way, too, by adding more chargers at tried-and-true locations such as shopping centers and highway rest areas.
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In most cases, these conventional locations outnumber the locations aimed at winning over new electric-car buyers.
Green Car Reports Twitter followers, many of whom already own electric cars—and so presumably do have their own places to charge them—appear content to see more of what they already have.
Last week, in response to some news announcements of new charging networks, our Twitter poll question asked, “Where would you most like to see more public chargers installed?”
Where would you most like to see more public chargers installed?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) October 8, 2018
The top choice was where many already seem to be: at shopping centers. The answer won over 38 percent of our responses.
The second most common place our respondents would like to see more chargers is along vacation routes, at 33 percent. This was Tesla’s original model for its Supercharging network, when the company installed Supercharger stations in between city pairs to enable drivers to extend the reach of their cars. As other charging networks focus on building new infrastructure where electric cars are already concentrated, some trips are still difficult to make, and our Twitter followers would like to see them opened up.
In a similar vein, 19 percent of our respondents wished for more infrastructure in rural areas. As with any utility, rural areas are some of the hardest for providers to sustain economically. Electrify America, which is under court order to build out a nationwide charging network with Volkswagen diesel settlement money, announced last week that its first investments in rural areas will come next summer.
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It could be that some of our respondents make trips to rural areas in their electric cars more than they do along well-traveled vacation routes, and that these chargers would serve a similar purpose for them. Much of the American population still lives outside urban and suburban areas, and bringing more chargers to rural areas could open up new regions as viable for electric vehicle ownership.
The least popular choice in our poll was city centers. Electric-car advocates agree that building new fast chargers in city centers is critical to expand the electric-car market. For existing electric-car drivers such as our Twitter followers, however, it’s perhaps not surprising that they can get into and out of cities using chargers further out.
Our Twitter polls are, of course, unscientific, because our respondents are self-selected, and because our sample size is not representative of anything beyond our own readers. They’re still often instructive and always fun.