Why is improving the charging network important to boost electric vehicles’ sales?
Renault and Nisan are constantly striving to improve their products and develop new technologies to enhance their electric vehicles offering.
For example, even though Nissan LEAF is already the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, the company recently introduced improvements to make it even more desirable with a new battery technology that gives the car a 25% range improvement.
While enhancements like this will help fuel the growth of zero-emissions cars, a serious increase in sales – and the resulting environmental benefits that this will bring – is directly related to improvements in the global charging network.
Fortunately, this is already happening. Last year, leading motoring analysts IHS Automotive said that the global EV charger market will grow from more than 1 million units in 2015 to more than 12.7 million in 2020.
Some of that growth will come from an increase in domestic chargers, but a significant portion will be from public fast chargers, usually situated on the outskirts of cities and along highways to support long distance journeys by electric vehicles.
In the USA, which is one of the countries with most electric vehicles in the world, there are 25,000 public charging stations today. The Obama Administration has announced that $4.5 billion in loan guarantees is being made available to private companies (including utility companies and automotive companies) to develop more charging stations with the goal of establishing a national network of EV fast-charging stations by 2020.
It is a similar story in South Korea which, until now, has lagged behind other countries in the adoption of electric vehicles. Although the country is the fifth largest car manufacturer in the world, the domestic adoption of electric vehicles has been low: in 2015 it represented only 0.2% market share.
This is largely due to the lack of a practical charging infrastructure. To improve this situation, the South Korean government will introduce purchase incentives, as well as, lower insurance premiums and lower highway and parking tolls. At the same time, there are plans to establish a high speed-charging network around Seoul to ensure that there is a fast-charger every two kilometres around the capital city. Nationwide, there are plans to place 30,000 charging stations at 4,000 apartment complexes by 2020.
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