Which came first, the chicken or the egg, the electric vehicle or the charging station?
In the beginning, gasoline-powered automobiles had to search far and wide to find a gas station. First, the Ford Model T, then the gas stations. Today, there are over 100,000 gas stations, not including private stations, in the United States, which makes sense, because there are some 250 million vehicles on the road. The electric vehicle does have the advantage when it comes to charging, because it doesn’t need public charging stations. Electric vehicle owners can simply charge at home.
This presents a problem for some, however, because not all electric vehicles have the capability to go long distances. Those who remain within the American average 30mi/day have their pick of electric vehicles that can go the distance with no problem. If they want to go on longer trips, though, they need a recharging station somewhere on the way, or they can buy one with more range, or an extended-range electric vehicle, or even a second conventional vehicle. [But what would be the point of that?]
Hence the rise of the electric vehicle charging industry. Tesla Motors has gone it alone, with the deployment of a network of Tesla Superchargers, which can charge a Tesla Model S, for free, up to 80% of its considerable range in just half-an-hour, but this only works for Tesla Model S drivers. What about the rest, how do you set up a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations, and how do you charge for such a thing?
Some sort of system is needed, since less than half of electric vehicle owners even have a space where they can install a charging station at home. There are different ideas about, from installing public-access charging stations in parking garages or lots, as well as different ways to charge for charging, including smartphone app, RFID fob, or simple credit card transaction. Then, how much do you charge for access to a $30,000 fast-charging station? Some have suggested around 40¢/kWh, which would make regular access to these stations more expensive than conventional vehicles! Dimitrios Papadogonas, vice president of marketing for ChargePoint, says “it’s not surprising that there’s some confusion, because it’s a new industry and it’s getting sorted out.”
Image © kahunapulej / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
There are some safety features built in some stations and its only to protect the unit alone……and the manufacturer solely depends ona simple circuit breaker, which is not 100% protection, there still needs to be a ground……person or object to trigger breaker.
Emergency responders face a several challenges such as identifying which charging station theyare in front of and locating the power box which is difficult because of poor installation planning. Emergency responders have not received training and thats what our company has been providing. We seriously need your help and your readers to help make this a priority.
greenstarconcepts I think you touched on some concepts that I didn’t even address in my posting. One would hope that electric vehicle charging stations would have some built-in safety systems, circuit breakers or remote disconnect, in case of something like snowplow impact or car accident.
Electric vehicle charging station safety will likely progress as gas station safety did. Interestingly, according to the National Fire Protection Assocation, from 2004-2008, an estimated 5,020 fires occurred PER YEAR at gas stations. Meaning that about one in thirteen gas stations experienced some kind of fire. Still, the numbers seem to indicate that there will be many thousands more charging stations than traditional gas stations, so the risks could be higher.
Its amazing on how articles are sometimes written as if the writer was trying to bring comfort to the reader that everything in the Electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging station program was great and without problems. There are many problems and safety concerns cities are facing involving these devices, vandalism, theft, and weather related concerns. Charging stations have been installed at such a rapid rate that most ciites have yet to make sure city employees and emergency responders are properly trained to handle emergency incident involving these devices. There are now safety inspections in place in most cities and some cities do not have the manpower or the budget to do so, which leaves the general public at serious risk of injury.
Now that Winter has arrived snow drifts, plows and collision play a serious risk to these high voltage devices. If a device was struck or damage most cities do not have the man power to inspect these devices, which leaves serious concerns.
If one was to do some research, you will find that EVSE safety has been totally overlooked along with an inspection program. Most have a false sense that these devices are flawless and no safety program is needed.
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