In 2013, there were approximately 100,000 electric vehicles on the roads nationwide. That number has risen to approximately 450,000 this year. While the bulk of the growth has been in California, the trend is expected to continue and to spread nationwide. Demand is expected to explode in 2018.
“The future of electic cars does not have to rely on the high cost of gasoline,” says Fred Silver, vice president of Calstart, a California-based organization dedicated to expanding the clean energy transportation industry. “These vehicles are fun and cab be very convenient as they can be refueled at the workplace and at home. EV’s give a whole new meaning to the term plugged in.”
E-Cars in the Sunshine State
South Florida’s tri-county area, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are expected to experience the same level of growth in EV ownership as the rest of the country, according to Joseph Nagle, director of marketing at EverCharge, a major supplier of EV charging stations in Southeast Florida. “2016,” he said, “is on track to be the best year ever in EV sales.” South Florida’s EV population “is now over 100,000. We expect 2018 will be the year when every property will need to have on-site charging.”
Commensurately, the installation of EV charging stations has grown steadily in various segments of the market. According to Carlos Gimeno, president of Solcar Electric, INc., in West Kendall, reports that installation s of EV charging units in private home are steady and installations in commercial buildings are increasing. Walgreens, a major retailer of health and beauty products and pharmaceuticals, now offers EV charging stations at approximately 400 locations across the country. Plans are underway throughout Florida’s Gold Coast to develop a network of public EV charging stations as well.
How Long Does it Take?
While as easy as plugging in your cellphone, EV recharging can take a little longer. Level 1 recharging, which is typical for home use, can take up to 10 hours providing a charge of about 4 miles of range per hour. If you’re driving more than 40 miles a day you will need to charge every night. But then again like your cell, you’re doing it while you sleep which also may bring the benefit of lower rates in areas where Toy (time of use) electric rates apply.
Level 2 charging stations can speed up the charge to 10-25 miles of range per hour. Fast chargers, which can charge up to 200 miles of range per hour, are generally available at commercial charging stations using DC chargers not generally available for at home use.
The questions arise though, what about multifamily dwelling, in particular, condo developments? How do they accommodate EV drivers? Dedicated chargers for multifamily buildings are one of four primary needs for EV drivers; the others being range confidence or mileage per charge, standardized, transparent costs and low upfront cost.
Condo developments which might want to attract EV drivers as owners pose a special set of problems centered on both physical logistics and accounting for increased energy costs. The other issue is – “who will pay the bill?”. If you live in a condo development now and drive a car with an internal combustion engine, the community isn’t subsidizing your gasoline purchases. however, many newer condo developments are offering complimentary charging stations to support eco-friendly initiatives.
Do you see car charging stations as an essential part of a community?