A recent infographic (below) about electric car charging stations really caught our eye, explaining the evolution of electric car charging stations and the absolutely mental rate of expansion. Somehow, I don’t think that anyone realizes how quickly electric car charging stations are going up, even people like us living in California. San Diego is one of the few ‘electric’ cities in the nation, and we have a plethora of Teslas, Leafs and Volts roaming around the city. If you go to LA or the Bay Area you will likely see more of the same with a slightly different mix.
In the past, we’ve had conversations with Nissan (Leaf), Tesla (Model S) and GM (Volt and Spark EV) about the expansion of electric car charging networks and the importance of a solid charging network. Many potential electric car buyers find that their biggest concern after the limited range of some of these vehicles is the ability to quickly and easily charge them outside of the home. Owners of GM’s Chevy Volt don’t have this concern since they can just pull up to a gas station and solve their problem that way, but in the future there will be more fully electric vehicles with such concerns. The lack of a solid network in past years made owning an electric car a niche proposition, one for people that were concerned about gas prices and the environment.
However, we’ve been following the developments in electric car charging and have noticed some vast improvements, both anecdotally (local) and on a national scale. The expansion of electric car charging stations is moving at a blazing pace right now, and most likely won’t stop for many more years to come. This is because we are likely going to see a fully electric commercially available vehicle from every single major car manufacturer in the next year or two and as a result there will be more demand for even more chargers.
So, a software company called Recargo helps develop software that provides guidance to drivers and industry to support the adoption and growth of plug-in car technology. They currently already have a map of over 20,000 electric car charging stations in the US and Canada. They also have thousands of reviews and photos to assist with finding these electric charging stations, since one of the hardest tasks is finding the actual charger once you’ve gotten there. They’ve made up an infographic (below) about the growth of electric car charging networks and the growth of electric cars in the US. Keep in mind, not all electric car chargers are compatible with each other as a result of some manufacturers intentionally going proprietary, but the entire industry is moving towards common standards in order to propel the market forward.
Also, keep in mind that the below map of the US shows January 2011 to January 2012 and then May 2013, so it isn’t exactly a 2 year period, but more of a 2 1/2 year period.