Supercharger queue shows why EV development still has some way to go
This is why James May’s hydrogen Toyota Mirai is quite an interesting solution.
Back in the early days of climate change awareness and electric vehicle development, it would take upwards of ten hours to get a full charge, which would only give you 150 odd miles of range. Today, with Tesla’s expansive network of superchargers, EV owners can be comforted by the fact that it only takes around 20 minutes to fill up with enough electricity for around 200 miles.
Although it’s impressive that cars have come so far in such little time, we aren’t quite at the point where electric vehicles are just as practical as traditional combustion engine cars. Have you ever waited in a long line to fill up your regular car at a busy petrol station? Well, with a 20-minute charge time, the queues are even worse for Tesla owners.
Last week, Steven M Conroy posted a short video to his YouTube channel showcasing just how bad supercharger queues can get. Last Thursday – yes, that was Thanksgiving – he stopped at his local supercharging station in San Luis Obispo, CA. The station has an impressive number of superchargers, but that clearly wasn’t enough to satisfy demand on what was a busy day.
With charging times being significantly longer than regular fuel fill-up times, the queue has a bigger chance of growing. In fact, the longer it takes for the car at the front of the line to move forward to one of the chargers, the more cars are likely to join the rear of the snake.
The other known alternative to combustion engines is hydrogen powered cars. Adding range to such vehicles is much quicker than battery electric vehicles as they simply require a fuel tank fill-up. The ‘fuel’ added isn’t blown up to propel the car forward and melt the homes of thousands of Penguins though. Instead, it helps create electricity which powers the car. Surely, this would be the best alternative to this particular charging station queue problem.