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.

34w ago

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Comments (76)

  • As one environmentalist stated, if you want to be environmentally friendly, when your current ride breaks down fix it and continue driving. It is not environmentally friendly building new cars.

      8 months ago
  • Charge at home, problem solved

      8 months ago
    • I am pretty sure that was an interstate charging station supporting holiday travel. Tesla does still need to keep building out charging stations. Although it is mostly not that bad.

        7 months ago
    • I only use my EV for around town, taking a road trip is just too much of a pain.

        7 months ago
  • We need to work hard to invent better batteries 🔋 ... charging faster ⚡️🔌 ... with bigger capacity

      7 months ago
  • Yeah, not going to lie, I’d probably kill the battery waiting in a line like that. I typically don’t refuel till my final 15 miles of range.

      8 months ago
    • eventually you'll live through your first blackout - like 2003 Illinois - and you'll change your habits :)

      When the nearest store that has food is miles away, and the gas stations stopped working three days ago, you learn to keep at least...

      Read more
        7 months ago
    • You sound like it burns electricity when static. Grow a brain.

        7 months ago
  • They will crack fast charging BEVs eventually and then HFCVs will lose their only advantage over BEVs. HFCVs running on hydrogen generated from renewable electricity are about one-third as efficient with their use of energy as BEVs and that’s an ENORMOUS difference. Economics will kill HFCVs before they even really take off.

      8 months ago
    • Yes this is exactly like atm queues in 3rd world country, thanks elon!

        8 months ago
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