Can charging infrastructure keep pace with the surge in EV demand? In 2021, 5% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. were electric, which is set to reach 12% in 2022 due to the Inflation Reduction Act. However, according to Vic Shao, president of EV charging solutions provider bp pulse fleet, the infrastructure still needs to be in place to support this transition. Bp pulse fleet is working to bridge the gap by setting up charging depots, implementing software, and providing maintenance and customer support.
Roadblocks to adoption: In Shao’s view, the industry still has a long way to go. Three main buckets of problems exist energy costs, fuel budgeting, and infrastructure. Operators’ primary concern is volatility, and standardizing one vehicle’s make and model is complex. Reliability is vital: enough chargers accessible along each route, knowledge of when to charge, and which depots have the suitable chargers. To automate these processes, operators must adopt software tools to integrate with their existing scheduling and dispatch apps.
Are grid capacity and lithium shortage concerns overblown? The bp pulse fleet president dispelled the worries, stating there was “plenty of lithium out there” and the U.S. electric grid has capacity for EVs; it currently generates and consumes 4 trillion kilowatt-hours, and if the 260 million vehicles on U.S. roads went electric, it would add 1.25 trillion kilowatt-hours or about 31% more energy.“It’s not a heavy lift,” Shao said. “Absolutely doable,” but expanding charging infrastructure to cover the entire country is the more significant challenge.
Operators report difficulty locating charging depots and often feel unsafe in dark, empty parking lot locations. “There is room for improvement in the charging experience,” Shao explained, “which is what bp pulse aims to change. We’re trending toward large-scale, fast-charging depots in conveniently located locations across the U.S.”
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