There is a lot of press surrounding EVs lately, with the recent (and award-winning) release of the Chevy Bolt to the upcoming release of the hotly anticipated Tesla Model 3 it's easy to see the excitement around this newly formed industry.
However much excitement and intrigue, a significant portion of the population are simply waiting to see what happens. Not because they aren't interested in electric vehicles as Tesla has done a fantastic job of overcoming market fears, but because of a far more basic problem, charging. Specifically, the question of how we plan to charge millions of electric vehicles. As a society, we have become so accustomed to gas stations we have a hard time imagining the world without them, and so millions of people are waiting for an EV that can charge in 4-5 minutes and has hundreds of miles of range.
The bad news is that day is likely decades away if not more, the good news is it doesn't really matter, the charging stations we need already exist.
Your Car Spends The Majority of Its Life Parked
Even though we think we use our cars nearly all the time the data actually shows the complete opposite. In fact, the average automobile will spend 95% of its entire life parked. While there are several interesting things that could be done with autonomous vehicles, like putting your car to work for you that most likely won't happen until the 2030s. In today's world while you work, sleep, spend time with family, go to the ball game, etc. your car just sits there. In fact, it sits the most when you're at home, typically 12-15 hours each night.
Now imagine for a second that while you slept someone was able to fill your car up for the next day, so when you start your car up in the morning the tank is always full. While it's a crazy thought for a gasoline vehicle it's completely do-able with electric cars. You simply plug in overnight and have a completely full charge for the next day. In this scenario you don't need a fill up in 4-5 minutes, you probably don't even need a fill up in 4-5 hours. Level 2 chargers can fully charge a 300 mile Tesla in 8-12 hours (and odds are good you don't drive anywhere near 300 miles in a single day). The point is that with today's Level 2 chargers you can easily plug-in at the end of your day and wake up with a completely full charge no matter the distance you drove the day before.
You Don't Actually Drive As Far As You Think You Do
For some reason, we tend to greatly overestimate the distance that we drive. Perhaps it's the time we spend in traffic or that we, in general, can't perceive distance all that well, but once again the proof is in the data. As it turns out the Average American drives ~40 miles in a single day, that's it. Even older, lower range EVs can handle the great majority of your daily driving let alone the 300 miles the new Tesla P100D gives you. Simply put, for your daily driving needs, EVs do just fine.
It doesn't stop there either, as EV technology advances the low range vehicles are starting to rapidly disappear.
The original Nissan Leaf (released in 2011) only had about 74 miles of range, now its latest iteration gets more than 100 miles and it's expected the 2018 version will get 200+ mile range. The same goes for nearly all existing EV models and nearly every automotive manufacturer is preparing to release a brand new EV with 300+ miles of range over the next two years, so the days of range anxiety are over.
Tesla Brought Back The Road Trip
While EVs can cover nearly all driving needs, they do suffer during long-haul road trips and while 300 miles is quite a long way (just check out our infographic) it still doesn't cover a multi-state road trip and Level 2 chargers are not ideal in these scenarios. That's where Tesla and the Supercharger network come in.
Giving vehicles a full charge in 30-45 minutes and with plans to up that speed in the near future, the Supercharger network has all but eliminated the issues surrounding long-haul journies. While currently these stations only cover Tesla drivers (although it could change in the future), many other companies are looking to fill the void and that doesn't even include the $2 Billion that Volkswagen is investing in building out a nationwide charging network. In other words, very soon everyone will be able to enjoy EVs as much as Tesla owners do.