Electric cars are headed to the forefront of the automotive industry. In fact, every automotive manufacturer is scrambling to release multiple all-electric vehicles in the coming years and some countries like the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Norway, France, India, and the biggest of all China are attempting to outlaw internal combustion vehicles entirely. However, is 100% electric even possible?
Take the United States, the entire electrical grid is constantly overburdened. While it was designed for this it certainly was not meant to power our vehicles. Electric cars are asking our current building infrastructure to handle quite a lot more than it was originally intended. Sure we could build more power plants and upgrade all building infrastructure but that borders on the financially impossible. Besides, there is already a better way.
Intelligence is Key
While the first thought of many is to build out more infrastructure this would be a monumental feat. One that requires not only mountains of cash, but tens of thousands of man-hours to complete. It certainly might help stimulate the economy but may also bankrupt it too.
The better solution is to make the existing infrastructure more intelligent and thus more efficient. Giving it the ability to "think" how and when it's going to power these vehicles along with everything else. This works because we don't all use the same amount of power at the same exact time and it's what makes basic load management systems work so well. What if we added machine learning to the process? Making the system overall more efficient knowing how much power you need and when you need it by.
The good news here is systems like this already exist with EverChare's SmartPower being the prime example. Our systems don't need to control the entirety of the building, just the garage. Doing this effectively maximizes the current infrastructure and allows any building to make the most of even the smallest power supply. While most electric car charging systems can add maybe three chargers off 100 amps, EverCharge can add 15-20 and gets more efficient as time goes on.
Keep The Mandates and Incentives Coming
Let's be honest electric cars owe most of their newfound success to car makers like Tesla and ZEV mandate and incentive programs like ones in California. Without those programs electric cars faced a massive uphill battle to becoming relevant. Now we are at the point where electric cars are holding their own but are still hugely expensive for the average middle-class family. While nearly 30% of drivers want an EV only 3% can actually afford them, but with continued incentive programs more and more people will make the switch.
As stated before ZEV mandates are becoming commonplace throughout the world and there are a few very good reasons why. First, most countries view this kind of mandate are a quick way to clean up the air in their most populated cities leading to higher quality of life for those living there. Second and more importantly (from a geopolitical perspective) it lessens the dependence on forgin oil supplies and allows governments to dedicate more resources elsewhere. Essentially ZEV mandates are a major win-win.
Adding Power Into The Grid
Its easy to trumpet EverCharge's award-winning technology as the best and only solution (after all it's my company), but there are others. Most notable of these is the Tesla Powerwall and the Nissan Leaf's vehicle-to-grid ability (although this is still in its infancy). These solutions are ideal for single-family homes as the power the vehicle has left can be fed back to power the home when there are done.
The beauty of these systems for single-family home dwellers is they can fill battery systems during the day via solar or gird power when the rate is much lower, then re-fill the vehicles from the battery at night when rates (and demand) typically go up.
Although the jury is still out on whether this is good for your car's battery, using our electric cars as battery packs that power our homes would significantly reduce strain on the grid during peak times.
Your Personal EVSE Station
We can utilize all the intelligent systems in the world and none of it would do any good if we don't start building lots of EV charging stations. Public stations in places where cars sit for 3+ hours are a start, but the real key is people installing their own personal stations.
Try using a public charge network and it's easy to see how inconvenient it is. Many electric car enthusiasts will disagree with this point, but the major majority of people don't want to sit around at a public station for two-plus hours every day after work. Not to mention having to build your daily schedule around charging your car can get extremely annoying. Instead of this, why not just have a charging station at home and stop worrying about finding a place to charge up.
Furthermore, public stations would not be able to take advantage of vehicle-to-grid or Powerwall solutions at single-family homes. Machine learning is out too as the amount of intelligence required to follow one person from charging station to charging station becomes a massive undertaking. In-home solutions are really the best way forward and allow daily driving without the hassle of finding a public charger.
The bottom line is 100% EV ownership is possible, but we need to implement the right systems the first time and that is what EverCharge and SmartPower are trying to achieve.