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NYT Article Raises Questions About EV Charging Availability? Or Is It All Just Hype?

A recent article from the New York Times made some interesting points about electric vehicle charging station availability, or the lack therefore of, that probably bears discussing here.

I’m inclined to think that the points raised likely have some truth to them (though how much “some” is I don’t know), but given the general slant of the paper when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs) I don’t think that I’m too willing to take everything at face value. So how exactly to determine the degree of truth to the article? Perhaps by soliciting the opinions of our readers?

EV charging with energy storage

Here are some of the “highlights” from the article that I’m looking to have clarified:

But the push to make the state greener is creating an unintended side effect: It is making some people meaner. The bad moods stem from the challenges drivers face finding recharging spots for their battery-powered cars. Unlike gas stations, charging stations are not yet in great supply, and that has led to sharp-elbowed competition. Electric vehicle owners are unplugging one another’s cars, trading insults, and creating black markets and side deals to trade spots in corporate parking lots. The too-few-outlets problem is a familiar one in crowded cafes and airports, where people want to charge their phones or laptops. But the need can be more acute with cars — will their owners have enough juice to make it home? — and manners often go out the window.

That sounds like quite an exaggeration to me. Is it? Or is my limited, and regionally specific, experience on this count simply not the general experience?

This part rings rather true to my ears though (unsurprisingly):

The rudeness is not just among drivers of electric cars. By many accounts, owners of gas-powered cars often take up desirable parking and charging spots that companies and cities reserve for electric cars. This habit has inspired the spread of a nickname: ICE Holes. (ICE stands for internal combustion engine.)

I’ve heard a great many complaints about this, so I’ll acknowledge it as a definite problem.

I’ve not had any experience with the issue below though, so don’t know what to make of them:

The competition has led people to judge one another’s cars and which ones deserve charging priority. Owners of all-electric cars see themselves as most entitled to the chargers, since they have no Plan B. One rung down are “plug-in hybrids,” which use electricity but also can use gas, followed by hybrids, and then two groups for which the owners of pure electric cars reserve particular disdain: gas cars and, perhaps surprisingly, Teslas. (The $100,000 Teslas, as much as three times the cost of other plug-ins, have a range of several hundred miles and so, theoretically, do not need the charge spots.)

Hmm. Do any of our readers have any comments on this?

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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