How Cities Are Adopting EVs to Urban Infrastructure
Adoption forecasts for EVs increase just about every year, and the shift is overall good news for the environment. However, it does create a new problem for city planners, who now have to find a way to rapidly upgrade EV infrastructure
As consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of combustion vehicles—and as more major car companies release electric vehicles of their own—more and more consumers are making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs). Adoption forecasts for EVs increase just about every year—while once analysts believed that EVs would only account for about four percent of all car sales by 2020, new forecasts predict that EVs may soon make up 10 or 11 percent of car sales.
The shift is good news for the environment. However, it does create a new problem for city planners, who now have to find a way to rapidly upgrade EV infrastructure—like charging stations—that is woefully under-prepared for the surge in EV demand.
Cities around the world are responding to this challenge in different ways, and many are building new charging stations or creatively upgrading using the infrastructure that’s already in place.
Why EVs Pose Such a Challenge for Major Cities
The current EV charging grid, both in America and around the world, can barely meet the current level of EVs on the road. Some studies have found that even in cities that promote the use and purchase of EVs, and pass other measures designed to fight climate change, there aren’t enough EV charging points to meet demand.
With the recent surge of demand, new charging stations will need to be added, which may pose a major headache for city planners.
Adding new infrastructure is tough in any major city. Population is dense, land is at a premium, and new development will often mean costly construction. In a worst-case scenario, new construction can even displace residents or businesses. This problem is further complicated by the fact that not all EVs accept the same plugs, meaning that charging stations may need to be wired to handle two, three, or even more different plug types if they want to support the fastest possible charging speeds.