Back in January, in our annual predictions, we said to expect articles in 2023 that report on how difficult it will be to meet demand for EVs, primarily that we need about 500,000 charging stations to make it easy for people to drive electric vehicles.
The latest is from the Boston Business Journal: “Shock to the System: Inside the Push to Set Up Charging Stations to Handle the Expected Flood of EVs.”
The article notes that “one in every 22 new cars purchased in Massachusetts was an EV,” and that “by 2035, essentially every new car bought in the Bay State will be electric- or hydrogen-powered.”
Because the sale of new gas-powered cars will be barred in the state by 2035, there’s another aspect of the story that we hadn’t focused on yet. The article says gas stations could become charging stations but it will take significant investments to offer charging stations. For example, “One concern is whether nearby grid infrastructure can support chargers without an upgrade. Another is whether there would be enough space between the chargers and the gas equipment to minimize fire risk.” The cost to upgrade the infrastructure will be significant as could the cost to install enough charging stations at what are current gas stations. And that doesn’t even factor into how much it costs (and how much time it takes) to charge up your EV. Or who or what should fund infrastructure upgrades.
The article is worth reading. It may be worth saying we’re not critical of EVs; having driven some, we think they are the wave of the future. But we need the equivalent of Eisenhower’s interstate highway system program to get us the infrastructure upgrades in place to meet deadlines.
We continue to expect more coverage of this issue as editors continue to realize the challenges that go beyond encouraging people to drive electric.