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Our electric car charging stations future

Lots more are coming.

Texas is planning to add enough electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state to support 1 million electric vehicles with dozens of new stations to allow for easier long-distance travel.

In a draft plan released this month, the Texas Department of Transportation broke down a five-year plan to create a network of chargers throughout the state, starting along main corridors and interstate highways before building stations in rural areas.

The plan is to have charging stations every 50 miles along most non-business interstate routes.

In most other areas in the state, there will be charging stations within 70 miles, according to the plan. Each station is designed to have multiple stalls so there will likely be one available whenever someone stops to charge.

The chargers will be high-powered at 150kW, able to bring most electric vehicles from 10% to 80% in about half an hour, according to the report.

The funding is coming from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year, which is estimated to allocate about $408 million over five years to Texas for the purpose of expanding its electric vehicle charging network. No funds from the state budget will be used. Nationally, the goal is to create a network of 500,000 convenient and reliable electric vehicle chargers by 2030. In total from the infrastructure act, Texas is expected to receive about $35.44 billion over five years for roads, bridges, pipes, ports, broadband access and other projects.

[…]

Chandra Bhat, a University of Texas transportation engineering professor and the director of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Center on Data-Supported Transportation Operations and Planning, said the additional charging stations are a welcome upgrade to Texas transportation. Some of Bhat’s research has been funded by TxDOT.

Bhat said there are several barriers to electric vehicle adoption by consumers: the upfront cost, anxiety over how far a driver can travel and the wait times for charging.

This new plan addresses range anxiety by providing many options only 50 miles apart — however, it doesn’t address cost or fully address wait times, he said. Although the planned chargers will be high speed, it still takes around half an hour, he said. A driver might not know how long they may have to wait if someone else is already using the stalls.

That uncertainty can cause consumers to pass on purchasing electric vehicles altogether, he said.

This is a good thing. There aren’t many electric cars in Texas right now, but the number is growing, and making it easier to charge them will help people overcome whatever concerns they have in considering them. I mean, with gas prices what they are right now, who wouldn’t be thinking about going electric?

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2 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    There are a couple of obvious issues with electric cars. The first, obviously, is, if we’re worried about keeping the power on right now during a heat wave, how is that going to work if we add millions of electric cars putting extra demand on the electric production and distribution systems? We already see NIMBY when it comes to power plants and high voltage transmission lines. How many decades has the South Texas Nuclear Project, for example, been stymied in its quest to add another reactor?

    The second obvious flaw that I see was stated right in the article:

    “The chargers will be high-powered at 150kW, able to bring most electric vehicles from 10% to 80% in about half an hour, according to the report.”

    I don’t see folks who might depend on their vehicle to take a road trip being down with this. I mean, you could plan your route, plan your stops and simply decide to eat a meal (or stop at a Buc-ees) each time you fuel up, I guess, but every electric car driver is going to have that exact same plan, so I can foresee a situation where you have to line up and take a number just to get in line for a 30 minute charge. Or maybe during peak demand, you can only get a 15 minute slot, so now you’re forced to figure out how far you can make it before the NEXT charging station. That’s a lot of shift-on-the-fly planning going on, vs. knowing you can drive virtually everywhere besides West Texas and there are going to be plentiful gas stations.

    Then there’s the case of storm evacuations and after storm
    action. I recall when Katrina hit, and we drove into the disaster zone to secure a house. The truck was loaded down with equipment, generator, chain saw, tarps…..and a bunch of Jerry cans of extra fuel that we ended up giving to others who needed it, since I had more than enough gas to get back to Baton Rouge and fill up when we left. How does that work with electric vehicles?

    Electric cars with home charges for commuting, or for route sales or delivery would seem to make more sense. They go ‘home’ every night and can be charged in the middle of the night, when demand is lower (well, except during the Winter, when we’ve again got to worry about not enough power to heat homes and businesses). But even if we see the potential in electric cars for these applications, all the solar and wind in the world won’t help provide peak energy in the middle of the night to charge the vehicles, so you’re back to depending on (hopefully freeze proof) reliable energy, natural gas, coal, and nuclear, which I assume aren’t welcomed by most here.

  2. Jules says:

    You know what, Charles? I’m out.

    Best of luck to you and your little pal who terrorized Lady Ruby and her daughter. No clue why you think anyone wants to hear from that degenerate asshole on any subject.