The very first all-electric car was driven for the very first time in 1977. Since then we’ve been waiting (very, very patiently) for electric vehicles to finally catch on and free us from our dependency on ridiculously expensive fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, the all-electric car continues to stay just a little bit beyond our reach. Sure, we have some pretty incredible hybrid vehicles out there on the market today that take advantage of advanced electric car components, but we haven’t really seen a production line electric car that was running off of ONLY electricity…
… Until just recently, anyway!
Is it finally time to buy an electric car?
The new Tesla Model S has transformed all of our expectations about what an electric car can be. As far from the “traditional” electric car concept as it gets (a boxy, very “futuristic” looking machine that most people wouldn’t have ever assumed could go faster than 30 mph maximum), the Tesla Model S roadster looks like an Aston Martin. It drives like one too!
The overwhelming success of this all electric vehicle has encouraged other companies (major automotive manufacturers like Ford, GMC, Honda, and others) to begin work on their very own 100% electric car. There is still one thing holding this major advancement in automotive history back.
A real lack of electric car charging stations.
This might be the only real Achilles’ heel that keeps the electric car from becoming absolutely everything it can be.
A distinct lack of electric car charging stations nationally (and globally) is weighing this industry down like an anchor.
Up until about 10 years ago or so, the major thing that was holding electric cars back from becoming viable solutions on a mass scale was the fact that there was no real battery system that could efficiently store enough energy to make these options viable over long distances or for longer duration. This would be a real threat to transform the automotive industry and move it away from fossil fuels forever.
Tesla put an end to that problem once and for all when they unveiled their incredibly advanced and almost futuristic battery systems. They completely re-engineered the battery from the ground up using advanced materials and technology to increase efficiency dramatically.
Now we have the technology to make these cars more mainstream, but it’s the lack of car charging stations across the country (and across the world) that we have to contend with.
You see, it’s absolutely impossible to support the electric car community without refueling stations. This is what held back the automobile from becoming as popular as it was eventually going to become. There were a lot of people that simply didn’t want to change over their stables with blacksmith shops to fueling stations. This was a totally understandable reasons (at that time, anyway)!
No one was quite sure of just how revolutionary the automobile was going to be. Only the ones that got in on the ground floor were able to see the long-term vision. They were able to create a network of refueling stations that allowed the automobile to take off in the early 1900s.
That’s exactly what the electric car industry needs today. It’s the major issue that continues to hold them back.
The modern electric car isn’t quite ready for transcontinental travel.
The beautiful thing about a “traditional” automobile is that there’s absolutely nothing whatsoever stopping you from starting your car up in Boston and driving West all the way to the Pacific Ocean (San Diego, for example). You can stop as necessary to fill up your tank with much-needed fuel along the way.
Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to pull that off today because of the lack of electric car charging stations throughout the nation.
There are more electronic charging stations out there today than there ever was before. Some studies suggest that there are as many as 50,000 dotted throughout the United States, but others peg that number at a figure much lower. But there aren’t nearly enough to make transcontinental travel in the United States a truly viable option.
Not only that, but these charging stations aren’t “universal”, either.
You know as a traditional car owner that one source of gasoline at a gas station in Boston is going to provide you with the exact same kind of fuel in Pittsburgh, in Chicago, in Boise, and in Salt Lake City on your way to San Diego.
Electric car owners do not have that luxury.
Yes, all of them include “electricity” as the fuel that they make available, but the overwhelming majority of them have proprietary hookups and recharging systems that may or may not be completely compatible with the type of electric setup that you have in your vehicle.
This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as humanly possible. It needs to be addressed before the electric car is ever going to become a viable mass-produced option.
The future of electronic cars rests on the widespread adaptation of electric car charging stations.
Let’s face it – the odds of us finally being able to take advantage of 100% electronic cars rests completely upon more and more companies investing in and building electric car charging stations all over the country.
Sadly, this might only begin to happen AFTER electric cars begin to take off. They may have to become a much more mainstream form of transportation. This may be happening right now, with electric car ownership jumping from 0.08% to 3.08% in just the last three years but it creates a real “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” kind of situation.
Hopefully leaders in the transportation industry are better able to address this issue. Ideally they will be able to encourage more and more people to invest in this next generation technology. The faster that we get more electric car charging stations built, the faster we are able to change most of our vehicles over to 100% electric models. When that finally happens, we can begin to break away from fossil fuels and all of the damage that burning them does to our planet (and our bank accounts).
The estimates of how long it will take for everyone to be driving electrics varies. Some studies suggest it could happen very fast. Some even say it might be in the next 10 years. The changeover to all electric cars will probably be a lot slower than that though. There are hundreds of millions of cars on the road today. It would take a decade to even manufacture enough vehicles to replace them. That’s if we were mass producing electrics right now.
Ideally, there will be a company that specializes in converting traditional gas stations into electric fueling stations. This seems like the most logical progression for things to take. In the beginning, stations could offer gasoline and electricity. After the demand for gasoline declined, they could slowly change over to all electric charging.