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Should Gas Stations Be the Model for Electric Car Charging?

According to the CEO of ChargePoint, copying the gas station example would be a mistake.

Tags: Trends

August 16, 2017
​CAMPBELL, Calif. – The CEO of ChargePoint Inc., sees a future where electric cars receive a battery charge in parking lots, not hybrid gas stations, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pasquale Romano’s company currently has nearly 40,000 charging spots in parking garages, lots, apartment buildings and other locations. Several hundred of those spots offer DC express charging, which gives 200 miles of charge in an hour.

For mass adoption of electric vehicles to happen, a larger network of infrastructure for charging them has to be in place. Currently, the public network of charges is growing—especially since Volkswagon AG will be plunking down a $2 billion investment for a charging network as part of the U.S. settlement for cheating on emissions under its Electrify America project.

But for now, it’s hard to beat the ease of filling up at one of the 168,000 U.S. gas stations. Romano thinks that using gas stations as a model for electric charging stations wouldn’t work. “That’s just an artifact of the fuel choice that we’ve used for the last 100 years,” he said. “The infrastructure won’t match because that isn’t how you’re going to fuel an electric vehicle.”

In Romano’s future, “your car charges when it is parked. … That means the gas station where you buy your lottery tickets or coffee or whatever—most of them are gone under this model. The only ones that will be needed will be those along highways.”

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