The key to electric-vehicle adoption lies in home fast chargers
Equipping parking spaces in apartment blocks with fast charging stations should bring EVs within range of people without garages
Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Zachary Shahan, editor of CleanTechnica and Planetsave. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of ABB or its employees.
EV owners tend to live in houses with a garage, where they charge their vehicles overnight. Indeed, from what I’ve read, 99 percent of EV owners in the United States have garages and I’d assume the figures are similar elsewhere. Luckily, things are beginning to change, with one Chinese city and the US state of California leading the way.
The city of Shenzhen, with a population of 11 million, recently passed legislation requiring that developers of apartment buildings or condos include EV charging stations for every parking space. That’s an unprecedented move that will not only enable EV charging for residents who want it, but should greatly encourage the switch to electric vehicles.
Shenzhen currently has 81 fast-charging stations and approximately 7,000 plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid electric cars. The new requirement will give a huge boost to electric vehicles in the city, but it’s not the only thing the city is doing to encourage electric vehicle adoption. ABB and Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. are together partnering on the rollout of a record electric vehicle (EV) fast-charger network. The wall-mounted fast chargers are available to customers at DENZA dealerships and being sold alongside BYD’s popular electric vehicle lineup. Starting in the middle of this year, the rollout will occur over approximately six years.
For all of Shenzhen’s clean transportation efforts combined, which go beyond electric vehicles, the city recently won a C40 City Climate Leadership Award.
On the other side of the Pacific, a new California law requires that all new parking lots or housing be ready for EV charging infrastructure. Note that this is not the same as the Shenzhen requirement above. It does not require EV charging stations to be installed in every parking space, just that conduit and appropriate service panel capacity be in place to enable easy installation of an EV charging station if that is desired in the future. Still, it’s a big step forward that will make it much easier for someone to install an EV charging station and get an EV if they are inclined to do so. It is helpful for new homes, but especially so for new apartment buildings and condos where residents would otherwise have a very difficult time keeping an electric vehicle charged. The new California law was actually part of a much larger package of laws encouraging electric car adoption and aiming for 1 million electric cars on California roads within 10 years.
The Shenzhen and California EV charging laws could easily be adopted by other cities, states, regions, or even countries. I’m hopeful that others will see these and quickly follow suit.