Most ot the early EV adopters can charge their cars at home. It's a fact. With that in mind, after couple of years of MiniE and ActiveE tests it does not sound weird to me to hear someone at BMW saying: "Public infrastructure is not really very important because most people are charging their cars at home"...
This statement comes from a BMW board member, D-r Herbert Diess. It's pretty easy to come to such a conclusion when most of your first customers tell you they almost never use a public charging station. Indeed, why would you charge somewhere in town when you can do it in your own garage?!?
Cool, now lets think what to do if you don't own a garage. Couple of options quickly come to mind (curious to see your thought about it in the comments below):
- In couple of years charging tech advances enough so you can charge you car in 3-4 minutes;
- Or if it does not happen, charging stations at company parking lots may be more convenient than public ones.
With the first option it will be the same as fuelling an ICE car. This needs very fast charging stations though – a lot faster than 0-80% in 30 minutes. Battery tech will need to be much more advanced as well.
So it seems like second option is much easier and doable. It needs time to deploy the necessary fast charging infrastructure or batteries to advance, but it's absolutely possible to put some standard charging stations on you office parking lot right now.
A recent comment by Peter Stoychev (drives Opel Ampera) says that when he comes to Sofia, he charges at friends' place. This comment sparked "Charging your EV at friends' place – that's fun" blog and Peter says he never charged at public station, because "there's only few and charging costs a lot".
As founder of this blog I consider quick deplyoment of EV fast charging infrastructure as very important. In couple of years running eCars.bg I realized why this is vital – it's because people need to know (subconsciously), that "There's a place where I can charge". We just need to know there's EV charging stations where we can charge our EVs the way we fuel our ICE cars – everywhere. Whether we'll use those charging stations that much is another thing...
With time they'll probably change their opinion at BMW and it will be different in every country. if not else they are sending confusing signals by saying such things and making such pictures like above.
Right now I think they're focused more on having their EV staff trained properly to sell BMW i3, though, as it seems they have some issues. That's what Tom Moloughney from New York says in one of his latest i3 blogs.
But it's another topic and I plan to blog about how things are going in Bulgaria. Not only with BMW, but with other brands/dealers that will sell EVs as wel. It's something eCars.bg team is very interested in and we'll help every dealer in Bulgaria as Tom helps BMW i dealers in USA and even Canada. I'll be surprised if his blog does not change the way BMW approached i-dealers training. Let's hope it does.
So what do you think about it – are public EV charging stations that important?