While there is no universally-accepted, all-encompassing definition of a smart city, it is safe to say it’s an urban area that incorporates technology to use and manage its assets efficiently and provide its citizens with a sustainable future. And in this environmentally-conscious future, electric vehicles (EV) are poised to play a crucial role in decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels.
No wonder then that the EV market today is witnessing an explosive growth. As per McKinsey’s Electric Vehicle Index, more than 1 million new EVs were added to the roads globally in 2017. And EV producers could almost quadruple that achievement by 2020, moving 4.5 million units or around 5% of the overall global light-vehicle market.
But this momentum of electric vehicle proliferation can only be sustained if users know that they have a hassle-free driving experience in front of them. You cannot have an EV buyer worry about where they are going to find the next charging station. And as such, the onus falls on forward-looking cities to make sure that they have a sufficient EV charging infrastructure in place.
According to a 2017 report by the US Department of Energy, the United States will require around 600,000 non-residential EV charging stations to meet the demand of a projected 15 million on-road EVs by 2030. Today, there are only 18,750 public EV charging stations in the US. Clearly, there is a huge gap that needs to be met in little over a decade, and smart cities will be expected to take the lead here.
Just like cities today have gasoline stations within a short driving distance, the cities of the future will need to implement a well-planned grid of EV charging stations throughout their geographies. The most important criteria here would be to make sure that the distance between any two charging stations must be less than the range of the popular EVs today.
Another important factor would be to make the technology efficient and affordable. Level 2 EV charging stations that come with a host of cashless payment methods have proven to be a winning combination in such scenarios. Level 2 EV chargers are leaps ahead of Level 1 charging in terms of time savings and do not require the heavy investments mandated by Level 3 charging stations.
For more, read: EV charging stations: Making the right choice
To sum up, there is little doubt that an extensive EV charging infrastructure is indispensable for any aspiring smart city. With proper planning and correct technological implementation, cities can make sure consumers interested in EVs are not dissuaded from their goals. To learn more about how to make this happen, get in touch.