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Where do we stand with EV Charging?

So what is it with EV charging? Well, as we all know, technological change is inevitable. New and emerging technologies have made our lives much easier, and overall quality of life has improved worldwide over the last number of decades. You might even remember being tethered to a landline telephone for hours while awaiting an important call. Perhaps you still cringe at the thought of using pen and paper to make calculations on your tax returns or to fill out applications . You may even get a heavy hit of nostalgia about a trip to the record shop to buy your favorite artist’s latest album. While all these things seem like memories from a distant past, there is one thing that has stayed relatively constant throughout the same time period, cars. 

From the very beginning of motorized transportation, cars have been powered by the internal combustion engine (ICE), an invention coming straight from the smoke-filled industrial revolution that changed the face of transport forever. While information and communication technologies have long since advanced to create the world we live in today, the “modern” car has been significantly slower to evolve, aside from some fine tuning on engines and the addition of new interiors and system computers. That would be until now. Electric vehicles (EVs) are now becoming mainstream, set to revolutionize transportation forever. There is still one habit that might be slightly more difficult to shake. And that’s a trip to the service station. With most people choosing to charge at work or home, this will likely be a thing of the past. 

How Often do people use public EV charging points?

With the rise of EVs, the service station model will likely become a relic of a bygone era, but you wouldn’t know it from all the media emphasis on EV fast charging. Many people insist that every street corner and motor-way hard shoulder will be strewn with stranded EV drivers who ran out of juice. But as most current EV drivers can tell you, that’s simply not the case. So let’s set the record straight.

Fast charging of course has its place in the EV charging ecosystem — for instance, if you’re taking a cross-country trip, you manage a fleet of electric delivery vans, or you drive long-haul for an electrifying fleet. But it’s not very cost effective and nearly always unnecessary for everyday driving. A recent Consumer Reports analysis in the US found that the average EV driver needs to access public fast charging just six times each year. Compare that with the roughly 50 times a normal car driver must fill up annually.

How do most people charge their EV car?

Nissan LeafSo, how do most EV drivers charge? Well, when they’re not driving! Since the typical passenger car is parked around 95% of the time either at home or at work, it would be incredibly inefficient to drive around seeking fast charging all the time, which still takes longer to fuel than with gas. Because of the higher infrastructure and electricity costs associated with it, EV fast charging isn’t exactly economical for the average driver either. Today’s EV drivers, using mostly Level 2 chargers, save 60% on fuel compared with their non-EV counterparts, a benefit that would largely be wiped out if they relied on public fast chargers for daily fueling.

EVs today are about as far removed from the traditional car as smartphones are from the old landline phone. In fact, when it comes to fueling, electric vehicles are more closely related to the small device in your pocket than they are to even the latest petrol or diesel car. With a smart charger from EcoPlex, savvy EV drivers can take advantage of off-peak demand electricity rates or a generous employee benefit (depending on where you work!).

EV Car Range Anxiety

Volkswagen ID 4So what about range? Well, one of the main questions we get is, “can I get from Dublin to Cork on a single charge?”. So, let’s take a look at the most popular EV of 2021 so far, the Volkswagen ID, which has a range of up to 540km for its largest battery. With Dublin to Cork being around the 250km mark, this car will get you there no problem, and maybe even back in one charge. The second most popular option at the moment is the Nissan Leaf, with a range of 270km, or 200km in real-world terms. So, with this EV you’ll most likely have to stop along the way. At Junction 3 on the M8 there is a Circle K Service Station with an EV car charger that has you covered, around 100km from Dublin. From there, you could drive to the EV car charger at Supervalu in Fermoy. The moral of the story is that the range of your EV will be the defining factor in making a no-stop journey to any far reaching place in Ireland. However, with fast chargers littered all over Ireland’s major routes, you should be fine no matter the situation. 

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