The way people move around cities is changing drastically. As both corporations and consumers become more aware of combustion vehicles' environmental impact, the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow. Although this shift will be incredibly beneficial to the environment, it does pose a few issues for city planners, who have to pay close attention to how this move will affect urban infrastructure.
The fact is, electric vehicle technology has seen tremendous progress over the last decade, while the required expansion of urban infrastructure to support these vehicles has fallen behind in many cities. Electric cars need to be recharged instead of refuelled, and this means a different infrastructure is necessary.
How Electric Vehicle's Challenge Urban Infrastructure
An increase in EVs on the road means there is an increasing need for public charging infrastructure. This is especially important for electric vehicle owners who don't have their own charging ports and those who travel long distances. For the EV system to run efficiently, people need to have access to charging points as and when needed.
To further complicate things, not all-electric vehicles use the same plugs, which means charging stations may need to be able to support multiple plug types - to accommodate different types of EVs.
Another issue to consider is that it takes just minutes for fuel-based vehicles to be refuelled, while EVs typically require a lot more time to recharge. This is why electric vehicles are often charged overnight, which means charging stations should be located at or near people's homes.
The Future of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
In cities where charging stations are implemented effectively, one of the most significant advantages of owning an electric vehicle will be the ability to charge them just about anywhere. In an ideal world, you will be able to recharge your vehicle at home, work, while at the supermarket, or at the shopping mall.
This means that cities need to start introducing more public charging locations in parking garages, shopping centres, and workplaces from an infrastructure perspective. In some instances, as fuel-based cars fade out and Evs begin to take over, petrol stations may be converted into charging stations. Furthermore, additional public space may need to be used to build these stations.
Cities that understand the importance of moving with the times and create solid infrastructure plans to support electric mobility stand a better chance of shaping urban mobility.