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From Range Anxiety to Charging Time Trauma

Electric vehicles can take an hour or more to recharge, leaving drivers with time on their hands.

Tags: Electric Vehicles

October 11, 2017

​RESTON, Va. – While more charging stations popping up across the country has alleviated the worry recharging, drivers of electric cars still have to contend with the hour-plus wait to “fill up,” the New York Times reports. In comparison, a typical stop to pump gas takes around five minutes.

“Driving long distances and stopping for one to two hours is not something I would want to do,” said Mark McNabb, CEO of Electrify America, which is installing charging stations in the United States as part of Volkswagen’s settlement for diesel emissions test fraud.

Eventually, charging times will be reduced to about 10 minutes, but that is several years away. In the meantime, owners usually charge their vehicles overnight at home, and look for superchargers at work or while traveling. Electrify America will install fast chargers near highways, with the goal of having 350 Level 2 charging stations in California cities by the end of this decade.

ChargePoint, another company installing U.S. charging stations, will add supercharger stations, but hasn’t said how many or where. Currently, the number of public charging stations sits at around 16,000, according to the U.S. Energy Department—a drop in the bucket compared with the 120,000 U.S. gasoline stations.

But as ChargePoint pointed out, 80% of charging is done at the owner’s home. “Electric vehicles are more like horses than gasoline cars,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “You refuel them when you’re doing something else.”

Last week, a group of Western state governors agreed to collaborate on a charging network to encourage electric car use. GM also announced it would significantly up the number of electric cars in its portfolio.