Biden’s plan for charging the electric vehicle charging network will be slow

Biden’s plan for charging the electric vehicle charging network will be slow

Earlier this week, Vice President Kamala Harris publicly involved Chevy Bolt at a charging station in Maryland. “No sound or fumes!” she said on the demo, which served as an official statement the ambition of the Biden administration $ 7.5 billion is planned for the construction of half a million charging stations for electric vehicles across the United States. This investment represents the last iteration of the proposal that has begun a $ 15 billion budget for the same number of chargers. If you calculate – or even if you don’t, really – something doesn’t quite agree.

Simply put, to make 500,000 chargers with half the budget, the Biden administration will have to opt for slower chargers. (The faster the charger, the more expensive it is to install.) The Biden administration plan, which draws funds from recently passed a $ 1.2 trillion two-party infrastructure bill, gives priorities chargers that take hours to fully charge an electric car – a potentially difficult sale for Americans accustomed to filling gas tanks from empty to full in minutes. And while more chargers are great, the plan is an indication of how diluted Biden’s energy policy has become over the past year. Democrats still I failed to agree in terms of clean energy, and without one installed, these EV chargers could eventually get energy from fossil fuel sources.

But while energy policy is unpredictable, electric vehicles represent one of the most tangible changes ordinary people can make in the fight against climate change, and the Biden administration seems to have recognized that. “We have to act, the transport sector is the biggest part of our greenhouse gas-emitting economy, and cars and trucks are one of the biggest parts of it,” Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said. he told CNBC earlier this year.

The ubiquity of the right type of charger for electric vehicles will play a big part in that. They currently exist three different speciesor charger levels for electric vehicles. Level 1 chargers plug into a standard 120-volt outlet and deliver electricity to electric cars at three to five miles per hour. At that speed, it would take a few days for most cars to go from empty to fully charged. Level 2 chargers convert a 120-volt connection to about 240 volts, charge cars about 10 times faster than level 1 chargers and bring the battery to full within hours. Level 3 chargers, also called DC fast chargers, are the fastest in the series. They add three to 20 miles of range per minutes.This means that your car can be charged about 80 percent in the time you need to go to the bathroom and drink a cup of coffee at the rest area.

You may have heard of DC fast charging, because that’s the technology behind it Tesla Superchargers i Rivian Adventure Network. Both of these proprietary charging systems offer fast charging exclusively for people who buy the company’s vehicles. (Congratulations, Tesla announced plans to open its own charging network for cars other than Tesla.) While owners of other electric vehicles must fight with By signing up for a host of competitive refueling services with different refueling speeds, Tesla and Rivian networks promise the speed and simplicity to which users are accustomed at gas stations. “Just plug in and charge automatically,” Tesla’s website says. “Pull and turn without touching a button,” Rivian brag.

But for the most part, industry experts say, we don’t need every charger to be a fast charger – which is why the Biden administration’s charging framework could work.

“There is a temptation to reconstruct a petrol station model, where we say, ‘I’m running out of fuel, I have to go refuel now and go in five minutes,'” Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association, told Recode. “That would be a mistake.” (Just don’t tell Harris, who said charging a Volt is “the same as refueling a car.”)

Instead, Britton said, it’s important to consider how most people actually use their cars on a regular day. Most people don’t drive hundreds of miles every day; they drive between home and work or do chores around town. For those people, level 2 chargers would work well. They can charge their cars at home, drive to the store, join the parking lot and return home with a full battery. So while Biden’s plan includes strategically installing faster chargers along highways and in rural areas, the focus on building a lot of Level 2 chargers in local communities is a way to extend that $ 7.5 billion.

“We make it easy for people to go for electricity,” Harris told those gathered in Maryland on Monday. The biggest hurdle for most people who want to buy an electric car, she added, is “figuring out where and how to charge it.”

The stakes are high here. Despite being the home of pioneers of electric vehicles such as Tesla and GM, the United States is lagging behind far behind Europe and China in the sale of electric vehicles. Most U.S. electric vehicle sales are also concentrated in major metropolitan areas, with almost half of all electric vehicle sales in California alone. And while transportation is the sector with the highest greenhouse gas emissions in the country, energy is close second.

Biden’s plan could make it easier to buy and charge electric cars, but electric vehicles are only as clean as the networks that power them. Studies have shown that electric cars that draw energy from high-carbon networks can actually be worse for the climate than hybrids. So far, the president’s attempts to clean the net have been thwarted by the senator several times Joe Manchin from West Virginia, who am gutted proposal to replace coal and gas power plants with solar, wind and nuclear energy. Most energy policy that leftovers in Biden’s signature the Build Back Better bill revolves around clean energy tax credits, with several penalties for continuing to produce pollution-causing energy.

Inevitably, more chargers for electric vehicles – even if they are slower – are better than no chargers at all. But they are not a solution in themselves. The whole planet is fighting against losing the battle against carbon emissions and climate change, and all those electric vehicles will have to get energy from somewhere. Through the Build Back Better Act and the new Infrastructure Act, the Biden administration is advancing on a strong plan to adopt clean energy and electric vehicles in the United States. But the plan only works if a law on rebuilding the better is passed and measures in the infrastructure law become a reality.

Will these things happen this year, if at all? It is it doesn’t look good.

This story was first published in the Recode newsletter. Sign up here so don’t miss the next one!



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