BMW board member Herbert Diess has made a claim that has shocked many in the automobile industry. “Public infrastructure is not really very important because most people are charging their cars at home,” said Diess.
The board member said he came to his conclusion following a year of driving a BMW i3 city EV during which he never “touched public charging.”
The belief that a public charging network is not a key to the public adopting electric vehicles flies in the face of what many others say must happen. Case in point, “Financial Viability of Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Stations,” a 2012 UCLA study, said:
“Adoption by consumers will largely be a function of the electric vehicle charging options available. Studies show that most EV charging currently takes place in the home (Carr 2010). Even so, in order for EVs to gain widespread consumer adoption, it is critical for an infrastructure of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) to exist outside the home.”
Of course, it is too early to know which theory is correct. Odds are that the answer will not be a one-size, fits-all solution. Perhaps in the sprawls of a place like Los Angeles, public charging stations will be needed, while in the clustered population centers of Europe, they’re not needed.
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