Goals of public charging When considering all of the possible revenue models and billing schemes, it’s important to take a step back and consider the critical goals that public charging must meet to support the widespread use of EVs and also be a longterm sustainable business. 1. Raise awareness of electric vehicles. To realize the economic, security and environmental benefits of EVs, the US will need many millions of drivers to go electric. Although most drivers will find home charging adequate for the majority of trips, many people don’t understand this until they’ve driven an EV for a few weeks. As public charging infrastructure becomes more common, it offers a real solution to the problem of range anxiety. 2. Support the broad use of electric vehicles. Whether it’s providing an option for drivers who
can’t charge at home (like those living in condos or apartments), enabling longer commutes, or just providing a safety net to add charge for an unexpected errand, widespread public charging means more electric miles displacing gas miles. 3. Provide a sustainable business model for site hosts. While some will support charging because of concerns about our nation’s economic reliance on the global oil market and the national security problems that creates, most companies will not provide a service that doesn’t offer a direct benefit to their business. Although free charging can meet all three of the above goals, including indirect revenue for site hosts, there are situations in which making charging free creates problems. If charging is free, it will attract some EV drivers just because it’s free. If you can charge for free in public,
Photo courtesy of WSDOT (Flickr)
It becomes a problem when a driver plans on charging at a certain location, only to find it occupied by vehicles just taking advantage of free electrons.