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EV Range Confidence – Charged and Ready

Posted 02/27/2024

Range resilience. Range distance. Range confidence. Let’s face it – two of the big questions that every electric vehicle (EV) owner ponders: “How far can I travel on a single charge?” And “Will there be a charger available when I need one?” 

Today’s electric vehicles have become increasingly appealing, with 81% of EV owners expressing a clear preference for purchasing another EV for their next car. This preference is fueled by advancements in battery technology, leading to enhanced range. Moreover, the continuous expansion of EV charging infrastructure nationwide further reinforces confidence in extended range capabilities.

The convenience of Level 2 (L2) charging for daily use, and DC Fast Charging (DCFC) for longer journeys and fleet usage, highlights the practicality of owning an EV. It’s essential to ensure the availability of suitable chargers at strategic locations and times to maintain range confidence. 

This sense of community plays a vital role, motivating individuals to not only choose EVs but also actively engage and invest in the broader EV ecosystem. The combination of extended range, available charging solutions, and a supportive community makes owning an EV an increasingly compelling choice for drivers.

Advancements in EV Battery Technology

Durable EV batteries are boosting confidence by providing increased range and reliable travel support across a growing range of EV models. Even with current lithium-ion technology, EV batteries showcase impressive durability and sustained energy retention. With an extended lifespan, they reduce the need for replacements, minimize environmental impacts, and lower ownership costs.

When considering the typical 3-5 year lifespan of a lead-acid battery in a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, many drivers assume that an EV battery requires regular replacement. However, an electric car’s lithium-ion battery may last as long as the vehicle itself. Battery technology monitors the battery State of health (SoH), indicating degradation and remaining capacity. Typically, when the SoH reaches 70%, it’s considered the end of battery life. According to a study on the second usage of EV batteries conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, EV batteries “will retain approximately 70% of their initial capacity remaining and potentially operate for an additional 10 years in their second use when treated properly.” As per Altelium research, “a standard automotive cell could be at 80% SoH in its hard usage profile case after around four years, but it takes 15 years to get to the same state with easy usage.” This data should instill confidence in users regarding their vehicles’ range performance and battery life. Heightened resilience effectively addresses a key concern for prospective EV adopters, instilling trust in the sustainability and practicality of electric mobility solutions.

To address apprehensions about battery reliability in contemporary electric vehicles, manufacturers integrate advanced Battery Management Systems. Most manufacturers provide battery warranties lasting seven or eight years, assuring consumers that EV batteries are expected to last. 

In recent years, alternative battery technologies, such as sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries, have emerged as potentially transformative. Na-ion batteries present advantages such as lower-cost materials and the absence of critical minerals, making them a cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice. Despite lower energy density, Na-ion batteries may find suitability for urban vehicles or stationary storage. They are gaining ground with several manufacturing plants operational or under construction.

Growth of the EV Network

Trust in the EV network is on the rise. In 2022, the United States experienced a significant increase in electric vehicle sales, driven by a growing awareness of environmental concerns advancements in EV batteries and vehicle technology. Notably, several U.S. states have planned to ban sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, emphasizing the need for an accessible and reliable charging infrastructure.

The expansion of EV infrastructure in the United States, notably through initiatives like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, has contributed to boosting driver confidence. NEVI, a $5 billion initiative, focuses on creating a coast-to-coast EV charging network along major highways, supporting long-distance trips, and strategically placing stations in urban and remote areas to ensure availability.

The use of fast charging technology at many NEVI-funded stations addresses a key concern for EV users during road trips by facilitating faster charging times and enhancing the overall convenience of electric vehicles for long-distance travel.

The NEVI Formula Program will install DC fast charging stations every 50 miles along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors.

U.S. businesses are actively investing in the EV industry to improve charger availability and reliability. An estimated $83 billion in capital expenditure is expected by 2030 to meet the growing consumer demand for electric vehicle charging. Companies like Blink Charging are strategically installing chargers, contributing to the expansion of the EV network. The focus is on deploying the right charger in the right place at the right time, whether it's DCFC, L2 chargers, or home chargers.

Why Community Charging Is Essential

As of 2022, almost 80% of public EV chargers in the United States were L2 chargers, indicating their consistent growth since 2007 and the importance of making community chargers widely available. The popularity of L2 chargers, especially in multiunit properties and public spaces like parks, shopping centers, and parking facilities, has surged. These locations are ideal for efficiently recharging battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) daily. L2 chargers have become the preferred option for everyday destination charging, making them convenient for daily activities.  

Community charging extends beyond establishing a nationwide network; it involves strategically placing chargers for optimal availability. This approach builds confidence by acknowledging the prevalence of local and portable chargers, ensuring they are available wherever people go — at home, grocery stores, or medical facilities — to address everyday charging needs.

Comprehensive planning, often referred to as community electric vehicle readiness, prepares communities for the shift to electric vehicles. When installing EV charging stations, considering local needs and promoting alternatives to single-occupant vehicles are vital for successful EV integration. Thorough planning helps communities anticipate impacts on equity, the grid, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. It also prepares the electrical grid for increased demand, ensuring designs that accommodate long-term upgrades and installations.

Enhancing Charger Reliability

Improving charger dependability is crucial for boosting range confidence. EV manufacturers and charging infrastructure providers are actively enhancing charger reliability through advanced technologies and maintenance practices.

At Blink Charging, we prioritize customer satisfaction by adopting a customer-centric approach. We place a high priority on meeting our customers’ requirements and delivering tailored solutions. Our strategy is built on actively listening to our customers' needs and providing solutions, whether it involves maintenance, installation, or addressing consumer preferences.

Blink’s success, particularly without relying solely on government funding, demonstrates the market's viability. Continuous profit growth highlights the industry’s expansion independently of subsidies. At Blink Charging, we aim to make charging user-friendly. Through our app, network, uptime statistics, and consumer-friendly programs, we address challenges associated with EV ownership. Our flexible business models, ranging from selling chargers to full owner-operator arrangements, distinguish us in providing customized solutions.

Confidence in the EV Community 

The commitment to placing chargers in well-thought-out locations demonstrates a forward-thinking strategy, ensuring that EV chargers are readily available when needed. Through strategic placement influenced by user behavior, traffic patterns, and evolving technology, there is a clear dedication to building trust among EV users. This approach promotes the smooth integration of electric vehicles into the mainstream automotive landscape, encouraging more individuals to embrace sustainable transportation choices.

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