A fair question, so last nite I thought this over. Why don't I see any electric cars. So I looked it up. The number of Electrics is less than 0.1% on the road here. Why? This is deep progressive area. It doesn't get any more blue. Deeply diverse, and well off. So why? Here's what I found out. You can correct me if I got numbers wrong.if you are going to buy a car in the next 3 years why wouldn't you buy electric?
I have or had 3 cars. My neighbor has 4, sometimes 5. They got boats too. Garages are full ... of storage. I see cars parked in the street every day. Too many cars. I am lazy and reached the point in life I am not going to go out of my way if not necessary. When a kid, I'd change my oil or plugs just for fun. No more.
So I need 3 charging stations or one super stations with multiple charge plugs and an extension line. What does that take.
1. First convince my wife. Sorry, all the cars go, we are buying electric. 😅She loves Porsches more than me. She's the sports car nut. Her idea of an ideal car size was a 155" long MR2. Anything bigger was too big. The Cayman was too big. The 911? A giant she dislikes driving. Sound does matter. Its visceral. She can drive a MT maybe better than me. She was born to it. But for the sake of argument, lets assume we concur and get buy in. Out with the old, in with the new.
2. I need the electric planning done and architectural plans drawn up. Electrician has to come. Power is on the wrong side of the house, he has to draw up what he is going to do. There is no way to get 3 stations, maybe two or one with multiple plugs. What do I do with a third car? Move them around? That is NOT going to happen. I am not going to do extra work.
I know exactly how much it cost to do one 20 amp line drawn from the box and it was ~$700 all internal. Now
a. What is the cost of these stations? $500? $1000? They have to be generic and I am not going to buy a basic system. If this is "the thing" its going to have all the do dads (all the cool features). NEVER get locked into one car company. I've owned cars from dozen or so different car companies. I see no reason this would be ever different.
b. What is the cost to pull the line from the main power, outside, to the front of the house? This means digging up the lawn, laying conduit, going under concrete walkway, etc?
c. It needs a new sub panel. The current electric is sized to whats in the house. Its not going to support another 60 Amps or whatever. My guess is $2K easy based on a single line without a new sub panel and without digging up lawn. OK, plans are drawn up. Somebody has to buy the parts and install this all.
d. Down to the county to get the electric permit. How much? How much paperwork? Who does the paperwork? (The electrician but they hate doing that. They get a weeks worth at a time. They don't do individual permits).
Total cost for everything? My guess is $2500 easy, maybe $3K. Lawn to be dug, conduits, multiple units, and I don't buy base units.
3. Now that the architectural plans are drawn, its off to the HMO for approval. They meet once/month. Got to have neighbors sign off, go down there to drop off paper work (LOTS of paperwork ). They need to come out, see the lay of the land, make sure the plans fit the general surroundings, go to the meeting, get approval, wait for the formal approval letter, then can tell the electrician and whoever installs the station to go to work. These is an easy two months or more.
4. Time to call Miss Utility. Nothing gets dug without all the underground cables marked on the lawn.
5. Electrician does his job. At this point I am out maybe $2 - $3K in upfront, sunk costs. Now I got probably two ugly things out from of the house. Wife is not going to be happy. She does her gardening and this ruins how things look.
6. All done, get the County to come out for inspection. They come whenever they please.
7. Who reseeds the lawn? Now I got straw everywhere, and depending upon time of year, its takes 6 months to get reestablished to back like it used to be.
8. Now go car shopping.
9. State will rebate something, a pittance. Ever get one of those energy star rebates? Fill in more paperwork, mail it in, and maybe in 6 months get some pocket change back. Still out thousands.
10. Such a major upgrade is a capital improvement, no? Now I got to keep all these records for the basis on the house. MORE paperwork
Now we are live.
1. You think I'm going to rotate cars in and out to be charged? Not going to happen. Now what?
2. I take/have taken many trips. 1,500 miles at a time is common. Family is out of state, vacation. You think Im really going to depend on the internet to tell me where the next charging station is? That's just not going to happen.
3. I drive 10 hours a shot many times. You really think I'm going to sit and wait an hour or two while that car charges? In the rain, at a rest area, eating crappy food at outrageous prices, on the road? With traffic backed up in one of the most miserable places to drive, the I95 corridor north around the big cities? That is just not going to happen.
I got places to go, people to see, things to do. I have no vacation time to waste "waiting" for "electrons". You got to be kidding. I'm on a time schedule and time is precious. Time is the most precious thing we have. Wasting it "waiting"? No.
You want to make this work for people like me? Here's what you need to do.
1. Make the entire installation effort trivial and free.
a. Call a number, and all the paperwork gets done, permits filed, pulled, inspections done, paperwork sent automatically and electronically to any states for incentives, and filed away somewhere for federal taxes and capital improvement. Don't expect me to do this. You, the general YOU, want this to happen? Make it happen. Simply.
b. I like "free stuff" as much as anyone. I won't pay all this money for these connections. Give me it all free. Let EV companies pay for it out of their "profits". Oops. Tesla has no profits. You want to establish electrons for fuel because the technology is in its infancy? Then establish it. Just as Tesla gave away charging at first, give this all away. But don't expect me to pay for any of it because I won't simply because You, the EV industry, has to sell me, the consumer. Not the other way around. And do NOT take the money from the poor to give to me. Do not tax others to pay for this. Let the money come from the companies that want to use electrons.
2. I will not tolerate waiting on the road for any electrons. Period. On the road I do pit stops on the fly. Its just enough time to pump in 15 gallons or so while the wife is in the ladies room. You're looking at 10 minute pit stops. You really think I am going to waste my precious road trip time waiting for electrons to flow? Not going to happen.
This is where the argument about charging at home falls apart. It doesnt matter if 95% of charging is at home. Its always the "last mile" that cost the most and this is a deal breaker.
You know about the last mile. Right?
That's the best I can come up with. Make it trivial for consumers. Take the profits from the car companies to build the infrastructure at housing units. Expecting the consumer to pay sunk costs is a losing solution. But the real killer is being on the road, finding those electrons, and waiting. Patience, I admit, is not my virtue.
Here is an article by an early adopter, Sept 2019 I see his points as valid
Most Americans aren’t interested in electric vehicles. That’s a cold fact.
people see EVs as exotic, weird cars. Certainly not for them. It means straying from a critical comfort zone. The gas-car paradigm has worked for a 100 years, it works for them now and that’s good enough, thank you.
IOW, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
From my personal experience, it’s palpable disinterest. Many times I’ve tried to educate friends, family, strangers about EVs and their eyes just glaze over. Their expression says it all: I’ll be polite and listen but I’m not interested.
Sound familiar? Don't you feel that way sometimes? You can't sell this on service costs because no one cares about services cost. They don't think beyond that monthly number. And you'll never sell it based on climate change, ever.
anyone I know who has bought an EV will never go back. You can refuel at home, no more trips to the gas station, very little maintenance, no oil changes, no toxic fumes, clean, quiet, fast, great torque — to mention a few. But that seemingly common sense argument doesn't mean you can convince others.
Of course not. See above. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Charging infrastructure is sometimes brought up by the few that actually have done the research. They typically have a budding interest in EVs but balk for practical reasons. For example, they may not have ready access to a plug at home if they live in the city. And they have a point. Even in the great EV Mecca of Los Angeles DC fast chargers (which is the only charging I can tolerate on the road) are still few and far between. And the fast charging pumps that are available are often taken. That means waiting 10, 15 or sometimes 30 minutes for a charger. That’s on top of the time it takes to charge. Do you have an hour or longer to refuel your car? I didn’t think so.
NO. Time is money. The end.
Dealerships in the U.S. are franchises. That 100-year-old business model wants to sell maintenance. EVs – which I can testify to – require very little maintenance. ...That’s a disincentive for traditional dealers.
That's how capitalism works. Follow the money. Why is it good for these mechanics to lose their jobs? How does that improve the GDP?
So why do I see 0.1% on the road in such a progressive area? I really do not know. But I can guess paperwork, regulation, convenience, etc are big factors. Plus, in real life, many people just don't care. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Their eyes glaze over for a reason.