* This story was published in the Daily Herald Suburban Business Section on July 11, 2022 and written by Sevan’s Mark Kinnare: https://www.dailyherald.com/business/20220711/building-ev-stations-today-for-tomorrows-drivers
Gas prices in Illinois and across the globe have increased exponentially — and it’s the perfect time to press the gas on electric vehicle (EV) charging opportunities.
As of June 15, the national average price for gasoline is over $5 per gallon — a 67% increase from the $3 national average price of gas in June 2021. With no gas price relief in sight, more than 70% of Americans have said they would consider switching to an electric vehicle for their next primary vehicle.
All EVs can be charged at home for a fraction of what it costs to fill up an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. The energy storage capacity for EVs is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
The average price of electricity at home is around $.13/kWh, so for an EV with a 300-mile range with a battery capacity of 82 kWh, it would cost an EV owner $10.66 to fully charge a completely drained battery. For an ICE vehicle that averages 30 MPG to go 300 miles, at $5 a gallon, it would cost the owner $50 to fill up.
With gas prices being as high as they are, why do EVs only account for 2.5% of all light-duty vehicles on the road?
“Charge times and a lack of strategically placed charging stations for long distance driving are still concerns to potential EV drivers,” said Jim Duffy, VP of Operations at Sevan Multi-Site Solutions in Downers Grove. “The fastest type of charger, direct current fast chargers (DCFC), can charge an electric vehicle to 80% in 15 minutes — which is significantly longer than the amount of time it takes to fully fuel most light-duty vehicles. However, planning a journey around access to them is difficult.”
By 2030, it is estimated DCFCs will be able to charge an EV battery to 80% in as little as five minutes. The average range of EVs is expected to be closer to 400 miles by 2030, so in five minutes, you can add 320 miles of range to an EV, making them as convenient as ICE vehicles without the pain at the pump.
EV charge times mean nothing if the charging infrastructure isn’t in place.
“The year 2030 is estimated to be a major milestone for EVs. The average price and range for EVs should be comparable to ICE vehicles which will be a turning point for EV demand, as this is currently not the case,” Duffy said. “Today, the U.S. government and private businesses are in the process of building a massive charging network to support future EV growth. By 2030 these EV concerns will turn into benefits.”
In November 2021, the EV Infrastructure bill was passed to support the push to transition from ICE vehicles to EVs. Part of the bill called for 500,000 charging stations to be installed every 50 miles on major interstates across the nation by 2030 which will give long-distance drivers plenty of stations to charge. In addition to public charging stations, private businesses are also installing EV chargers at their sites.
“Developers and site owners are beginning to understand there is value to installing EV stations at their sites,” said David Hendrix, Chief Commercial Officer at Sevan. “Depending on the type of EV provider they partner with and the type of EV chargers they install, property owners can open up many new revenue streams.”
For EV-owning customers, there will be more spots to charge their vehicles that fit with the activities they are doing.
“EV owners can do daily activities like shop for groceries, go to the gym or even go out to a nice restaurant and charge their vehicles while doing it,” Hendrix said. “The flexibility EV chargers provide over gas stations is a game changer and will help shape how consumers spend time at all the businesses they visit.