Jackie Forrest: I own an electric car — this one barrier is holding the industry back


As an electric vehicle owner, there is no doubt in my mind that pure-battery models are close to the mass adoption tipping point, except for one major barrier. The lack of charging infrastructure. It’s not just the sparsity of where to charge, it’s the plug-in type that’s problematic too. EVs work well. Compared to combustion engine vehicles, the driving performance and acceleration are superior. Pricewise, the mainstream luxury segment has reached comparable economics with the petroleum powered peer group. It’s true that compact electric cars are still expensive, however, rising gasoline prices, government subsidies and the climate imperative is narrowing the gap in this segment too. Charging times can be reasonably fast. While not all manufacturers have achieved high charging rates, under the right conditions some models can gain over 200 kilometres of range in just 15 minutes. Fast charging stations have the capability of delivering electrons to the battery at a rate of more than 200 times the average consumption of a home (200 kW). Moving this much electricity safely through a garden hose sized cable is a technical wonder. Everything works well until the new EV driver goes on their first long-distance road trip.

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