HOW THE ELECTRIC CHARGING NETWORK IS IMPROVING

11th Mar 2021

Speak to anyone about electric vehicles and those that have done their research, or had the good fortune to experience the sheer thrill of electric propulsion, will comment on their frustrations with the charging infrastructure. But is it really so bad?

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In 2013, with just over 5,000 points and a very nascent introduction of rapid charging points, the announcement of the FIA Formula E racing series took place. It was here that BMW revealed its wireless charging technologies; an electromagnetic pad that relies on perfect positioning to induce maximum charging capacity and minimise time taken. 

Back then, the creators of the racing series spoke of future innovations, where road surfaces will eventually be charging as we drive—turning our streets into something akin to a real-life Scalextric track, and leaving behind a practical legacy from a weekend of sports entertainment. 

It may sound like something from a sci-fi novel, but Innovations in the EV charging world are picking up pace and making the electric vehicle rental experience so much more enjoyable.

Streetlight charging

Ubitricity is a company looking to redefine the conventional streetlamp. Recently acquired by Shell, it set out to work with the street furniture already present in our towns and cities. 

 

Private networks turned public

Bookmycharge is an Airbnb-like platform bringing together private driveway chargepoints, to create an independent network that broadens EV drivers’ access to chargepoints while travelling the country. 

This organically grown community supports the public infrastructure, while in some cases, providing an alternative, if there’s a maintenance issue, or the area you’re in doesn’t have a stronger network of public points.

Electrifed roads

If you thought we were joking about the road surfaces containing chargeable materials, let us introduce you to the eRoadArlanda project , which has seen the installation of 1.25 miles of electric rails. The pilot conducted near Stockholm uses technology not that dissimilar from overhead tram transportation.

Charging Hubs 

Unveiled in December 2020, Gridserve’s Electric Forecourt is a electried ‘service station’, located near Braintree, Essex. It offers a number of charging points and indoor and outdoor areas to explore, while a driver waits for the vehicle to charge. 

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Despite the shaky start to 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are reasons to be positive and the ever-evolving electric vehicle charging infrastructure is one of the them. With now over 35,000 public charging points—over 600% growth in less than seven years—and significant increase in the numbers of accessible ultra-rapid chargers, electric vehicle rental is a more realistic prospect than ever before.

 

 

 

Hiring an EV with EVHIRE gives a driver freedom to explore the electric vehicle experience without the cost commitment.

 

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