How the EV Industry Is Trying to Fix Its Charging Bottleneck | WSJ

Electric-vehicle entrepreneurs are working on the industry’s biggest bottleneck: charging infrastructure. Companies are building more chargers, but it may not be enough to make EVs work for people who can’t plug in at home. Photo illustration: Carlos Waters/WSJ

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Comment (678)

  1. Tesla had the foresight to build superchargers before the car. Very expensive especially for a new start up company, Tesla. Tesla did not dump EV’s on the market and make taxpayers pay for chargers. GM wants taxpayers to pay.

  2. They recently added two charging ports where public parking was once available. thus creating more of a burden to those allready hard to find public parking spots. I am not complaining but i just hope that someone actually uses them. Cheers from NYC

  3. Level 2 cost thousands of dollars,I think that's a Lie my electrician charge me only $500dls to Install a 240V outlet in my garage so 🤔

  4. The main problem is not how many charging stations are built. It is how long the driver will disappear from the charging station while his car gets charged for the next how many hours? I don't know.
    But I don't think it can be as quick as pumping a tankful of petrol. You don't really expect the driver to sit in his car and wait for full charge.
    So the driver will go shopping, etc. And that charging point cannot be used. Till he comes back.

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  6. Maybe they should just forget using EVs and contaminating the rest of the planet through battery production….fossil fuels seem to be working just fine.

  7. – 97% of your charging will be level 2, done overnight, just like your phone.
    – level 3 chargers are not "newer".
    – tesla offered other OEMs use of its (seamless) charging format. the patents are open. no takers.
    – the larger (and stupiderer) problem with non-tesla fast-charging is payment handshaking.

  8. This is ridiculous. The logical infrastructure is already in place…gas stations. I know that the oil companies consider electric their enemy, but this is short sighted. The first gas station to set up charging stations will be the one that survives. Remember, Netflix started by shipping DVDs. The rest of the gas stations will go the way of Blockbuster.

  9. People who say Tesla need to standardize need to understand two things:
    First, the Tesla connector is better than any other connector. It is way smaller and easier to plug in. Think USB-C vs USB.

    Secondly, Tesla built out the Supercharger network before any of these standards existed. They were doing this when traditional auto still thought EVs would never catch on. AND, they didn’t do it with government funds, they funded it themselves.

    So as far as I’m concerned, let Tesla do what they want. Their cars will be like iPhones- different standard than everyone else.

  10. If you have a breaker box in your garage. You are looking at like $300-$400 bucks for a professional electrician to put in 240V plug. Which allows for Level 2 charging. Most cars come with a 240V charging plug so that's all you need. "In some cases thousands of Dollars", while may be factually true, isn't reality for the vast majority of people who want to install a charger in their garage.

  11. This problem is a throw back to the 90's. When every cellphone being drop had a different charging prot it took the Europen Government to force all cellphone companies to get on the same page.

  12. Hey Wall Street Journal, not sure if you knew but Elon has stated that he is willing to give away tesla specs for the charging port and he was willing to have manufacturers use that port along side with the Tesla supercharger Network. The last thing he wanted to do was make a proprietary and more difficult for people to switch over to EV. He wanted to give people all of the options, however car manufacturers decided to go with the port that they wanted to instead of using a port that has a huge network of chargers

  13. I don’t get this, I charge at home with level 1 charging and it has never been an issue. I believe that for the vast majority of potential EV buyers this would absolutely be the case for them as well. A small percentage of people may need to charge outside the home, but I don’t see how that is a mystery for those buyers! If you have reliable power at home, a relatively modest commute and can park your car overnight by that outlet. It’s just not a problem. In the three years I have owned a fully electric car, the number of times I have used a public charger has been exactly ZERO.

  14. Why are we even having this dilemma in the US? Chia builds 1000 EV charging stations per day. America is just lazy and drags their feet with legislation and funding. Oh well, wanna continue fighting against progressive changes? Then sit back and watch “the greatest country on Earth” fall to the way side as other industrialized countries eat out lunch.🙄

  15. 1:15, Tesla's wall connector actually only cost $500 (a 30% federal tax credit is also available in the US) and charges 44 miles per hour; full charge overnight

  16. they really need to start making their cars with same charger plug,otherwise public chargers always will face this problem, when ever a new car comes out, new plug type will make most of older chargers useless and i am sure people who bought the car, won't know until they realize its hard to find plug type for their car, you can say ''oh then just carry a converter plug with you''
    that will be cost a lot before you even able to charge the car, car industry need to realize EV car's must share same plug type, they are not phones, otherwise it will just keep making problems all over again

  17. Yeah, we are at the beginning and without no STANDARD connectors but has allowance on proprietary connector creation is just an artificial scarcity (wrong scarcity, only good to get rich by unethical means) creation to DRIVE business to a few who has the means and resources like Tesla.
    There is a reason why the wall plug connectors are not soo diverse and the same should happen in the charging plug/connector plus the charging stations designs too.

  18. Most Tesla owners don’t worry about charging as they typically have level 2 home charging solutions. You’re overstating the cost of level 2 charger installation.

  19. The EV Industry should use Firefox browser.Hope Mozilla gets into the game , they are the best choice. Tesla and Space X should support them. Standards in Chargers should use Firefox , it's the logical choice.

  20. What a great piece of terrible reporting. Fails to mention the rate at which charging stations are opening. Fails to state the cost savings of owning an electric car.

  21. Yeah until there is a universal charging plug for any level of charge why bother fighting that nightmare as a consumer. Most consumers don’t have the time or patience to fight thru the mismatch in plugs and time to charge until that is sorted out the vast majority of us will not switch

  22. Until EVs are as overall hassle-free as my ICE vehicles, I'll keep driving my old cars. I could easily buy an EV if I wanted to, but: "Is an EV better?". Not with the current technology. I need 350+ miles of range, in sub-freezing weather, with no requirements that I need to meticulously plan my stops at certain locales or charge for lengthy periods of time. In my fairly wealthy suburb of 65k+, there aren't many EVs, probably about the 2-3%, like the overall US market. The Tesla people are all the "look at me" types, definitely not the "getting by" types.

  23. They didn't trust Dementia Joe to drive the vehicle. They put the real driver in the passenger seat – notice the other steering wheel?

    Just like his administration: a total fraud.

  24. Eventually self driving cars will solve a lot of these problems. We will then move to a transportation as a service model, and Evs will rotate in and out of service and charge back at their home base

  25. Even with 20 mins charging time, it’s still much longer than pumping gas especially if you’re on road trip or just on the go. As of right now, daily drive an ev is pretty much feasible only to homeowners with garage

  26. level 2 charging usually costs about 500-800 bucks to install a 240v outlet, and it fills up the battery every night. it is generally easier to own an EV than a gas car as long as you have a garage where a plug can be installed. Every morning you have max range. Public charging is only necessary if you do not have a garage where a plug can be installed, or on long trips. There are other rare cases where fast charging within a metro area can make sense such as real estate agents or people who drive a lot between sales calls. I think the more logical approach in general will be for apartment and condo complexes to have a certain proportion of level 2 charging availability, and for public stations in cities analogous to a gas station to be relatively rare.

  27. There is no chicken or egg problem…

    The egg was there way before the chicken.
    And if you are talking about a chiken egg… Well, the chicken had to be here to lay the egg so you have your answer

  28. We have to look at cars as we look at our smartphones. The key to overcome this challenge is perspective. As IC Engine car owners we are used to the routine of going to gas station and fill up the tank in few minutes and go. But we need to shed this habit and change our perspective. Look at the car as if it were a smartphone, we charge our phones at night at office when we’re in bed. Similarly we can charge the cars in parking lots, in lunch breaks and at night when we sleep. When smartphones battery were made non swappable we shifted to a new routine to charge the phone whenever we get the opportunity and we never feel the anxiety of it running out. If we use the similar approach for EVs as we use for smartphones with proper charging networks throughout the infrastructure we can charge them everywhere anytime without having the anxiety to charge them up quickly when battery is low. Another approach to get rid of battery anxiety is easy swapping of batteries, if we can build vehicles in which swapping of battery is easy then we could build stations for switching the empty battery with a full one.

  29. Standardize it like China did. Every electric vehicle has a dimensionally equal sized battery with a standardized connection. Pull up to the gas station, swap out fresh battery, be on your way in 5 minutes. Leave uncharged battery at gas station for them to recharge. Rinse and repeat, solves the problem.

  30. This conversation is a little silly considering the power grid cannot produce or supply power necessary for wide scale use of electric vehicles and if it did, the power would come from traditional gas and coal fired power plants.

  31. And yet, every car I've owned in the last 20 years gets a 400+ miles range fill up in 5 minutes at any gas station. The problem isn't the amount of chargers, it's the thinking that 100 miles in 20 minutes is a good thing. Solve the charge time problem.

  32. How about we work on keeping the power grid active 24/7 with the current load before adding a bunch of chargers? Maybe put a couple of thorium salt reactors online first?

  33. and what im supposed to do for that hour that is required?
    because I see it as a major inconvenience compared to my usual in and out in 5 min at a petrol station

  34. In Cities like London public charging is available at street parking locations via the lamppost. US needed fewer public chargers for regular use as 80% will charge at home overnight. The build out is grid expansion for distance and rural travel, which is the US challenge. This is solved by the utilities, not small EV charger companies, many of which are gimmicks for photo ops.

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  36. once eletric cars can go a 1000 miles, all of this will be useless, not a lot of people will do more than a thousand miles every day. So basically you will need chargers at hotels or mega parking lot with chargers near hotels and voila. This whole problem stems from the fact that eletric cars can only go 300-500 miles forcing them to add 1h to every roadtrip.

  37. Not sure why there is this 5 minute to fill up as a bench mark. Who goes on a long trip that doesn't stop to eat or bathroom time, just fill up and go, I have done 6 trips in my chevy bolt that are 400 to 500 miles 1 way,, would stop 2 times to charge and eat, no excessive waiting. Did a trip from Maryland to Florida in the bolt, even stayed at a hotel that had overnight charging, again no excessive waiting time for the charging and my bolt is not even the fastest to charge vehicle. I do agree that apartments and condos are not setup for ev charging at night; which 95% of my charging is done at night by my level 2 charger in my garage.

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