Car makers fund electric chargers for autos

30th November 2016 | Commercial Energy

Four of the world’s top auto marketer have agreed to invest in thousands of fast-charging sites across Europe to boost mainstream acceptance of electric cars. They have been spurred by the success of US rival, Tesla, which has received huge pre-orders for its Model 3 car. German rivals, VW, Daimler’s Mercedes, BMW and Ford’s European autos division have entered a joint venture to develop 400 charging stations.

“Range anxiety”, the fear of running out of power before reaching a charging station, is key to increasing consumer acceptance of electric vehicles, which so far have filled only a niche market. Government regulators have also been pushing electric vehicle infrastructure projects.

In the US, it remains to be seen how a Donald Trump administration will embrace such projects. The White House announce efforts to spur development of EV charging infrastructure. After the German government agreed to help the auto industry with electric car subsidies, pressure has built for Germany’s carmakers to accelerate the development and rollout of the infrastructure for electric autos.

Electric vehicle infrastructure will also get a boost from VW’s diesel emissions settlement, which calls for investment in EV’s, and Daimler recently announced an investment of $11bn in EV’s.
The scarcity of charging points, as well as higher prices for electric autos compared with combustion models, have stifled mass-market demand despite sales incentives that often include government assistance. Daimler Chief Executive, Dieter Zetsche, said, “The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance electric mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle.”

Executive across the industry predict that electric cars will become increasingly popular due to advances that make batteries cheaper and more powerful. Also, VW the emissions scandal has sparked a regulatory backlash against diesel-engine vehicles.

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