The key to electric vehicle mass market success evades society because of a simple problem that can be easily fixed in most places: the lack of electrical outlets where cars are parked.
The not being able to charge where you park is especially attenuated in urban areas where many people live in multistory building with underground parking garages (Think Down Town, Most of China, and other big cities) This lack of charge where your car is parked most of the time problem presents another issue for the lack of a power outlet also makes float charging a lead acid starting battery in a gas powered vehicle from grid power impossible.
Lower Hanging Fruit
Instead of spending tons of societies resources building super high speed chargers, perhaps we can sober up to the idea of adding some GFI 20amp 115v standard outlets with waterproof covers to the existing parking structures, so that Level 1 charging and lead acid float charging is possible where most vehicles are parked for 20+ hours per day. Even at a charge rate of only 5mi per hour, a standard US electrical outlet can pump out 100+mi of EV charging per day.
Night time off peak power
In the US and in other countries, a lot of power is available after the evening peek and well into the early morning hours on the power grids. This dark window is ideal for Level 2 and Level 3 charging, where the bulk power absorption of an EV can actually act as a load balancing device, absorbing off peak power. Off peak power is often less expensive for consumer in net time metered areas, making the costs of recharging an EV at night even more attractive. The smart charging solutions and the EV's of today are already able to perform timed charging sessions. For any of this to work, we have to have grid power sockets where the cars are being parked. This is great new for most single family home owners, who have electrified 1, 2 and 3 car parking garages. For everyone else who does not live in such luxury, the not being able to charge where you park problem remains an unsolved problem.
Public Level 2 and 3 chargers
I rely almost entirely on Public L2 chargers to refuel my Nissan Leaf with electricity. It takes hours and hours, and this requires planning the charging into my schedule. This is so inconvenient, I have resorted to using an extension cord at my place of employment on a slow day of the week to soak up 9 hours of L1 charging while I am busy working. Because I have a short weekly commute, this single day of level 1 charing via an extension cord, actually cover my daily commute charge requirements.
Ev Range ?
In previous posting, I explore the Leaf's single charge range, and to this end, if you live and work in a city, and riding the bus is not possible, and you have access to a non time wasting charging solution, and EV can practically end you spending on gas, and completely eliminate you commuting air pollution footprint. In many cities where EV's have become popular, are quality improvements have been realized, and now everyone breathes easier in these Model S and Leaf popular places.
My use Case of the Leaf
In my specific case, I drive about 8mi per day total, 5 days per week, totally a massive 40miles per week :P and this is easily covered by the Leaf long life battery mode 30 to 80% state of charge maintenance. I start out my week with about 37% remaining, use about 9% to get to and from work on the first day, then L1 charge all day on the second day up to about %77, and that covers the remaining 3 days of commuting, where the charge state is depleted back down to about 27%, the Leaf stays parked on the week ends, then the cycle repeats. Generally speaking, in the 17 months I have possessed the Leased 2013 Leaf S, I have only managed to log about 4900 miles. The battery spy monitory through the OBD blue tooth port and corresponding Android app, reveals an 87% remaining health of the Leaf battery. This rate of capacity loss, given how gentle I was with the battery overall, is too significant to ignore. I will be giving the vehicle back to Nissan of America at the end of the lease at the 24 month mark.
Plenty of Time to Charge
There is nothing wrong with a 100mi range EV, if you can charge you EV where you park most of the time, be that at work during the day or at home at night. The real issue holding most people back from replacing one of their two family cars with an EV, is the limited range and slow recharging of an EV, all together ignoring the major issue of a lack of electrical outlets near parking spaces.
Where are Outlets
I am arguing that the lack of electrical outlets near parking spaces is actually a major roadblock to the mass adoption of electric vehicles, by a general public that is not will to trade off the luxury of being able to add 300mi of range worth of fuel to the gas powered cars in 5 minutes for an Ev charge that takes between 3 and 20x longer. Yes, Level 3 chargers are fast, 0-80% charge in 30 min, but they cook the piss out of the Lithium Ion batteries in the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Fast charging a lithium ion battery produces a lot of heat, and anode swelling. I am an expert on Lithium Ion batteries, having spent more than 10,000 hours reading and educating myself about them. I deal with Lithium Ion batteries every day where I work, and have extensive working, practical, and person experience with lithium ion batteries. You will find people, mostly those from companies that manufacture Level 3 chargers, claiming that high speed charging is just fine, but they are not thinking about maximizing the life of your electric vehicles battery system.
Leaf 12v Battery Beware if L1 too Much
Speaking of bad for batteries, if you constantly use a L1 charger to charge a Leaf, it will nuke the 12v lead acid accessory battery. Nissan, over-engineered the 12v SLA charging regime, and furthermore complicated it charge maintinence, by drawing power from the small 12v battery to monitor the charging of the car. A moron could have engineered a simple battery tender into the incoming power port, to float charge the Lead battery when the Lithium battery is being charged. This is a great example of a who system of people who are so smart, then in practice their work output contain gross stupidity. I am not judging or condemning anyone, I am only pointing out the ridiculousness way with which the Nissan Leaf handles its 12v accessory battery.