Europe: electric vehicles appeal further hampered by charging conundrum image

Here’s the setting: you get yourself a brand new, utterly green, let’s say BMW i3 battery-operated full electric vehicle. You live in a bustling metropolis, let’s say Berlin’s Germany but you don’t have a house or your own parking spot in a garage.

The latter part is attributable to most of today’s city residents – the ones also targeted especially by the electric cars of today. That’s because they promote electric city driving – it’s where you mostly need a car with no emissions and usually the small range of today’s offerings doesn’t let you travel too far. But you’ll soon encounter a difficulty – one that you may have not previewed from the start.

You do know that charging stations are still scarce, in Europe and elsewhere, as the technology needs time to be implemented. But you also know, in our chosen example, that even though the i3 has debuted in its home country a year ago, there will be difficulties. Even though Berlin shines as a city with 500 charging stations – because it’s one of four German metropolis chosen by the government to promote green cars – you’ll get headaches when it comes to charging. That’s because the infrastructure is not yet unified – there’s no one universal charger – and also the methods of payment are widely different. That means range anxiety might easily turn to panic when you pass a host of charging stations that might not be compatible or accept your preferred method of payment.

BMW and US rival Tesla have worked around this problem – they both promote their own series of fast-charging stations. While the latter uses its own resources for the approximately 280 superchargers in North America, Europe and Asia, BMW uses the ChargeNow network in partnership with different providers.

Via Automotive News Europe