The Electric Vehicle Charging Problem

Avaldati 9 veebr 2021
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Writing by Sam Denby
Research by Sam Denby and Tristan Purdy
Editing by Alexander Williard
Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
Musicbed SyncID:


  • They need a way for you to pay more while charging. Petrol stations have a small shop to buy things from and it's often hard to get petrol and not buy something else while at the store. Whereas EV's have none of this.

  • Does anyone know what software is good for creating info graphic videos like this?

  • The only way electric vehicles will take off is if charging stations become like wireless cell phone chargers. You simply park above the charger and it automatically turns on and starts charging ur vehicle. No one wants to plug in their vehicle at every stop. Plus the distance able to travel on a single charge needs to increase. Charging stations at local grocery stores and businesses need to grow rapidly. Via simply parking ur car over a charger. Maybe even charging miles on certain roads, that charge ur vehicle as you drive. With that, producing power with coal or natural gas and using this to charge ur vehicle defeats the purpose. And is asinine.

  • Charging adapter needs to be standard like the OBD-2 adapter is.

  • Why not make a portable charging-head that has connections to other types. Like those phone chargers that had Lighting, USB-C and B types??

  • Yo bro, bess systems will be sound in Europe ban ice vehicles are banned, mainly the cost will be in pv that will continue to fall, the real issue is a control system for arbitrage and peak shaving will be where you'll make your money

  • Government built the infrastructure for IC vehicles: public roads. The existing roads were, outside cities, wagon roads. Fueling was simple: a tank, a hose and a filler nozzle.

  • Teslas in Europe do use the CCS connectors. It's the CCS2 based on the Menneke L2 connector. A simple plug and receptacle change, or an adapter, is all that is needed.

  • That 291 miles range tipping point is in the dead of winter with the heat running.

  • Well from personal experience, I owned a short range EV (80mile max) for number of years and used a charging station less than 5 times. Why? Well I live in SoCal and was staying in a house at the time, so I always had a full charge in the morning. Using this method, which not everyone can due to where they live, I put 20,000+ miles on the vehicle. Had to replace tires once (bought it used from a dealer, think they switched tires before selling it to me) and windshield fluid. That's it, no breakdowns, no maintenance, just worked all the time. While sitting in a fast food drive thru, I was rammed from behind by a gas car whose gas pedal got stuck and totaled the car. So the whole charging thing is overblown if you can charge at night and if you want to take a car vacation or long distance trip rent something for that . Anyone needing 300 miles range daily should not buy electric. Lets be honest, if your driving that distance constantly, there is something wrong with your lifestyle. Oh and yes I still drive electric, I've switched to an electric bike. Takes little longer to get to work, but cost savings is amazing and so fun to ride.

  • Giving more power to the government is never a great idea. That is why America is a better country than all of Europe, despite Europe's better adoption of EVs.

  • 31 minutes? I refuel my car in perhaps 5 minutes. Why must i sit around waiting 30 minutes???? Charge it faster than that, for example in the current 5 minute “refueling time” and ill buy it. Also i dont have any charging where i live

  • there must be a station to replace empty battery to fullcharge battery

  • Meanwhile I'm just sitting here, still trying to figure out how the Pokémon Eevee plays in all this.

  • fule cells.

  • As German, I did not expect to feel that privileged after watching your video. In my opinion, our EV infrastructure is one big failure of politics, for sure. Looking at the situation in the U.S., we really seem to be gifted by any means. We have CCS, we have Autobahn with Superchargers, you can go anywhere without planning. This video made me much more grateful of what we have here!

  • Though the infrastructure is not there, should we ignore hydrofuel vehicles?

  • Time to fully charge an electric vehicle vs. time to fill a fossil fuel vehicle at the pump. There is graffiti on the Tesla Superchargers. 🤮

  • So i just bought my curiositystream and nebula bundle because I wanted to see the nerdy explanation haha

  • Just plug it in you 240V outlet so that it will have the biggest bomb ever

  • “The average American lives 4 minutes from a gas station.” I live less than a minute from a charger. It’s in my garage.

  • This is the main reason I didn't buy an ev even though I wanted too, I commonly have days where I drive 300 miles through the day, and having to stop for an hour to charge is just incredibly unattractive when combustion cars refill in under 2 mins

  • Well done

  • Infrastructure! It’s like this is an ad for why we need the new infrastructure bill to pass.

  • The last question leave me hanging, "why not charging station infrastructures?" The consumer preference has been explained at the start, to sway their taste towards EV. So another obstacel towards EV future need to be adressed too. Is it because of govt lobby? Is this implying the ICE company lobbying is better than the EV company lobbying?

  • Never thought I'd hear about Salina, KS in one of these videos!

  • but but but I thought competition was the most efficient way to go about life

  • BTW Salina is said Sa-Line-A , Kansas.

  • An important part that is being missed is that day to day an ev can just be home charged. This is much more convenient than going to a petrol station.

    • It's also heaps cheaper.....

  • Um you don’t use an inverter to convert to dc you use an inverter to convert to ac from dc. You use a ac-dc converter to dc output. 100kw ac-dc converter is easier to build and cheaper than an inverter for the same power.

  • Was it too hard to properly credit Nikola Tesla for inventing the AC system? Sorry, Thomas Edison was not the guy.

  • So then cannt you just have two batteries and program an algorithm to charge one to 50% and the next to 50% or some other ideal charging pattern algorithm...

  • Until electric cars can be recharged in under 5 minutes, have the same range as ICE cars, have a battery that doesn't degrade at least to the level they do now, and are cheaper with the level of equipment you can get on other cars of the same price point, electric cars are just not realistic This is assuming the electric grid can handle the amount of EVs that are going to be on the road eventually, and ignoring cold climates I would also like to point out that its nice that adding more chargers means you can charge less at a specific place but you then have to stop more, and that time adds up fast

  • There are 2 EV models on sale in the US that are still CHAdeMO - Nissan LEAF & Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, everything else is J1772/ccs OR Tesla (which can use an adapter) Most charging is done at home, most people don't need as much range as they think. Level 2 220v charging is much cheaper & can be installed in most houses. Apartment dwellers should try to get a 110v outlet installed to do some slow charging at night or better yet a 220v charger. See if you can make a deal with your landlord, check your local power company see if they have any incentives. Even if you have to pay for it it's worth it. If you don't want an EV or think you need to travel 600 mi nonstop, keep buying $4 gas.

  • Where does the electric power come from in the first place? Primarily by burning fossil fuels at a power plant. Furthermore, more environmental damage is done by digging for cobalt and the other rare earth stuff that goes into electric cars. So, its less environmentally friendly and more inconvenient.

    • @Brook In the future. Of course. And when that day comes I would be the first to back it. But it won't happen in my lifetime at the pace of current progress.

    • sure! But in the future the electricity will come from somewhere else (solar, turbines, etc.) so in the long run it’s WAYYY more efficient.

  • Totally agree. The main issue is charging. There aren't any level 3 charging stations near where I live. And I live in a condo where there is no ac outlet in my parking spots.

    • extension cables babyyyyy

  • The batteries are fundamentally flawed, just like my iPhone 2 yrs old and holds half the charge it did when new. Also without new battery tech there is no used car market, there is no resale value for used batteries.... this industry is the cart before the horse. We don’t need coal powered cars.

  • Wow. You're talking about the Chevy Bolt, not the Volt. And an inverter converts DC to AC, not AC to DC. That $57k inverter you showed literally does the exact opposite of what is needed in charging a car.... Also, you're ignoring one of the main points here. You don't need DC fast chargers at the same coverage as gas stations, because these cars can charge slowly all night. You just need L2 chargers at houses and throughout cities, which in comparison, is much much less expensive. DC fast charging just needs to exist along interstate highway corridors to let you make road trips, but when these cars are used for typical day to day use, slow L2 charging is just fine. Most people don't out-drive the 200+ mile range most of these EVs have unless it's on a road trip. L2 chargers already pop up at a lot of hotels, municipal parking lots, apartment complexes, etc. As they expand, you can just plug in and charge while the car is parked all night. Easy peasy, no need for expensive DC fast charging, no need to stop anywhere else to fill up.

  • Ev vehicles are not the answer hydrogen is a better option but people just don't understand what it takes to make your batteries and the pollution is no different to oil and gas vehicles .

  • Thanks for video!

  • Charge at home 90% of the time and I will wait a few extra minutes if I am driving four hours away.

  • The other infrastructure of the need to increase Electrical Power Generation to replace the KW per Hour of the current Gasoline engines are not addressed.

  • This was VG - Taught me several things I had never given any thought to. Thank You.

  • Privatize the roads... and super chargers.

  • What happens when you run out of gas? Just get a friend to bring you a 2.5gallon can, and youre good to go. What happens when you run out of charge? Pay for a tow or on the go charge, either way, not cheap.

    • That's why electric cars have a capacity indicator to tell you when you need to charge...

  • 7.8 Billion isnt that bad considering the US military budget is nearing 1 trillion

  • What has power transmission DC/AC to do with charging anything? An inverter converts DC to AC not vice versa. Your description of charging and the price of inverters makes no sense whatsoever.

  • I want a 100% “tank full” in 15 minutes ... on back roads, in remote regions ... everywhere. I want to carry a simple electric jerrycan that can get me out of an emergency.

    • Absolutely right.

  • 10:46 - Not exactly, think about the the first car. There weren't an abundance of "gas stations" when the first car came out, but when cars became a regular commodity - an industry was born. The biggest issues are the 2 things you mentioned: speed to charge and car cost. People who have homes will charge their car in their garage overnight, but even at $36K it's a steep price to buy. Consider the best selling Toyota Camry is only $28K new. People w/out homes do not want to be spending 15-20 minutes at a charging station.

  • The solution to this problem is removable batteries, they should start designing the cars with the ability to swap the battery at a charging station, no need to wait for the batteries to charge, just swap the battery with a charged one in the station, pay and move on like a gas station

  • Other problems with personal electric cars; If your car's battery goes dead out in the sticks you can't bring it gas in a gas can. The more times you recharge the battery the quicker the charge is expended.

    • @Brian OH, almost forgot; no charging stations located anywhere near where I live.

    • So, the Tesla Model S which has covered 400'000kms on it's original battery, in one particular EEclone video must be a fluke then?

  • This is why Nio's battery swapping technology will be a game changer

    • Improving battery technology, increasing range, plus improved charging infrastructure and faster charge times, will all render the concept of battery swapping pointless....

    • The idea is that you would not own the battery. You would lease it. The lessee would own the batteries and be responsible for maintaining them. Batteries, however, are not a static technology. EV batteries of 2010 are now totally obsolete. No one wants a Leaf 24kWh battery or the car it fits. The people who own them may use them until the range drops to unusable. They are otherwise perfectly good cars that could last another 10-20 years.

    • @Ernie Dunbar Exactly. I'm not dropping off my brand new battery at a swap station the first time I need to recharge my new EV, and picking up a used and abused one. If you were always swapping out this could work, and would be a boon since it becomes much easier to rotate batteries out and keep them fresh as they start to degrade. But plenty of EV owners, like myself, charge at home at night, so I could go months without stopping at a fast charger or 'swap station' -- and in that case, I don't want to be stuck with a degraded battery that has seen far more cycles just due to the nature of how it was used.

    • It's worth noting Tesla already tried that and abandoned it, because real owners don't want it.

  • If Apple makes an electric car, then they could afford to build a supercharger network quite easily.

  • What about the power grid limitations, both within feeder lines, and at substations? In other words, what if every neighborhood had 20 eVs instead of 2 eVs, wouldn't that blow most local transformers due to the power rating? Don't we actually need the smart grid before we can have widespread eV adoption?

  • Several problems with this if you live in nice wonderful sunny Southern Califnornia. This retarded state loves their feel good environmental measures. So the geniuses want us to go electric today yesterday. What is the problem? We have rolling brown outs during the summer already. Let's add everyone charging their electric vehicles to that. I hate this state for their retarded laws and measures they keep passing and intend to move out of it.

  • IM DRIVING IC TIL I DIE! Just too damn fun.

  • Ah yes, solve the problem by spending people's tax money to essentially subsidize corporations and rich people who can own EV's. Brilliant solution the EU came up with, why didn't the US think of that? /sarcasm

  • Also F waiting 31 minutes to charge my car when it takes 1 minute to fill my gas tank

    • It only takes me 12 seconds to charge my EV. Six seconds to plug it in, then another six seconds to unplug it in the morning when I get up. I haven't visited a gas station for almost two years.... Oh, and my running costs are now around 70% less than when I used gas..

  • You do realize that the power to charge the EV still comes from mostly gas fired power plants still.

    • not in the UK it doesn't... Even the US gets 47% of it's energy from renewables now. In Europe the figure is 56% from renewables.

  • An inverter is a DC to AC converter... NOT a AC to DC converter.

  • quarter MWatt inverter? Seriously?

  • 14:23 i doubt that 3 miles and 50 km are the same...

  • The irony that now Tesla is dependent on the DC technology of Edison, lol

  • Who are you and what did you do to HAI?

  • “Should the government incentivize EVs...?” You mean should the government coerce private companies to go with the EV bs? If we only had the infrastructure for EVs, we would all be driving EVs while forgoing fossil fuels in the process, right? Wrong. The world has gone mad.

  • 17:40 Private Utilities and Toll Roads have entered the chat

    • Yeah, I had to thumbs down the video, the list of things they think the government runs at the end are mostly privately built and operated, though with varying degrees of regulation. Including natural gas, oil and fuel pipelines, electrical distribution, refineries, etc. Water can go either way, and it’s worth noting it’s often poorly run. Major cities often own the water companies and often have large amounts of leakage across their system, no incentive for them not to. Add on the Volt vs Bolt thing and there’s some real holes here. Government owned charging stations just sounds like a poor idea when private companies are so rapidly rolling it out. If Tesla and others will do it on their own dime, why spend public money?

  • How about people with no garage in their home(apartment for example)? with land becoming more and more expensive, and there is lots of people that can't do home charging, electric cars seems to be less and less hot.

    • Apartments is a real problem, they can try to make a deal with their landlord to at least get a 110 v outlet or maybe a 220 v, which is all you need. My local power company gives incentives, but this is California.

  • EV's currently are like a candle versus a light bulb when compared to petrol cars. They can't do everything that a light bulb can do a thousand times better, but they can do a few things that light bulbs can not. My main complaint about EV's are battery technology and charging however not so much about the infrastructure, with the battery tech now and within the next ten years they can never compete with the efficiency of a petrol motor; as in get-in, drive, arrive. In short the concept is half baked on a sunny California day. In 15-20 years time I imagine every common car will be electric, very few petrol ones will be driven just like the way classic cars are compared to modern cars. They used to be the current technology at the time until a fuel crisis, and 10 years after that EFI was the new standard. History sort of repeats itself, charging and batteries may be the issue today but in 10 years petrol cars needing alternative fuel to run will be the next. EV's are coming soon but certainly not at this moment, so personally I would like to see more flex-fuel and factory E-85 modifications to add onto petrol-only cars. Hybrids are a thing of the past but I would like to see more of those and Hydrogen motors while EV's bake a little longer.

  • There are no 'magic' numbers, and consumer surveys don't reflect the real dynamics of a market. Ask ICE engine owners if they'd like to fuel up at home overnight etc.

  • Does any nation on earth have anywhere near the installed capacity in their electrical grids in order to feed all these mega kilowatt chargers? Then we have the grid transmission capacity to sort too.

    • Yes, the UK has. No problem here.... You make the same assumptions as most who cite the same point do. If we are all driving electric cars, then we won't be buying gas, diesel or oil. So then the huge energy requirements of the oil industry will no longer be there, thus leaving huge spare capacity in the grid to charge electric cars. You got it now?

  • I want to install a dummy electic car charging socket in my Petrol car just so I can park in electric car charging carparks.

  • I don't think I will ever want to buy an EV.

  • The average consumer drives less than 40 miles a day. Therefore, the short-term solution is to produce plug-in hybrids equipped with a 45-50-mile battery. This configuration is relatively quick to recharge, and eliminates range anxiety, particularly when you need to make a long distance trip. It's also way cheaper to produce, and reduces battery availability bottlenecks. Why build on 240-mile range BEV when you can produce 5 plug-in hybrids with the same cells? Apparently many manufacturers haven't figured this out yet. Oh wait, BMW has! Check out its 2021 product line.

  • Beside the slow charge time & super expensive cost of charging station, there is also an issue with the lack of capacity of America electric grid & infrastructure to handle a large amount of EV cars charging the same time. EV car is NOT a good replacement of the current combustion engine vehicle. Things may change once Fuel Cell or SSD battery technology made a breakthrough in the future.

  • Why are 27 independent countries in the EU better able to coordinate and set policy than thee 50 states in the one country that is the USA? US politics is broken, and the first-past-the-post election systems are the biggest source. Too many things in the US is delegated to local governments, so the state and federal government can avoid blame for their failures.

  • I appreciate all the math here, but all this assumes that everyone wakes up every day and drives 600 miles. I’m pretty sure 95% of days, 95%+ of us don’t stray more than 100 miles from home, and return home and plug in and are fully charged the next day. (Btw, I get it, a few of us do just that, and some don’t have access to home charging, so buy a gas car). Which means that the good old Chevy Bolt (my car, btw very cheaply available used or on lease,and a total blast to drive) has plenty of range. I’ve owned mine for 2 years and have used a DC fast charger twice in 21,000 miles of driving. And (as someone smartly mentioned) how much does a gas station cost to install? And whatever that number is it does not account for the externalized cost (environmental degradation, etc). These sort of “too clever” explainers are all over, and don’t mean to be rude, but they all will age poorly over time as we continue to innovate. Like all the “windmills only work when the wind blows and we will Never figure out how to capture and use their energy so let’s keep burning coal..etc etc”.

  • This is great info. Thank you. This is what I’ve been saying all along. We need to standardize the entire charging infrastructure if we are to make this work.

    • It's happening, this video is misleading or old

  • It wasn't Westinghouse it was Nicola Teala behind AC

  • how big is a very large fridge?

  • There is absolutely no way I am buying another gas powered car. By the time that my EV needs a battery replacement, the batter tech will be so superior to gas powered vehicles that there will be literally zero reasons to buy the inefficient gas powered cars ever again. When the average battery pack energy storage gets vehicles 400 miles per charge and a charge from empty to full is 45 minutes or less, gas powered cars will be toast.

  • down here in the boonies it is maybe and hour and a half two hours to a charging station

  • What I see is people park at the charging station for hours and not just until their car is full.

  • I’d like to see an analysis of the impact of multiple home power stations on our power grid. Would the power grid as it exists be able to handle the additional load without brownouts?

    • Less of a problem than you would think, but good idea to get to solar on a few rooftops

  • What about the local power grid? With regular blackouts in California and the weather related failures in Texas how well the grid handle this load?

  • Can someone explain to me if there would be any battery deterioration by constantly charging until 50% (or just partially charging the car) instead of a normal full charge?

    • @rickmd That isn't the only reason. Because electric cars all have regenerative braking, there needs to be some spare capacity in the battery to usefully utilise this, otherwise it's just wasted.....

    • @rickmd thanks bro!

    • Toyota limits the charging of Prius batteries to no more than 80%... A 100% charge stresses their batteries, so the car's automatic system won't allow it. Same with your phone. I have an app on my phone which dings when it reaches 80% or less than 20%. They last far longer then.

  • Not really a fan of comparing time to load certain percentages when the actual range of those cars that were compared are so different.

  • The reason why obesity exists today is because people prefer convenience over quality. Fast food is convenient and cheap but you pay for it down the road in hospital bills. Electric cars are more expensive(for now) but it’s with a reward. It’s better for the environment. It shouldn’t even be an option for us to choose which type of car we want. The government should only allow production of vehicles that limit pollution moving forward. Which would create incentive to perfect the EV all while lowering the cost because the technology will be readily available. But consumerism is our drug of choice.

  • Just like any other revolutionary idea this is going to take time. Gas vehicles weren’t perfected over night. The problem within the US is that companies would rather rival each other than to come up with a uniform standard in the technology of the electric vehicles and customize the body as they do with gas vehicles. There are many different petroleum cars on the market now but everyone has their own preference in aesthetics. They should research the best solution for the charging issue together then set themselves apart with the aesthetic of the body and style of the car.

  • There is a DC charger in Clayton, NM just between Amarillo TX, and Trinidad CO. So the gaps are only ~100 miles

  • I don't care if the get they price down to $5. If it cannot charge in under ten minutes it fundamentally cannot perform the function of a car. Hydrogen is a superior technology in every way.

  • forget 31 minutes. Once EVs are able to charge up as quickly as it would take a CE vehicle, that's when you'll see a real uptake.

  • Even if Lithium-ion battery technology increases in density by a factor of 10 it is nowhere near as energy dense as regular ol petrol. Other than caring for the environment why would a consumer move towards a somewhat inferior product?

  • INCREDIBLY inept of you to refer to the Chevy BOLT as the Chevy VOLT. The Volt was a hybrid car that has been discontinued, the Bolt is a pure EV.

  • Elon M need to drop to 26k so more people buy it hence it will justify rapid investment in infrastructure combined with some government credit incentives to individuals not corporate so they can apply to 26k less 6k credit, we need to move fast before bidu sends Chinese cheaper cars

  • Use in cold temperatures will lead to about 20-30% drop in range and continually recharging batteries will degrade the batteries range over time, times charged, by about 30-50%. Charging very quickly also degrades battery life. But I have to agree the very poor charging network is the major issue for most owner.

    • It doesn't seem to worry the huge number of people who drive electric cars in Norway, a country not known for a tropical climate. Around 50% of the population drive EV's there... I take it you were not aware most EV's have air source heat pumps and battery heating?

  • Nicola Tesla's method pulled electricity from the air but that would mean free of it's NOT that a system doesn't's that the OVERLORDS LOOSE CONTROL.

  • in europe when u find a charger they are often out of order (tesla or others)

  • even enough charging station will fully make it doesnt solve the problem because the car company except Tesla cant able to make more ev car because they prefer to sell ICE vehicles and making ev and sell for it makes them loss profit each car they make.

  • Oy! It's a rectifier not an inverter. (A FULL BRIDGE RECTIFIER)

  • I envisioned a similar report from 1900 comparing the horse powered vehicles with the new gasoline powered ones. Steam was already being phased out and 1900 battery electric cars were peaking out as well. So, gasoline supplies were limited vs a horse can feed on any field. The horse worked year round as long as the wagon trailering behind was operational. Road conditions, trails or paths in actuality, favored hoofs over the solid rubber wheels as to traction. Horses were cheaper to own and to replace, were quieter that gas engines, and could pull heavier loads. Gas cars were toys for the rich! Sounding familiar as to the argument of this presentation? As to price vs range, after 7 years of driving a 70 mile range Leaf electric car w/o issues, for me it’s been ideal due to traffic and roads with signals every 1/2 to 1 mile, and where I need to go being within 20 miles. I purchased the Leaf used, low miles, top trim level, for about 1/3 of MSRP. Others driving either a 35 mile or 50 mile range Chevy Volt PHEV have logged over 80% yearly electric miles. On he opposite side of the aisle, people buy large, heavy, 15 mpg pickup trucks for moving people, no cargo. Talk about expensive transportation! The US market, until Tesla, had limited to zero options as to buying or leasing an electric vehicle on purpose! After all, a large portion of the economy centers on vehicles that burn fossil fuels and EVs are a threat. Thanks