Monday, August 14, 2017

E-vehicle sales surging, charging stations not keeping pace

With more than 10,000 plug-ins on the road in New Jersey, sales grew by 79 percent over prior year
electric vehicle charging station

Tom Johnson reports
for NJ Spotlight:


It might be a tad unnerving trying to find a charging station at times, but that hasn’t prevented over 10,000 drivers in New Jersey from buying electric vehicles.
Even with fewer than a thousand public charging stations in the state, the sale of electric plug-in vehicles is growing rapidly, according to an analysis by ChargEVC, a coalition supporting the growth of the market for electric vehicles.
Consider the numbers: Sales of model year 2016 electric vehicles grew by 79 percent over the prior year in New Jersey. Sixty percent of those 10,000 cars were sold in the past two years, the coalition analysis found.
“Interest in these cars is growing,’’ said Pam Frank, CEO of ChargEVC. “We expect this trend will continue as more affordable vehicles with longer range become available in the next 24-36 months.’’

Surprising trend

The trend is surprising given the frustration vented by clean-energy advocates over what they view as the state’s lackluster efforts to build the infrastructure for electric vehicles. By most accounts, the number of charging stations in New Jersey is in the hundreds.
“There’s a lot more that we could have done in New Jersey over the last seven years,’’ lamented Chuck Feinberg, president of the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, an organization that promotes the use of alternative-fueled vehicles.
The transformation of the transportation sector, the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions, is widely seen as crucial to New Jersey’s efforts to improve its air quality and curb climate-warming pollution. At a legislative hearing last week on climate change, several speakers addressed the need to accelerate the use of electric vehicles.
Compared to neighboring states, New Jersey offers fewer incentives to build the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, a step that can ease range anxiety of motorists fearful their car will run out of power before they can charge the battery.

‘Out of juice’

“We need to catalyze EVs by building out an infrastructure so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice when you are out on the road,’’ said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

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