The number of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) available with plugs will expand greatly in the coming years, and the model mix will change in the process. Today, there are mostly pure electric vehicles with ranges from 60 to 85 miles, and smaller plug-in hybrids with electric ranges of 11 to 45 miles but this is changing very quickly.
In the near future, there will be greater variety of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles including SUVs, crossovers, large luxury sedans, longer range plug-in hybrids like the Volt, and more pure electric cars with longer ranges.
In the the next year or two, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Volvo, and Tesla will be launching new plug-in SUVs and crossovers that allow more families to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric. New plug-in hybrid owners and their families will be extending the need for charging stations well beyond their local retailer, work place and parking lot. These families will need charging stations at their daily and weekend destinations. As these electrified SUVs and crossovers gain in popularity, the demand for charging stations will increase at locations such as soccer fields, baseball fields, beaches, ski resorts, campgrounds, museums, and other destinations that attract families.
It’s a fact that plug-in hybrid drivers tend to use public charging stations more often than all-electric drivers. Why? Because plug-in hybrid drivers (and their shorter ranges) want to charge their vehicles more often. Although they don’t need to charge their vehicles, they want to charge their vehicles because they want to fully utilize their PHEV electric mode capabilities. While PHEVs have a backup gas motor, these drivers bought a vehicle with an electrified drivetrain for many of the same reasons pure EV drivers bought their cars…to drive on electricity as much as possible. I know, as a Volt driver, I always feel a twinge of disappointment when I hear the gasoline engine kick in. Some have dubbed this uncomfortable phenomenon as “gasoline anxiety.”
PHEV drivers like to charge wherever they go, and they like to go where they can charge. With a much wider variety of electric-powered vehicles arriving, we will see a wider variety of destinations that need charging stations.