Biden EV Goals Depend on “Troubled” Business Model for Fast Charging

(p. A13) President Biden’s EV ambitions will hinge in large part on the availability of public places to plug in and repower cars reliably, a network that largely doesn’t exist. Building it won’t be easy.

While the government is (p. A2) pouring billions of dollars into developing a national highway charging network, many companies aren’t sure how they will make money off the nascent business. Fast charging requires expensive utility infrastructure and projects often encounter supply chain hang ups and long wait times to connect to the grid.

. . .

The business model for fast charging has been troubled because there aren’t enough EVs in most places yet for charging to turn a profit. Yet EV advocates say many drivers will only be comfortable purchasing vehicles if rapid charging is widely available.

Utility companies and gas stations have been arguing across several states about who will own and operate EV chargers. The expensive utility bills that can result from delivering quick jolts of power have been a particular point of contention. Meanwhile, the young companies that provide charging gear and services have struggled with equipment on the fritz, vandalism and driver payment systems, a frequent source of failure.

For the full story, see:

Jennifer Hiller. “Fast Electric-Vehicle Chargers Get Boost, But Hurdles Lurk.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, April 14, 2023): A1-A2.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated April 13, 2023, and has the title “Fast EV Chargers to Nearly Double on U.S. Highways Under Expansion Plan.” In the first paragraph quoted above, the online version has “Mr. Biden’s” instead of “President Biden’s.”)

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