Why EV Charging Standards Must Converge Now

One of the several reasons EVs have not taken off yet is that there are several standards for fast charging. This makes it appear as though there are more chargers available to you than there actually are in reality.

Chademo, CCS, Type 2, Supercharging, AC and DC systems. This is not good for EV mass adoption. Manufacturers need to come up with one standard to move forward with as soon as possible. My preference would be type 2, since that can connect to all residential wall chargers that I’m aware of, as well as being the same size as the Tesla connector. This would help to bring in charger sharing if Tesla eventually decide to open up their system by charging non-tesla drivers to charge up. Type 2 is also the most elegant and simple design in my opinion. Some Chademo connectors look pretty complicated to plug in properly. Even small things like that will be off-putting to some.

We don’t have a situation where BP petrol nozzles are one shape and Shell nozzles another, meaning we’d have to go to a specific station in order to fill up. That would be ridiculous, and this situation we have with EV charging is just as ridiculous in my view. The EV world needs to present a united front in this area, and drivers of EVs also have to put pressure on manufacturers to prevent this madness from continuing for years and years to come.

Having one charging standard wouldn’t immediately increase EV sales 10 fold. It will take several more years to fully solve the range anxiety and elevated purchase price elements to EV ownership. But having one single connector would be a huge step in the right direction.

Because right now, EV manufacturers don’t need to be shooting themselves in the foot like this.

Every Month is a Temperature Record

After the astonishing graph we saw regarding February’s hottest ever month, and the subsequent record breaking March, I thought this run of records surely must end in April, but that hasn’t been the case.

Will this turn into a global panic situation in the next few months? Or will things just continue as they are even with routine record setting? Unfortunately, I know where my money would be going if I were a betting man.

People keep talking about immediate action, but what does immediate action actually mean? Not many people outside of climate activists seem to be open to the idea that immediately means today.

So many of us have the power to make real change in our own lives, and collectively we can force action. Not by parading onto coal mines and blocking large machines. That’s not going to get anything done except piss people off. People who are being inconvenienced are less likely to be sympathetic to the cause.

What does actually create change is for everyone to show an interest. Talk about it with people: your family, your friends, your colleagues. Many of them may not have even considered climate change before. They may realise they have an opinion on the issue that they never thought about before.

Talking is good, as long as you’re not excessively preaching to people who don’t want to be preached to. But actions are better. If everyone worldwide who could afford to get solar panels on their home did so, I can only imagine that it would be an astronomical leap forward in total renewable energy capacity, and it would help to bring down the cost of solar at the same time.

If you can afford solar, or even if you can afford a green energy plan with a company like Ecotricity for example, then you can make a difference right now, today.

Is Buying an Electric Car a No-brainer yet?

The answer to this depends on various aspects. If you have the money for a Tesla it is an obvious choice regardless of whether or not you care about doing something to help the environment.

If you don’t have the money for a Tesla but can stretch to afford a Nissan Leaf or similar priced car, and you do enough miles to make up for the monthly battery rental, then it is probably a no-brainer for you as well. Regardless of how much eco-guilt you feel when driving a petrol or diesel car around. As long as you don’t need to do very frequent long trips.

If you can stretch to afford a Nissan Leaf / Renault Zoe type car and you do low mileage that would amount to significantly more in battery rental per month than your current petrol expenditure, then you, like me are an eco-nut. But in your mind it will probably be a no brainer as well.

If you can’t afford a Tesla, need to do frequent long journeys and have no patience to wait around while rapid charging, I would suggest a BMW i3 REX if you can afford it. If not, maybe some other high EV range plug-in-hybrid like a Chevy Volt, if we get that in the UK.

If you can’t stretch to a Renault Zoe with battery rental and you don’t care about the environment, then it’ll be a bit of a wait. Maybe by 2022 you’ll be able to buy an EV and run it with no battery rental at a cost lower than any petrol or diesel car. It may happen before then, it may take a little longer, but I would say around 5-6 years is a pretty good bet.

National Climate Pledges

These so called pledges clearly mean absolutely nothing since we know we need to cut carbon emissions by probably 50% by 2030, rather than the 25-30% everyone seems to be partial to. The entire point of the climate summit is to keep below 2 degrees c. So if they aren’t willing to increase their pledges dramatically, we might as well save the co2 and not hold the conference at all.