In recent years, the world has witnessed an explosion in EV sales. However, market actors such as car manufacturers, road infrastructure authorities and fleet owners still face numerous obstacles that prevent further transition towards fully electric transport. Most of these obstacles arise from the lack of sufficient charging infrastructure.
Let's take a look at the current issues facing the market and what we can do to solve them.
Obstacles facing the EV market
Many car owners are still reluctant to switch over to EVs. A major reason for this hesitancy is the lack of charging infrastructure around the world. The high initial cost of electric vehicles is also a significant barrier. Meanwhile, additional issues include low driving range, excessive energy consumption on highways and competitive weakness compared to ICE vehicles.
Outside the private sector, the lack of fast charging for heavy electrical vehicles, such as electric trucks, is a problem for fleet owners and logistical and transportation companies. Long charging times reduce an electric truck's performance index, since the truck can't be used while charging. This loss of time equals a loss of money for companies. Meanwhile, ICE trucks can be driven to the nearest petrol station to refuel – minimising the need for downtime.
Why companies are hesitant to switch to EVs
But there are plenty of benefits for companies who switch to electric vehicles. While EV trucks are still more expensive than their ICE counterparts, replacing a fleet of trucks with EVs would – apart from reducing fuel expenses – help with the increasing tax pressure imposed on ICE vehicles by regulators. Transitioning to electric vehicles also has a positive environmental impact, and can help companies to meet their sustainability targets and the expectations of customers.
Car-sharing services have already started adding EVs to their fleets. However, they face similar operational obstacles as truck companies – time-consuming charging sessions result in financial loss for these businesses. Car-sharing is a logistically tricky service in another sense – drivers might park their EVs at points that aren't equipped with charging stations. Establishing dedicated areas for drivers to leave rented EVs would significantly hinder mobility, and as consequence, could result in users abandoning the service. On the whole, the advantages of switching to EVs from ICEVs, such as tax benefits and cheaper costs, are negated by the inconvenience and unsuitability of the current charging infrastructure.
The challenge for city authorities
The electrification of motor transport also poses a challenge to the city authorities. They need to promote the use of EVs, while also solving problems caused by a lack of charging infrastructure. As a result, they're under pressure from both society and eco-activists, as well as car manufacturers. However, the limited capacity of existing power grids, lengthy approval times and a lack of charging stations mean that city authorities are unable to solve these problems at the moment. Plus, road assistance services are currently unable to deal with EVs properly – the only solution they can offer drivers is to evacuate them from their vehicles.
Today, even EV charging infrastructure developers are facing problems. Infrastructure developers have to stay in sync with constantly changing requirements and the standards imposed by governments. Meanwhile, users' ever-growing demands are no less important. They also want to charge vehicles in a cheaper, more environmentally friendly and simpler way.
The impact of EV popularity
What was once the problem of a single niche market has now grown to impact multiple industries, sectors and markets. For example, roadside cafes are now losing potential customers – EV drivers, the number of which is growing every year. Drivers no longer want to stop at a cafe unless they can charge their EVs at the same time. Another obvious casualty is the oil and gas industry. After all, the number of EVs is rapidly growing, while the number of ICEVs is dropping – reducing the demand for gasoline and diesel.
We're likely to see car manufacturers abandoning the production of ICE cars in the near future. This will ultimately result in a decline in earnings for oil and gas companies from unsold fuel. Eco-activists will intensify their criticism and oil and gas companies will become increasingly unpopular.
What are the solutions?
However complicated the situation seems to be, it appears the best solution is the simplest one – using our existing technologies and available energy resources. L-Charge is an off-grid modular solution that is multifuel-enabled to function as an autonomous mini-power plant. Unlike regular on-street chargers, our fixed chargers don’t need a grid connection – they produce electricity via a generator installed onboard. The charging units use LNG/ hydrogen, or a mixture of both, and only require replenishing once a week.
L-Charge mobile charging stations
We offer our charging stations in three formats – fixed, mobile and floating. Our charging stations can be installed independently of the power grid, which significantly expands the range and choice of locations. Installation takes just one day and stations don't require any operator maintenance. Apart from that, L-Charge's EV charging stations can withstand the insufficient capacity of power grids, allowing you to choose the required charge power of up to 2000 kW/ hour.
By eliminating most of the problems of EV owners, L-Charge is helping to steer the journey to an electric future. For example, we offer EV charging at a lower cost, which helps to balance the high cost of the vehicles. We can also act as a partner in creating charging infrastructure for vehicles of a particular brand.
Our mobile charging stations will also make the driving range of EVs a much less important factor. With mobile stations, you can recharge quickly and anywhere. Plus, permanent charging stations can be installed along any point of a route, apart from power grids. We aim to deliver ultra-versatile solutions – the capacity of our charging stations' is enough for even heavy vehicles, including electric trucks. Ultimately, we believe our solutions will give EVs a competitive advantage, by making them a much more attractive investment.
Supporting fleet owners
L-Charge solutions are ideal for fleet owners and car-sharing services. With a permanent charging station, you can simultaneously charge several vehicles. Plus, the high cost of EV trucks is counteracted by our lower charging costs – charging at an L-Charge mobile station is significantly cheaper than refuelling. Creating electric charging hubs/infrastructure based on our solutions would also create timesaving benefits for logistical and transportation companies, allowing them to optimise their operations and boost their profits. Meanwhile, our mobile charging devices are also ideal for charging car-sharing EVs at night when demand for both the car-sharing service and our charging is lower.
L-Charge and road infrastructure
At L-Charge, we aim to improve road infrastructure for the EV market in a number of ways. Our permanent charging stations can be installed next to roadside cafes within a short amount of time – enabling businesses to attract more potential clients. Plus, by installing a permanent charging station, roadside businesses will also be able to use the generated energy for their own purposes.
For fuel stations, installing our charging stations is a great way to expand their range of services, operate more sustainably and win the business of EV drivers. The multi-fuel capacity of our charging stations also allows for both ordinary LNG, the basic product of gas suppliers, and also bio LNG, which is rapidly gaining popularity. Eventually, by using L-Charge solutions, oil and gas companies will be able to transition to the "green" agenda and generate more positive PR.
At L-Charge, our mission is to accelerate the transition to an electric future with simple, effective solutions. By solving the problems faced by private EV owners and businesses, we're making EVs more attractive and accessible. It's as simple as that!