The US EV charging network is not ready for family road trips, not to mention the expected wave of new cars.

The US EV charging network is not ready for family road trips, not to mention the expected wave of new cars.

Most of us plan to drive EVs in the next 20 years, whether you want to be environmentally friendly or not. Automakers are spending billions of dollars on factory and fleet modifications to become almost or all electric vehicles in the next 10 to 15 years. The plan has been fully approved by President Joe Biden, who hopes to turn half of all US car sales into electric cars by 2030. Considering the market including plug-in hybrids, the target is currently around 3%.

One of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is the American charging network. According to the Ministry of Energy, there are approximately 136,400 gas stations in the United States, but only 43,800 EV charging stations. Also, it takes about 10 minutes to fill a car with a gas tank, but it takes about 45 minutes to fully charge an EV, and in some cases longer.

Biden has promised to build 500,000 charging stations nationwide by 2030 as part of its $ 2 trillion infrastructure program, but we’re still far from it.

So producer Harriet Taylor and I decided to test California’s charging infrastructure on an eight-hour road trip from Southern California to San Francisco. California accounted for 9% of EV sales in the first quarter and has the largest charging network in the United States, so it makes sense to start there.

In particular, I wanted to test something other than Tesla, which has the world’s largest charging network with 25,000 global charging stations. You’ll need an adapter to use it, but the benefits and wide availability of Tesla’s charging network are generally well known.

Charge on the street with any car brand other It’s something you don’t hear much more than Tesla.

As a “car man,” I admit that I had many questions about charging, new terms, speed, potential costs, and more.

Volvo has borrowed from Enterprise the new Polestar 2, which has recently entered the electric vehicle market. Most EVs range from 100 to 300 miles on a single full charge. Polestar’s range was advertised at 265 miles, but it can vary depending on conditions such as cold weather, hill climbs, and AC usage.

I was driving the Polestar 2 in a simple test a few months ago, so I was used to it enough to feel comfortable on a long drive.

On Tuesday night, at around 5 pm at 105 degrees, I drove about 60 miles from Enterprise to the first stop on the Mountain Pass, California, and about 15 miles from the “High Desert” border with Nevada.

I had to remove the metal cover from the mine’s power outlet, but I plugged it in and started when it reached 100%.

The first two takes just a few miles later: one is prone to anxiety (turned off) by staring at the huge “charge rate” screen, two when learning how to navigate I had to download a lot of apps. A new “range world”.

Our line of trust is now PlugShare. This is regardless of the owner of the charging station, where the charging station is, on which network, how long it took to charge, whether it is currently available, and preferably what you are doing with the photo. Indicates. I will re-enter.

PlugShare has become a favorite because it is brand agnostic and customers leave reviews of their experiences. These reviews were valuable because many chargers weren’t as fast as advertised, some didn’t work, or were in strange places.

Polestar also has a Google Maps integration that displays the charging stations along the route and the estimated charge rate on arrival. The charge prediction turned out to be very accurate, but Google believes that filtering by charger type can improve the experience (Tesla pops up stations everywhere, so) I was envious).

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