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European Union wants a much larger electric vehicle infrastructure

With fuel prices in Europe considerably higher than prices in the U.S., the European Union has big plans to help push drivers to electric vehicles and that plan includes adding a huge number of new electric vehicle charging stations.

The European Union wants to add half a million EV charging stations by 2020. If successful, the plan would make electric vehicle charging stations nearly as common as gas stations within the EU.

”We can finally stop the chicken and the egg discussion on whether infrastructure needs to be there before the large scale roll out of electric vehicles. With our proposed binding targets for charging points using a common plug, electric vehicles are set to hit the road in Europe,” said Action Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate.

Tesla Model S

Some of the most ambitious plans in the EU come from Germany, France, Spain, and Britain. Each of those nations has a goal of having more than 7 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020.
However, the European Union has a long way to go to reach its goal. Electric vehicles aren't exactly rolling off dealer lots at a rapid pace. During 2011, German drivers purchased 1,858 electric vehicles, 1,796 were purchased in France, 1,547 found homes in Norway, and 1,170 were purchased in Britain. Those numbers make EVs only a small fraction of the vehicles on the roads today.
The huge number of EV charging stations is a significant part of the plan to get drivers into electric vehicles, but the charging stations are not the entire plan. The Clean Power for Transport Package is an €8 billion plan that also includes standard for developing hydrogen, biofuels, and other natural gas networks.

Source: NYT

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RE: Thanks God
By Mint on 1/30/2013 2:20:13 PM , Rating: 0
but the strain on electric grids and capacity
EVs will overwhelmingly charge at night, when electricity use is low anyway. Capacity and grid needs will therefore barely change at all.

In fact, generation becomes more efficient (and thus cheaper) per kWh with a more even load. It's the opposite of solar/wind, where intermittence makes fossil fuel generation (used to fill the gaps) less efficient.
A few EVs recharging here and there is no big deal - drop, say, 10 EVs per charging station, which works out to 5 million cars, and you're probably looking at a sort of armageddon from the standpoint of electrical generation and distribution.
Based on what? Your gut feeling?

12k miles a year * 5M cars / 4miles/kWh = 15TWh. That's less than 4% of the UK's annual electricity consumption. They could increase production by 10%+ without any capacity increase if customers used more electricity at night.

perhaps by the time we have smart grids we'll have secured a perpetual diesel supply anyway
We've been told cheap biodiesel is around the corner for ages. As it is, it needs oils from food crops like soybeeans, so that's not a great solution.

Perhaps most importantly, biodiesel does nothing about air pollution. Not only is coal-based electricity generated away from major population areas, but it's getting replaced by cheap natural gas (which burns far cleaner), and nuclear is a long term option also.

RE: Thanks God
By maugrimtr on 1/31/2013 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear energy needs to get more attention. People are so afraid of 1950s era technology that they forget to use their 21st century smartphone with lithium battery technology to find out what a safer, minimal waste nuclear plant might use...

Environmentalists risk becoming Luddites if they continue to think that all future energy capacity can be derived from intermittent renewable sources. We need a blended approach. The only approach that should be off limits is burning stuff. Burning coal is the filthiest means of generating electricity known to mankind - it's even filthier than nuclear because it poisons the atmosphere without first requiring the unlikely event of a catastrophic meltdown or tsunami.

RE: Thanks God
By Mint on 1/31/2013 12:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
I want nuclear to succeed, but its going to be really tough for it to compete initially with the cheap gas we're getting from fracking.

At $4 per thousand cubic feet, we're looking at a fuel cost of just $0.024/kWh for a modern 60% efficient CCGT plant. It used to be 2-4x that much. Suddenly the fuel cost advantage of nuclear has been drastically cut. It'll take some really low cost plants to be worth the up front capital and risk.

RE: Thanks God
By Mint on 1/31/2013 12:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm rather curious what people voted me down for...

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