A new report from The Detroit Free Press shines a light on a growing problem with regard to promoting EV adoption: EV charging locations that are in dimly lit and sometimes dangerous areas.
The newspaper spoke to several industry experts who agreed that the location of many EV chargers, which are often in deserted parking lots, behind businesses or tucked in a corner somewhere, could pose a danger to motorists who need to charge up late at night. Moreover, consumers may be put off by the prospect of ever owning an EV if they believe they could become stranded at one of these less-than-desirable charging locations.
Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Beam Global, a company that manufactures portable solar chargers, told The Detroit Free Press that many chargers are often tucked toward the back of parking lots as most companies want to place them as close as possible to the building’s power source to reduce installation costs. He says that while early adopters put up with this practice, “mass consumers will not.”
The article also references General Motors’ recent announcement to install 40,000 EV chargers in the United States and Canada, saying the automaker has an opportunity to make a “major impact,” with these chargers by bucking the trend and building them in well-lit, easy-to-access locations with nearby amenities like restaurants, coffee shops and bathrooms. The automaker said previously these chargers would be built in “key locations,” such as GM dealerships, as well as “workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, sports and entertainment venues and college and universities, among others.”
“These two initiatives are part of our plan to put everyone in an EV, making access to charging even more seamless than before,” GM President Mark Reuss said in October. “We want to give customers the right tools and access to charging where and when they need it, while working with our dealer network to accelerate the expansion of accessible charging throughout the U.S. and Canada, including in underserved, rural and urban areas.”
GM will begin installing its first chargers in the U.S. and Canada early next year.