CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Following a trail blazed by Indians and pioneers in covered wagons, electric car drivers hit the road Friday to inaugurate the first major section of a West Coast "Electric Highway" dotted with stations where they can charge up in 20 minutes.
The stretch of 160 miles of Interstate 5 served by eight stations marks the next big step in developing an infrastructure that until now has been limited primarily to chargers in homes and workplaces.
This is an interesting example of how a little government investment can drive a big change in the free market.
There are three major barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
1) Lack of charging infrastructure
2) Charge-to-drive time ratio
3) Short range
This gets around issues (1) and (2). The frequency of the stations will reduce "stranding anxiety." Even if you miss one, you can hit the next one (usually). Also, the charge time is decreased at the higher voltage. 20 minutes per hour or so of freeway driving time.
That's still not even remotely competitive with my '10 Prius, which takes about ten minutes of fueling for every 8-10 hours of freeway driving time. But issues (2) and (3) will change with better technology (which is inevitable). Eventually, it will be more like ten minutes of charge per 2-3 hours of driving, and that is not so bad for most people who only rarely drive more than 90 minutes at a stretch.
When the price of fuel is so high and the price of electricity is so low, I think a large portion --even the majority of the driving public-- will start to embrace electric cars.
What do you think?
[Edited 2012-03-18 18:43:45]