Cultures

Electric car charging stations will outnumber gas stations in UK

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Electric car at a charging station on the Glockengieserwall street near the Hamburg Kunsthalle

d13 / Shutterstock.com

A new sign of the times moving toward much greener technology is evident in the UK, where gas stations will soon be outnumbered by electric car charging stations. By the year 2020 this shift is expected to fully take place, according to a new report from Nissan. This should come as no surprise to the UK government, which found 115 new electric car registrations daily in the first quarter of 2016. As sales of the vehicles skyrocket, charging stations are going up in proportion to the anticipated need. Nissan’s report estimates that traditional gas stations will lower in number to less than 7,900 (down from 1970s number of 37,539), while electric vehicle charging stations will increase to 7,900 by that date.

Green transitions

The increase in some of the charging stations can be attributed to a company called “Ecotricity,” an energy provider which single-handedly put nearly 300 free rapid charging stations along the most popular UK highways—ultimately providing millions of miles of free travel in recent years. Although these stations have been provided free of charge, recent changes announced by the company with the goal of maintaining and growing the company, resulted in new charges of $7 per twenty minutes of electricity.

According to American energy provider ChargePoint, North America currently has a total of 29,983 charging spots (including private, commercial and express), with 495,307 electric vehicles in use between the U.S. and Canada. You can find a spot near you using their handy map here.

More cars and amenities

Of course, matching this spread of charging stations are various analyst predictions of an upturn in electric car sales worldwide. As electric car batteries improve and advance, increasing their currently limited range, more drivers will be drawn to their efficiency. The environmental concerns of carbon emissions and air pollution and their resulting health problems could plummet. Some believe that eventually electric cars will become more economical to own than traditional cars. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has predicted that “EVs will be cheaper than conventional cars on a total cost of ownership basis by 2022.”

Salim Morsy, senior analyst at BNEF,  said: “In the next few years, the cost-of-ownership advantage will continue to lie with conventional cars, and we therefore don’t expect EVs to exceed 5% of sales in most markets—except where subsidies make up the difference. However, that cost comparison is set to change radically in the 2020s.” Alongside this prediction are developing plans and possible collaborations among businesses and entrepreneurs to create car charging stations with coffee shops or fitness facilities attached. The possibilities are almost endless for electric vehicles and their futuristic accommodations.

Kristen lives in the Michiana area, where she enjoys lake-effect weather, apple orchards and occasional South Shore rides into Chicago. She can probably tell you more about apple cider vinegar than you'd ever want to know. You can reach her at: http://lakesedge.wix.com/lakesidewriting