How Cities Can Make It Easier To Adapt To Electric Cars

They’re already doing it, but not fast enough. If cities want their citizens to adapt to driving electric cars, they will have to provide a lot of charging stations around town. That may sound like a daunting task, but is it really that hard?

There are many cities around the United States that are already starting to adapt electric charging stations for cars. This is a good thing. But here’s the deal: If cities really want electric cars to be adapted to around the city, it needs reliable charging stations, both in on-street parking and in parking garages. What would be even better is to develop a wireless charging method for that, but we’re probably still a ways off from implementing anything like that.

Let’s look at it this way. Let’s pretend that gasoline cars had just been invented, and there weren’t many gas stations built. Would people be adapting to gasoline cars? Probably not. I mean, if you can’t provide the fuel needed to power the cars, they won’t run, they’ll run out of gas. Now take that concept and apply it to electric cars. If people want to buy electric cars, and there’s little to no charging stations anywhere nearby, would people adapt to them in the masses? Probably not.

Electric cars have the flexibility of charging over gasoline cars because they could charge wherever a power source to plug in exists, including their own home. One way cities can adjust is add charging stations next to street meters, or simply on the side of the road where it’s legal to park. This already exists in other areas around the world and in some areas of the US. But what if every street block that already has street parking added electric charging stations? Some cities could add them for free, while others can incorporate the price to park on the street with electricity consumption. The same would hold true for parking garages. People who park in parking garages would be able to plug their cars in, and have the charge of electricity consumption incorporated into the price of parking her hour or day.

That all sounds great right, having everyone start driving electric cars, right? Of course, there’s not enough competition yet for it to go mainstream. Every year that gets closer as more and more car manufacturers announce their own versions of electric cars, so the day it coming very quickly that electric cars will be mainstream. And until it goes mainstream, it makes it difficult for cities to justify the costs of installing electric car stations.

There’s another argument to this, which is, how much will it save on the environment? It would certainly vastly reduce emissions inside the city. But where does all that power come from to charge the electric cars? Ah yes – still from fossil fuels, nuclear, etc for the most part. So in reality, are we really saving on emissions? Yes and no. Yes in terms of emissions inside the city, but no because emissions still burn with oil and coal power plants in a different location. Now I’m not against oil and coal power plants, but that’s a whole different story. In short, they need to adapt technology that ventilates the burning process and turn it into more clean air. However I still believe that we should be diversifying our power sources and investing more into green energy.

So how can cities change this? Some cities can’t do very much because they have absolutely no room at all to build anything, let alone green power. But other cities do have land available within their city limits or in nearby suburbs to built out green power projects such as solar farms and wind turbines. Now of course there are several other green power energy sources, but that would be a great start to not only reduce our emissions generated within urban areas, and to use the energy for charging electric cars to come from green power as well.

Going back into the cities, there’s one more idea that I personally would like to see happen. We are probably decades away from this kind of implementation, but it would be really awesome if urban streets were slightly modified to include electric lines running on the pavement, in a similar way electric trains have overhead wires to power the trains. These lines would not be in the way of other cars and cars could easily pass over them without feeling any bumps. Using this kind of method to power electric cars with little to no use of the battery within the city would be an amazing feat accomplished. And it would be an incredible bonus if it could be done wirelessly, but that may never happen or at least for a long time.

There’s no doubt that electric cars are part of the transportation of tomorrow we will all be using eventually. Here’s two reasons why I’m excited about it. It would reduce noise pollution quite a bit. Also, it would also reduce emissions so you can breathe clean air in the city. There’s definitely something to be said for that. Let me pick on my current home city of Cincinnati. On an average weekday during the noon hour, the city can get pretty loud, as with all other cities (again, just using Cincinnati as an example, not as in the city is unique to this problem). The smell of cars going by and larger vehicles such as buses make it hard to hear. And I personally would rather not breathe in the air from the gas burned by those vehicles either. I would like to enjoy cities like Cincinnati and have conversations with other people without having to shout all the time. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person that feels that way either.

So I believe it’s time to get going and build out electric charging stations. It will help people to adapt to buying and operating electric cars and begin the long lengthy transition process of replacing gasoline powered cars with electric cars. The future looks bright, and it can’t come soon enough.

Brian Cole

I'm Brian and I'm the founder of TransportationOfTomorrow.com. I have a strong passion for fixing America's transportation infrastructure problem and traffic flow issues. I ultimately want to see the American economy grow as far as it will go, create massive amounts of jobs, and in that way help the quality of how people live.

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