This is a story about how charging stations for electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, both in the United States and in Europe. But there’s something strange about them: they’re not really necessary! In fact, I would argue that they’re making things worse by encouraging us to use fossil fuels when we could be saving money on electricity instead. Let me explain…
“Unplug, unplugged” is the motto of the guys behind Depop and Pterodactyl . It’s a crazy idea. “Lithium batteries care about discharging too much”, they say. That’s why motorcycles should be plugged in to the mains whenever they are parked in cities and municipalities. And it’s also why electric motorcycle charging stations should be installed in public spaces like train stations, airports and shopping centres, on high floors where they can be reached.
The Depop and Pterodactyl team are a group of designers, engineers and entrepreneurs who have created an innovative solution for electric vehicles: plug-in vehicles are not fully charged when they are parked. This means that batteries will lose their charge over time if left idle in a public space. Plugging in your motorcycle at home or work will save you money and help keep your bike running longer without having to charge it every few days.
“It’s like plugging into an electrical socket”, says Philip Rogerson (Depop), “the same way we plug our phones into the wall”. It’s an idea that has been proven effective in other contexts like cars and trains, so why not motorcycles too? We asked Rogerson if he thought there was any possibility of installing charging stations for bikes at airports or train stations around the world—he said yes!
The idea suddenly got traction thanks to recent studies on battery degradation which suggests that lithium batteries are more vulnerable when they are used under load than they would be if they were left dormant. Hence, it seems natural to think that a powerful charge should be given every time a battery is used; this way it will last longer.
Charging your battery as often as possible is a good idea.
Charging stations are great! They should be installed in public places like malls and airports, so you can easily charge up while running errands or traveling. These charging stations should also be on high floors of buildings so they are isolated from one another, preventing any interference with electronics (and also making them less accessible to thieves).
These arguments have led to the installation of hundreds of charging stations all over the world. The American and Chinese governments have earmarked billions of US dollars for supporting this industry. In Europe, there are 618 public charging stations for plug-in vehicles . In Italy there are currently 66 publicly accessible charging points . The main problem with these installations is that they are generally isolated from one another, requiring users with electric cars or EVs to leave their vehicle and use the building’s electricity supply permanently. A sort of “power for hire” without economic advantage at taxpayers’ expense, except for those who build them and remain rentiers of a new infrastructure based on fossil fuels and electricity generation from carbon dioxide (CO2
Electric vehicles are on the rise in Europe, with Germany being one of the largest markets for e-mobility. There are currently 618 public charging stations in Europe and 66 publicly accessible charging points in Italy alone. However, this is only a small fraction of what’s needed to support a growing population of electric vehicles (EV).
The main problem with these installations is that they are generally isolated from one another, requiring users with electric cars or EVs to leave their vehicle and use the building’s electricity supply permanently. A sort of “power for hire” without economic advantage at taxpayers’ expense–except for those who build them and remain rentiers of a new infrastructure based on fossil fuels and electricity generation from carbon dioxide (CO2).
We hope that with this article, we have convinced you of the need for public charging stations. While there is still much work to be done, we believe that in the future every building will have a plug-in point for your electric car.