Charging electric cars efficiently is quite a challenge – for drivers, battery manufacturers and infrastructure planners alike. What challenges in this area are currently affecting the electromobility industry?
Electromobility is increasingly moving forward in the automotive industry. Despite the undeniable benefits that come with electric cars, the issue of charging still raises some questions among drivers. The use of such cars on longer routes often requires planning the whole trip in advance. Where to find charging stations and how much does it cost to charge an electric car?
Battery performance and electric car charging
Electric cars continue to grow in popularity. What is more, the emergence of new models and the presence of second-hand cars on the used-car market is gradually lowering the entry threshold for drivers who want to take advantage of such a solution. It is worth noting that almost all major automotive companies already have e-cars in their offer and many manufacturers have already announced their plans to completely abandon combustion engines.
Increased demand for electromobility, however, means that producers of both cars and components must face many challenges. One of the greatest challenges is to increase battery efficiency to reduce the frequency of charging electric cars, which also affects the rate at which battery capacity is lost.
In terms of driving economy, component weight is particularly important. The use of lightweight, flexible plastics such as foamed polypropylene can significantly reduce the weight of the entire car, resulting in a longer range per charge.
Where can you charge electric cars? Find charging stations near you
You can check the locations of electric car charging stations on dedicated websites or through apps. The most popular solutions of this type include PlugShare and Chargemap. Some degree of support for this functionality is also offered by the largest online map providers, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps. These can also be used to find out which charging stations are compatible with a given car model.
Currently there are over 3 thousand electric car charging points in Poland (as of September 2021: 3,178 stations), 31% of which are fast DC charging stations. According to the latest plans, by the end of 2025 as many as 43 thousand stations will be built. This is quite an ambitious prospect, but realization of this concept should definitely contribute to the development of electromobility in Poland.
More than a half of currently operating electric car charging stations are located in cities with a population over 100,000. Most points can be found in Warsaw, Cracow, Poznan and Gdansk. When it comes to ranking of voivodeships Mazowieckie, Śląskie, Dolnośląskie, Małopolskie and Pomorskie voivodships are in the lead. Charging stations are located mostly within large shopping centers, at parking lots, near hotels and at gas stations.
Development of electric car charging infrastructure
The continuous development of electric car charging infrastructure is essential from an environmental perspective. Higher availability of stations will certainly influence the percentage of drivers who opt for e-mobility. Such a trend can already be observed – in November 2021 NFOŚiGW (National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management) announced that it will allocate as much as 1.87 billion PLN towards the development of charging infrastructure. One billion is to cover the costs of expansion of the power grid, while the rest of the amount is to support investments in chargers and hydrogen stations. At the beginning of this year, the call for applications has been launched – companies, local governments, housing cooperatives and communities, as well as individual farmers may take advantage of non-refundable grants.
The aim of the program is to popularize electric cars in Poland by creating charging points – both generally accessible ones and those constructed for personal use. There are also plans to rebuild the existing stations to provide power not less than 50 kW. Some cities, such as Gdynia, are also opting for alternative plans to expand their infrastructure by placing charging points in lampposts.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
Battery charging time in electric cars depends on many factors. The most important of these are the capacity of the battery, the parameters of the charging current and the technical capabilities of the particular model and station. Many charging stations offer a fast charging option, using direct current with the power from 25 to 150 kW. In such conditions filling up the battery takes even 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, this solution also has some disadvantages – one of them is increased cost. Charging stations where alternating current is available are an alternative. Their power is slightly lower, which extends the time of charging the vehicle. Such types of stations can be used in buildings as so-called wallboxes – charging time with such a device amounts to about 6 hours.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station?
The costs of charging an electric car vary – the type and speed of the charger also determine the fees. It can be from 0.99 to 2.99 PLN per 1 kWh. In the case of direct current, the prices are slightly higher, but in return you can count on a much shorter charging time. Due to the relatively high costs, many drivers still decide to charge their cars at home – with most tariffs, the price for 1 kWh is around 0.50 PLN.
Knauf Industries Automotive – proven solutions for electromobility
Knauf Industries, belonging to the Knauf Group, is a manufacturer of components for the automotive industry. We use innovative materials in our projects, including lightweight and flexible foams for battery packs. We offer high-performance solutions for electromobility, which are characterized by low weight and excellent thermal and electrical insulation.
Why rely on our products? The material parameters we use in our products guarantee optimal thermal management and weight reduction – factors that are vital to the performance and lifetime of electric car components. Do not hesitate to contact us!
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