Blog: How Should We Charge EVs?

By WiTricity CMO Amy Barzdukas

Not all that long ago, our vehicles were fueled by hay and oats. When cars came along, the transition created anxiety. (People worried, for example, that drivers would now have to pay TOO much attention, and things wouldn’t be safe without the horses helping to keep the wheels on the road.) The gas fuel was more dangerous than what could be safely kept in the barn out back, so gas stations became the norm.

Today, as electric vehicles are starting to take off, people have anxiety about this transition. People are worried about EV charging: where to do it, how long it takes, how long it will last.

Electric vehicles are quickly moving beyond early adopters. In just a few short years, EVs will compose the majority of new vehicles available from car manufacturers. Yet most consumers are still shying away from purchasing one. The biggest cause of their resistance? It all centers around charging. Most people want to be green. All drivers want to reduce fuel costs. But, when they look at how easy it is to find a gas station – anywhere in the country – and fill up their tank in less than five minutes, well…

We need to work together to educate those who are hesitant about EVs that, like moving from horse and buggy to the Model T, it’s time to change the paradigm. Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson recently commented that over time, electric car batteries may actually get smaller, with a shorter range, as people grow psychologically more confident about how far they really go on any given charge. Most day-to-day travel is under 100 miles, well within range of any EV on the market today, and most cars are parked more than 18 hours of any 24.

Current EV owners can help in this effort. In a recent study sponsored by WiTricity and conducted by TideWatch Partners, an independent market research firm, EV Owners have largely conquered their charging fears. (The clear exception is cross-country or long-distance driving, of course, but that’s the exception, not the rule.) Most EV owners charge at home – while they sleep – when their cars are parked. They know that they can charge at home, at work, and at the store.

But as comfortable and confident as EV owners may be today, many still consider charging to be a hassle. Why? Because we simply translated the gas station model to refueling EVs and built a literal “gas pump” to move electrons instead of fossil fuel. And why did we do that? Because it’s what we know.

But what if we moved beyond what we know to what we could know? What if we got rid of the plug?

Our study discovered that the availability of wireless charging dramatically increases EV purchase intent – it helps get those who are hesitant over the hump.

Why the increase? People like ditching the charging cable. Responders commented, “it is a far more convenient option,” “this is an extremely efficient way to charge, as you will never forget, and it will charge automatically,” and “it solves the issue of having to plug in, no cords to trip over, and it makes owning an EV easier.”

With wireless charging, charging an EV is easier than refueling. You just park. No plugs, no cables, no hassles. Read the full study here.