California’s bold move toward an EV revolution and eliminating the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035 have hit a snag in the liberal utopian city of San Francisco.
A recent report by David Rempel of the University of California at Berkeley found a quarter of all EV charging stations in the Bay Area were out of order, suggesting current infrastructure isn’t ready for the giant leap toward an electrified world.
Here’s a section of the study describing the poor infrastructure for EVs across the Bay Area:
In order to achieve a rapid transition to electric vehicle driving, a highly reliable and easy to use charging infrastructure is critical to building confidence as consumers shift from using familiar gas vehicles to unfamiliar electric vehicles … This study evaluated the functionality of the charging system for 657 EVSE (electric vehicle service equipment) CCS connectors (combined charging system) on all 181 open, public DCFC (direct current fast chargers) charging stations in the Greater Bay Area. An EVSE was evaluated as functional if it charged an EV for 2 minutes or was charging an EV at the time the station was evaluated. Overall, 72.5% of the 657 EVSEs were functional. The cable was too short to reach the EV inlet for 4.9% of the EVSEs. Causes of 22.7% of EVSEs that were non-functioning were unresponsive or unavailable screens, payment system failures, charge initiation failures, network failures, or broken connectors.
The study notes that the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area region (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) were included. It excluded private EV charging stations in paid parking lots, private workplaces, or business sites with restricted access hours. Also, all Tesla Superchargers were excluded since those stations weren’t accessible to all EVs.
California is the largest auto market in the US and the 10th largest globally. Its aggressive transition to EVs, all in the name of climate change, is hitting road bumps as infrastructure support cracks in at leader one major metro area, and the state’s power grid is unreliable as fossil fuel power plants have been retired too quickly in the transition to unsustainable solar and wind power generations. This has caused a jump in electricity rates for customers who use Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co., and San Diego Gas & Electric. Rates are so expensive that charging some EVs in certain parts of the state is almost as much as filling up a vehicle at the gas station.
The incentives for owning an EV in California are diminishing, from faulty infrastructure in San Francisco to extremely high electricity rates in some parts of the state. Not exactly what is needed to instill confidence in increasing EV ownership.