Those Level 1 120v EV charging plugs that everyone has at home and at businesses, where are they available for charging in public locations? Using AFDC data, there are less than 1,500 L1 plugs in the US, versus more than 77,000 Level 2. (The L1 number might be so low simply because the non-networked, non EVSE plugs aren’t tracked in the database.)
Now don’t scoff, but I believe that we should have many times more L1 connections than L2. 120v (Level 1) is perfect for long dwell locations where cars are typically parked for around 8 hours or overnight. These locations include apartments and condos, workplace parking lots, schools and colleges, airports, and mass transit parking lots. And for the property owner/host, for the same cost as Level 2 EVSEs, you can install 3 to 4 times as many networked 120v smart outlets – like those from Plugzio. Stay tuned, as I will be writing more about the opportunity for Level 1 charging in 2021.
Non-Tesla DCFC Networks Need to Step Up # of Connections Per Location
Also looking at the above chart we can see that the major DC fast charging networks are far behind Tesla in terms of the number of connections per location. Tesla averages nearly 10 chargers per location versus about 2.4 for the combined rest of the DC fast charging networks.
Tesla doesn’t operate its network as a business, but rather as a marketing and customer experience expense so it doesn’t worry about trying to make a profit from its charging stations. But EV drivers are comparing the experience they see drivers having with Tesla’s Supercharger network and are going to expect the same experience with the other networks. That includes uptime, promised speeds, location, cleanliness, and amenities. But a key is also one of “presence” and viability which means that each location needs to look like a busy charging center, not an afterthought of just 2 chargers hidden behind a restaurant in a strip mall.