Every year it feels like we see more and more electric cars on Los Angeles streets.
The chances are that trend will continue.
California is the first state to ban the sale of gas-powered cars. Starting in 2035, all new cars sold in California will be required to be zero-emission.
On the surface, it makes sense. Electric cars protect the environment without giving up anything.
Every year electric cars get better and cheaper.
However, there is one big problem that is often overlooked.
Filling Your Gas Tank Vs. Charging Your Car
The number one reason people switch from electric cars back to gas-powered is the inconvenience of charging.
Ford Mustang owners can fill their gas tanks in roughly three minutes. That gives them a roughly 300-mile range.
If you own the electric Mustang Mach-E, filling it up will take much longer. An hour plugged into a household outlet gives you roughly 3 miles of range.
The research found that roughly 20% of plug-in electric vehicle owners switched back to gas-powered cars. The biggest reason is the difficulty charging the cars.
The biggest problem is that standard Los Angeles homes are not equipped to charge a car. Instead, a standard home has what is called “Level 1” charging.
Level 1 charging delivers 120 volts. High-powered specialty connections deliver 240 volts. Both pale in comparison to Tesla’s “Superchargers,” which deliver 480 volts and charge cars fully in a little over an hour.
70% of people who switched back to gas-powered cars didn’t have access to Level 2 charging at home.
Even with a Level 2 charger, most eclectic cars take up to 6 hours to fully charge. Something that takes a gas car a couple of minutes.
Public Charging Stations
Charging your car at home is not the only option. There are public charging stations all over Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, they are not used at very high rates. Nearly two-thirds of electric car owners surveyed don’t use public charging stations.
That could be changing soon.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan hopes to increase the number of public charging stations. The plan sets aside $15 billion to build a national network of 500,000 stations.
Protecting the planet is a noble idea. It’s something we should all strive for.
Just don’t forget that the problems facing our planet are complex. Complex issues usually require complex solutions. It’s not as simple as banning gas-powered cars.
The number of electric cars in Los Angeles will undoubtedly grow in the future.
We need to fix some of the headaches they cause first.