The electric vehicle (EV) charging stations planned for installation at the new Link Apartments© Linden at Glen Lennox are proof that, when it comes to transportation, more and more people are going electric.
In 2017, Tesla installed a bank of chargers near North Hills. Durham’s American Tobacco Campus has a row of electric hitching posts. From Charlotte to Black Mountain to Asheville, North Carolina drivers can find plenty of places to plug in.
It’s not just a local phenomenon. A recent report by Bloomberg proclaimed the industry had reached a significant milestone: cumulative global sales of plug-in electric passenger vehicles had passed the four million mark. While it took five years for the first one million electric vehicles to be sold (2011 –16), the fourth million sold in just six months.
Electric vehicles deliver unique benefits for both the driver and the environment. They offer high torque and brisk response, are smooth and quiet, require less maintenance than fossil fuel-burners and produce zero tailpipe emissions. A dollar’s worth of electricity will take an EV about four times farther than a dollar of gasoline would take a standard car. The energy needed to charge an EV battery can be produced domestically, using renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbine systems. And in North Carolina, EVs don’t require emissions inspections and can use HOV lanes with just a single occupant.
But even as charging stations are becoming more prevalent, an EV road trip still has to be carefully planned to avoid “range anxiety”—the fear of getting stranded by a drained battery. EVs offer a limited range on a single charge—anywhere from 60 miles to 300 for costlier luxury EVs. Purchase prices on EVs are higher than gas or diesel cars, and their batteries—the most expensive part of the vehicle—need to be replaced over time. Recharging the battery can take eight hours, and even fast-charging stations can take 30 minutes to get to 80% capacity. (Installing a charger at home will cost around $1,200 for a 240V charger and electrician’s installation fees.)
Ultimately, drivers choose to make the switch to an EV based on budget, personal commitment to sustainability, average travel distances and how long it takes to get to the nearest charging station. But as more and more facilities arrive in the Triangle, it will be easier than ever for local drivers to make the switch.