Are Electric Vehicles Really Ready For Mass Adoption?

Dr Stuart Woolley
4 min readMay 17, 2022

The answer is, of course, yes — but it’s the very people who should be encouraging them that are standing in the way.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

A short missive complaining about what I see as profiteering in the EV charging sector through incompatible system and excessive charges (no pun intended) — something that may well stifle the growth of what is an essential industry for the future.

A Range of Problems

Range anxiety still remains one of the top factors in preventing many people making the move from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles over to electric vehicles (EV).

Even as battery capacity and energy efficiency increase in more modern EVs, the fear of running out of charge either during a journey or during a day’s work (for businesses) dominates recent the thinking of EV owners.

Naturally, one way to address this would be to drastically increase the scale and availability of public EV chargers but, as we’ve touched on in previous articles, the whole charging infrastructure is both fragmented and overly competitiive.

But, what is this?

My thinking is that as companies see the move to widespread more as a ‘business opportunity’ and, frankly, a cash grab opportunity than one that concerns the future of the planet, and the good of all, through addressing longer term climate change.

Smash and Grab

What we see is a disparate and fragmented charging infrastructure with a range of incompatible apps and payment systems along with hardware that itself has many different problems. This can often includes obscure unintuitive and slow user interfaces — that are frequently unavailable for unknown reasons or fall offline with undecipherable error messages at random times resulting in inconvenient, drawn out, and sometimes costly phone calls to support centres — all wasting further time when all we want to do is to charge our cars!

There’s simply no uniformity¹ in the market and it’s creating friction in adoption, but more importantly it’s making it frustrating for existing users — some of which are now considering returning their EVs and going back to ICE vehicles as a result.

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Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.