Planning the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network in BC is planning an energy ecology for a body that does not yet exist. The life line for the EV must be in place prior to the widespread adoption of the technology. Eleviating ‘range anxiety’, the role of the EV station is as much peace of mind as it is fuelling station. The further the infrastructure leads, the faster the adoption that is expected.
Similar to other technologies, EV uptake is expected to take on a similar pattern to the Roger’s Technology Adoption Curve. This provides an interesting study for an infrastructure, which likewise responds to other competing motivations such as lifestyle image marketing, price of gas, price of electricity, battery cost and availability of home charging infrastructure. Location of infrastructure depends on urban conditions such as density of commercial or other activity, visibility, volume of traffic, business and landowner models as well as more global patterns of city use and gateway locations.
Fast charging(DC), Level 2(240V AC) and Level 1 (110V AC) charging provide options and fragment the infrastructure into many small places rather than a centralized singular station. In this way it truly represents an infrastructure of our age. Public infrastructure to date still has a monolithic presence and organization reminiscent of modernist, singular systems. An infrastructure of a the current digital, crowd-sourced, twittering generation is not a singular entity but a responsive flexible system, which the EV network begins to approximate.
Control of such a system in any form becomes tenuous but a framework which lays in place the seeds of the expanding network provides a role in its future form.