Over the past few years, I’ve posted about how Fresno is severely lacking in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It’s especially disturbing because the state has put so many incentives in place, and yet, instead of deploying the chargers where the worst air quality is, they’re all installed in the Bay Area or LA. Three years ago, there were a grand total of zero public chargers in the area. Fortunately, that has improved. Now, Fresno State offers public chargers, and there are a few others scattered across town.
It’s amazing to think that almost three years ago, I wrote about Fresno finally getting its first public electric car charging station. As the region with the worst air quality in the country, the lack of support for electric vehicles was alarming.
And here we are in 2015, and the situation is almost the same as it was in 2012!
In that post, I wrote about how the first public car charging installation was coming to Blackbeard’s. Well three years later, it hasn’t actually happened. Here’s what progress looked like last month:
For the past two, maybe three decades, the arrival and widespread adoption of the electric vehicle (EV) has been seen as some kind holy grail for transportation, cities, and well, the world. The benefits are obvious; the replacement of gasoline with electricity would mean a massive decrease in pollution, from global-warming causing carbon dioxide to those pesky particulates which make their way into lungs.
Sadly, the development and adoption has been excruciatingly slow. The EV-lite, also known as the hybrid, hit the roads well over a decade ago (the Prius is turning 15!). The two major mainstream EV’s, the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, have been rolling around for over two years with anemic sales. And that’s without even mentioning the false starts, like the electric Toyota of a decade ago. Even though the technology exists, is somewhat affordable, and is no longer new, the sales aren’t there. Today, in the US, hybrids and EVs combined together make up a tiny 3% of monthly sales. The most optimistic projections? 8% of new cars sold by 2020 (LAtimes)
I’ve talked a few times in the past about how even though Fresno and the Central Valley are home to the nations worst air, we have almost no electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.
During the summer, the air board asks people not to drive, because the air quality approaches very unhealthy levels, but at the same time has to issue warnings for people not to bike because that would involve breathing the bad air. So naturally, people drive just as much, if not more, than they would on any other day. And without a push for electric vehicles, the number of non-polluting cars on the road is minimal.