This event marked the experimentation of a European partnership that had been working to develop ideas for the promotion of EV usage for three years. It sounds so obvious. But the lack of coordination, of commercial application, of entrepreneurial engagement, of understanding how to meet the challenges of EV charging have all prevented the logical and rational development of what should be a standardised system. The cruel truth is that EV charging is not good business.
Perhaps there is a related question. Should EV charging be a commercial enterprise, or should it be a public utility, delivered and paid for through tax payers’ money? This could be debated in a variety of different ways, and I imagine the different groups of people with an interest in the subject coming to different conclusions. The car makers would want it to be private, because their interests are not served by creating an artificial advantage for EV’s in competition with their core internal combustion based business. The car drivers, of course, would want the reverse. Anything which mitigated against the high cost of the vehicles in the first place would mean the payback period was shorter. The energy companies would possibly be neutral. If the user is not paying them for the energy, the tax payer would. They get their money either way.
But what if the energy is solar? Which brings us back to the leafy hills around Arruda, and the experiment with solar energy charge points. As the sun beat down on the small crowd, we were watching something ancient being transformed to a modern application. The sun has provided a resource to the inhabitants of Arruda for centuries. The sun has fed the crops on which the local economy has always depended. The sun has provided warmth and heat for their lives. The clement conditions of the place led to the foundation of the town in this valley in the first place. So why not use the sun to provide something new that it so easily can? After all, it’s free.
Should EV charging be a commercial enterprise, or should it be a public utility, delivered and paid for through tax payers’ money?
And perhaps that is the biggest barrier to investment in solar powered charge points. In a capitalist economy, where market sectors are controlled by business interests, there is a danger that there is not enough money in a free resource. If we take this argument and apply it to solar and wind farms, indeed all renewable energy, we are forced to study the precise economics of these businesses. The first point to note is that all have been dependent on public subsidy. It is still a moot point whether or not they are commercially viable without it.
If you are planning on attending All Energy 2017 and would like to meet with the Green Angel Syndicate, contact Nick Lyth directly on 07802150053 email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @NickLyth1