Charger dearth is the bottleneck in EV revolution

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Charger dearth is the bottleneck in EV revolution

Electric vehicle chargers set up at one gas station in Paju, Gyeonggi [YONHAP]

Electric vehicle chargers set up at one gas station in Paju, Gyeonggi [YONHAP]

Charging infrastructure for battery electric vehicles (EVs) is woefully insufficient. Rapid chargers are especially lacking.  
 
Rapid chargers are able to charge a completely discharged EV to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Slow chargers, often installed at homes or in shopping mall parking lots, are able to charge a completely discharged EV in about 4 to 5 hours.  
 
A total of 191,065 battery-powered EVs were distributed in Korea as of August this year, according to data compiled by lawmaker Park Sang-hyuk Monday.  
 
The number of chargers came to 91,927 units.  
 
Of that figure, 13,731 were rapid chargers and 78,196 were slow chargers.  
 
In terms of total chargers, Korea was ahead in establishing charging infrastructure compared to other countries.  
 
One charger covers two EVs in Koreas, whereas in Britain it was 10, France 11, Germany 11.7 and Japan 16.5.  
 
In terms of rapid chargers, Korea is not doing well.  
 
One rapid charger has to cover 14 EVs in Korea. Looking at big cities where EVs are more abundant, one rapid charger covers 26.2 units in Busan and 22.2 units in Seoul. In Incheon, there is one rapid charger for 21.4 EVs and in Daejeon 21.  
 
The number of EVs has been increasing rapidly.  
 
This year, 58,010 EVs were registered as of August, up from 46,718 EVs registered last year.  
 
“It is easy to find one charging location packed with EVs waiting to be charged as the number of EVs increase,” said lawmaker Park. “There needs to be more effort made to expand charging infrastructure with the transport ministry and the environment ministry at the helm.”
 
Charging infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) is in a worse state.  
 
A total of 16,206 FCEVs were distributed this year as of August, but the number of hydrogen chargers is only 117.  
 
That means one hydrogen charger needs to handle 166 FCEVs.
 
The government had previously pledged to install 310 hydrogen chargers in Korea by 2022.  
 
By regions, there were 2,202 FCEVs registered in Seoul, but only four chargers have been established in the capital city. Busan has registered 1,218 FCEVs, but the city has only two chargers.  
 
Ulsan has 2,035 fuel cell cars, but has 17 chargers.  
 
 
 

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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