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Infrastructure

Infrastructure
« on: 30 June , 2019, 15:58:59 pm »
Hello!

I'm Eider from Spain and this is my first post on the IYSC forum.

On the subject of the future of electric mobility and vehicles, I believe that a sector that will probably define its future will be its infrastructure. Electric vehicles as internal combustion vehicles need an infrastructure that allows them to work. For example, nobody will want to buy an electric car if there aren't many places where you can charge it.

When we talk about the infrastructure of electric mobility, we normally think about places where we can charge our car, but the generation, distribution and storage of the energy we will need are included in this sector too.

I've created this topic to discuss this issue because I think nowadays it is being really controversial. Are there enough places to charge electric vehicles?

I encourage you to answer what you think! :)
Sincerely,
Eider Del Hoyo (Spain)

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #1 on: 27 July , 2019, 23:05:58 pm »
Hello Eider,

I completely agree with your standpoint of infrastructure for electric vehicles. As you say, it is crucial for the transition towards electric mobility to provide the users with the proper energy grid to charge their vehicles.

In my opinion, I think that the ideal system should try to produce a 100% clean energy, so there would be no damage to the environment.

Answering your question, and according to Statista, currently there are about 170,000 charging stations across Europe which might seem like a huge number of places to charge EVs.

However, these phenomenal numbers hide another reality which is not so good. The problem regarding charging grids in Europe is that more than 75% percent of the charging stations are concentrated in just four countries, the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK.

This is a scenario which is not exclusive of Europe. In North America, California is a region with a remarkable development in electric vehicles and charging networks. Nevertheless, if you travel a few hundred miles to the south, cross the border and step into Mexico, you will find out that the number of charging stations has dramatically decreased compared to the neighboring US state.

To conclude, I think that the most important challenge the electric mobility has to face, is not the quantity of charging stations, but the distribution of them. There are enormous inequalities between countries close to each other. While some of them are almost ready for an all-electric future, others are just getting started.

I leave you some links to two great webpages which I have consulted to get a few statistics I have mentioned before.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/955443/number-of-electric-vehicle-charging-stations-in-europe/

https://insideevs.com/news/340641/76-of-charging-points-in-europe-are-concentrated-in-just-4-countries/

Looking forward to read your opinion about this topic.

Best regards,
Pablo García

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #2 on: 30 July , 2019, 19:38:13 pm »
Hi Pablo and Eider,

As always, we cannot technology and progress to arrive to every place at the same speed. Although it is natural to happen so, this inequality eventually may lead to a widening gap which may even lead to conflicts, not necessarily military ones, put political or economic.

Of course, it is actually useless to promote electric vehicles without enough points to charge them. But you might also see the other way around: why would a government or business try to install more points if there are not enough vehicles for it to be profitable? How do you solve this vicious circle?.

It is clear that the growth in electric mobility will increase the use of electricity, and new ways to power them will be required. However, I do really think you should be always keep the focus on the electric mobility, and not really start discussing our electrical system, whether it should be powered by distributed generation, which role should clean energies play in it, etc. I am sure you are aware of the fact your research should be centered in that point, but sometimes it is easy to forget what one is really working on and talk about a subject in a too general way, so I hope my reminder is useful.

Nevertheless, I do really encourage you to keep on with this topic, since I think you might find very useful ideas. I hope that more participation does also increase too, so that this discussion can be provided with new arguments and data.

Regards,
José Javier (Veteran)

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #3 on: 01 August , 2019, 22:03:53 pm »
Hello José Javier,

I think you have opened quite an interesting topic and discussion by wondering why governments or private enterprises should install and develop charging grids for electric vehicles if currently, the number of these kind of vehicles is overwhelmingly low.

In my opinion, governments and companies should not look at the chance of building charging networks as a waste of money, but as an investment.

The total quantity of EVs is going to grow exponentially during the next decade, therefore, it is not a matter of the profitability of charging stations right now, it is about being prepared for a future that is getting closer really fast.

In fact, the companies or governments which make the effort of building charging networks today, will be the first ones to obtain profits from this new market tomorrow.

To sum up, my opinion is that we should always look at this kind of matters in the long run, because, as I said before, the construction and maintenance of charging stations may not be profitable right now, but trust me, it will be a money making business much sooner than what is seems.

Cordially,
Pablo García

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #4 on: 02 August , 2019, 13:18:08 pm »
Hello everybody,

I would like to answer the question of why governments and companies should invest in infrastructure from my viewpoint.

As I see it, governments and businesses shouldn't install charging points with the only purpose of obtaining benefits and should install them for the common good, I mean, for electric mobility to thrive and for us to have a more sustainable future.

About profitability, it is indeed very important when it comes to investing, but I believe that in a few years charging stations will be profitable because electric mobility is the future and infrastructure is a fundamental part of it.

Relating to this topic, I've found a document that explains if charging points are profitable. I recommend you to read it and to pay special attention to the section "Do charging networks make money?" located on the second page.

This is the link: https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/uk/pdf/2018/08/mobility-2030-investment-in-ev-infrastructure.PDF

Best wishes,
Eider Del Hoyo (Spain)

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #5 on: 03 August , 2019, 01:31:30 am »
Hi everybody, 
how are you ? I hope you are fine and I  want you to focus your attention on the consequences of a too fast change from internal combustion engine vehicle to electric vehicle. This huge   change has lots of consequences on our power system. Its impact  can be good but, also really bad for us as some scientific studies show. In fact, not many countries would be able to support this event without damaging their self. The consequences of this change are ones of the most important reasons that are stopping private companies and governament from doing more in this field. This change needs to be gradually.  I leave you in the last lines of this post some links about the impact of electric vehicle on our power system.

https://www.academia.edu/.../Impact_of_electric_vehicles_on_power_distribution_net...

https://www.academia.edu/.../Impact_of_Plug-in_Electric_Vehicles_and_Photovoltaic...


https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/11/1/178/pdf

Have a nice day
Giovanni

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #6 on: 06 August , 2019, 14:22:02 pm »
Hello everybody,

The impact of electric vehicles on power systems could indeed be a problem for some countries which their power system is not very powerful.

In these type of countries, a solution to this problem could be that until governments improve their power system, they don't promote much the use of EVs. And as governments improve their power systems, give more subsidies to promote the use of EVs. In this way, the power system of each country could fulfil the energy demand for electric vehicles. (The unfavourable part of this idea is that is a long-term solution, and nowadays we need fast changes.)

Once the power system can fulfil the energy demand for EVs, it is highly recommended to charge electric vehicles at night to stabilize the electric load curve.

Experts advise this because if cars charged during the day, the electric system would have to satisfy the demand for electricity of the population plus the demand of EVs. This scenario would make the peaks of the electric load curve even larger. However, if cars charged at night, the electric load curve would stabilize, because during the night the population's energy demand is very low.

To encourage people to charge their cars at night, the energy could be cheaper at night than during the day.

I would like to finish my post recalling that we have to use renewable energies to charge electric vehicles, because if we do not do so, we may not achieve our goal of reducing pollution.

Sincerely,
Eider Del Hoyo (Spain)

P.D.: Here I leave you a link to a website which talks about this topic: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/the-potential-impact-of-electric-vehicles-on-global-energy-systems

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #7 on: 07 August , 2019, 16:27:25 pm »
Hello guys,

I wanted to highlight one topic that my partner Eider has spoken about.The importance of charging EVs during night time.

By doing this, we are able to solve one of the few disadvantages electric vehicles have compared to combustion engines ones. The time that it takes to fully charge our automobile.

The problem with charging is that in order to make it fast, you require specific infrastructure that is usually quite expensive and not suitable to be installed at home.

Nevertheless, if you leave your vehicle charging during night time, while you sleep, you will wake up, with the battery completely charged. Therefore, although the charging process took around 8 hours, you were not actually waiting for the vehicle to be ready.

Another edge of charging at night over charging during daytime is, as Eider said, that electricity is cheaper due to a drop-off in the demand. Of course, the quantity of money you are able to save depends on many variables, such as the usual price of electricity in your home country or the specific contract you have arranged with your provider.

I hope this information regarding charging has been helpful.

Best regards,
Pablo García

Re: Infrastructure
« Reply #8 on: 10 September , 2019, 20:53:50 pm »
Hello everyone,

I give a lot of importance to numbers, so this is what my post will be of. I will speak about how many charging points there are in Europe.

In Europe, there are 170,149 public charging stations. However, almost 76% of them are located in 4 countries, the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. The Netherlands has approximately 122,000 charging points, taking into account public and private ones. As I said before, in Europe, there are 170,149 public charging stations, so it is impressive to know that a not very big country as it is the Netherlands, has 28% of all charging points in Europe.

On one hand, after the Netherlands, Germany is the second country with more charging stations in Europe. Germany has 22% of all charging points in Europe. Then we have France. This is the third country in this list. It has about 23.000 public charging points, this means 14% of all charging points in Europe. After France is the UK with 13.000 charging stations. On the other hand, the countries with less charging points in Europe are Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

To finish my post, I would like to give you some extra information. You may think it's not very important, but as I got it by myself, I'm proud of it. This week I'm on an exchange program in Marl (a city in Germany) and I have gone to talk to the mayor and asked him some questions about electric mobility and renewable energies in Marl. I think this has been a good opportunity to learn more about this topic in a country different from mine. In Marl, there are lots of windmills near the city because it's very windy. For that reason, my first question was about renewable energies. I asked him if renewable energies are used more than other types of energy to supply the city. The mayor told me that, even though there are a lot of windmills, they aren't enough to supply the energy demand of the entire city. Because of that, the energy produced by the windmills is only used in public places. The houses in this city don't use renewable energies, however, I've seen that some houses have solar panels on the roofs. The other question I asked was how many charging points there were in the city. Surprisingly, the mayor told me that there weren't any charging stations in Marl. This really surprised me because Germany is the second country with more charging points in Europe. The mayor told me that as charging stations are very expensive and as there are less than 10 electric cars in Marl, installing some charging stations is not a priority.

I think that the city council should invest in charging stations because if there aren't any in Marl, nobody will like to buy an electric car.

I hope you have found this information interesting and helpful for your essays.

Best regards,  :)
Eider Del Hoyo (Spain)