‘What is the DC fast charge rate needed for BEVs to accelerate market growth?’ Almost half the audience wanted 100 miles per minute, the equivalent of a slow conventional refuelling stop. Many participants thought 20 miles per minute was still acceptable; few were ready to settle for less. According to Tarnowsky there is a chicken-and-egg problem here: to make growing the charging infrastructure worthwhile, charging systems need to be in use all the time. Gary Horvat said things were a little easier in the commercial vehicle sector, especially buses; where you drive by day, then charge at night using your own infrastructure. That was easier to plan than using a public charging infrastructure.
Although the podium discussion obviously could not give definitive answers to all these questions, it did yield one clear insight: Extra costs without extra benefits won’t cut it in the mainstream. As Alexander Edwards knows from experience: “Automobile buyers want to save money, not the planet. The willingness to spend more is zero.”