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Ένα από τα κυριότερα προβλήματα των ηλεκτρικών αυτοκινήτων είναι αυτό της επαναφόρτισης τους, με κυριότερο εκείνο του περιορισμένου δικτύου των σταθμών φόρτισης. Εντύπωση, όμως, προκαλεί μια έρευνα, που έκανε η Nissan για την Μεγάλη Βρετανία, όπου προβλέπει πως οι σταθμοί φόρτισης θα υπερκεράσουν αριθμητικά τα κλασσικά πρατήρια καυσίμων της χώρας, ως το 2020.

Η έρευνα βασίστηκε στο γεγονός ότι από το 1970 μέχρι σήμερα, ο αριθμός των πρατηρίων καυσίμων έχει μειωθεί κατά 75%, πέφτοντας από τις 37.539 στις 8.472. Παίρνοντας λοιπόν αυτόν τον ρυθμό πτώσης, η Nissan αναφέρει ότι μέχρι το τέλος της δεκαετίας θα έχουν απομείνει 7.870 πρατήρια καυσίμων.

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Αντίθετα τώρα, οι σταθμοί φόρτισης ακολουθούν μια αυξανόμενη πορεία, καθώς όλο και περισσότεροι στρέφονται στην ηλεκτροκίνηση. Έτσι, παρόλο που το 2011 αριθμούσαν μόλις μερικές 100-άδες ανά το Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, προβλέπεται μέχρι το τέλους αυτού του χρόνου να φτάσουν τους 4.100, ενώ μέχρι το 2020 τους 7.900, ξεπερνώντας σε αριθμό τα κλασσικά πρατήρια καυσίμων, που η Nissan προέβλεψε ότι θα έχουν απομείνει μέχρι τότε.

Βέβαια, η έρευνα για την μείωση των πρατηρίων καυσίμων δεν προχώρησε όσο βαθιά θα έπρεπε, και κυρίως στους λόγους που μειώθηκαν, καθώς ορισμένοι αποτελούσαν μικρές επαρχιακές επιχειρήσεις, οι οποίες έκλεισαν για διάφορους λόγους, είτε προσαρτήστηκαν σε μεγαλύτερες επιχειρήσεις. Επίσης, πολλά πρατήρια αντικαταστάθηκαν από μεγάλα οικοδομήματα σε μεγάλους οδικούς άξονες. Ως εκ τούτου, μπορεί αριθμητικά να μειώθηκαν τα πρατήρια καυσίμων, αλλά πιθανώς οι αντλίες παροχής να έμειναν ίδιες με αρχικά.

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Παρόλα ταύτα, δεν είναι άτοπη η έρευνα της Nissan, καθώς δεν αποκλείεται να το δούμε αυτό να συμβαίνει στο κοντινό μας μέλλον. Μάλιστα, η Nissan έχει θέσει σαν στόχο να αυξήσει το δίκτυο σταθμών φόρτισης, μειώνοντας παράλληλα τους χρόνους που απαιτούνται για την φόρτιση ενός οχήματος, με άμεσο σκοπό να ενισχύσει τις πωλήσεις ηλεκτρικών οχημάτων στην χώρα, οι οποίες κάθε μήνα θέτουν όλο και νέα ρεκόρ. Αυτό φαίνεται ξεκάθαρα και από τις δηλώσεις του Διευθυντή Πωλήσεων Ηλεκτρικών αυτοκινήτων της φίρμας που δηλώνει:

Καθώς οι πωλήσεις των ηλεκτρικών οχημάτων απογειώνονται, οι υποδομές φόρτισης συμβαδίζουν, ανοίγοντας τον δρόμο για μια άνετη αμιγώς ηλεκτρική οδήγηση.

Προσθέτοντας παράλληλα πως:

Συνδυαζόμενο αυτό με τις συνεχείς βελτιώσεις της απόδοσης των μπαταριών μας, πιστεύουμε πως η ώρα για μια μαζική ηλεκτροκίνηση είναι προ των πυλών.

Να σημειωθεί πως η Nissan  με το Leaf είναι εκείνη που έδωσε στην παραγωγή το πρώτο αμιγώς ηλεκτρικό αυτοκίνητο, που μάλιστα είναι και αυτό που έχει στον τομέα του τις περισσότερες πωλήσεις από τα άλλα.

Δελτίο Τύπου

More electric car charging stations than fuel stations by 2020

  • Number of electric car charging locations to overtake petrol stations by August 2020.
  • UK has lost more than 75% of petrol stations in four decades, whilst electric charging points have gone from hundreds to thousands in just a few years.
  • Edward Jones, EV Manager, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd., said; ‘We believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.’
  • Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce a mass-produced electric vehicle and has sold more EVs than any other car brand worldwide.

There will be more public locations to charge electric cars in the UK than there are petrol stations by the summer of 2020, according to new analysis by Nissan.

At the end of 2015, there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the UK, down from 37,539 in 1970. Assuming a steady rate of decline, Nissan predicts that by August 2020 this will fall to under 7,870.*

In contrast, the number of public electric vehicle charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by the same point in time. However, the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles means this crossover could happen a lot sooner.

Just over 100 years since the first fuel station opened – November 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire – the number in the UK has peaked, declined and is expected to be overtaken by charging stations designed for battery, not combustion, powered cars.

More than 75% of UK petrol stations have closed in the last 40 years, whilst the number of electric vehicle charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 4,100 locations in 2016, as electric car sales take off.

According to Go Ultra Low, the joint government and car industry campaign, more than 115 electric cars were registered every day in the first quarter of 2016, equivalent to one every 13 minutes. The campaign also believes electric power could be the dominant form of propulsion for all new cars sold in the UK as early as 2027, with more than 1.3m electric cars registered each year.

Edward Jones, EV Manager, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd., said; ‘As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving. Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us. As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.’

Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce a mass-produced electric vehicle and has sold more EVs than any other car brand worldwide. The company has also been a strong advocate of supporting a convenient charging infrastructure – even so far as to partner with Ecotricity last year, calling on the UK government to introduce official EV charging point road signage.

Whilst the vast majority of electric vehicle owners charge at home, 98% of UK motorway services have charging stations, including rapid connectors that can charge a LEAF’s battery to 80% in just 30 minutes. The 30kWh Nissan LEAF, launched in January, delivers up to 155 miles on a single charge – a range that covers more than 90% of the average daily commuting requirements.

Nissan also recently announced the joint development of an atomic analysis methodology that uses amorphous silicon monoxide (SiO) to increase the energy density of its lithium-ion batteries. This development alone could the increase driving range of future Nissan electric vehicles by 150%.

Supply of fuel within the Capital is also becoming scarcer. Central London has nearly half as many petrol stations per car as the Scottish Highlands; only four remain within the congestion-charge zone**. A notable closure in 2008 was one of the country’s oldest forecourts, the Bloomsbury Service Station, which had been operational since 1926.

Nissan’s recent partnership with world-renowned architects Foster + Partners, provided a conceptual vision for the Fuel Station of the Future. The result isn’t a conventional forecourt at all, but a combination of Vehicle-to-grid, battery storage, wireless charging, autonomous drive technology and over-the-air connectivity all combining to revolutionise how energy is used and distributed across Europe’s major cities.

Nissan believes these technologies, run in tandem with all-electric vehicles, will play an increasingly important role in helping major cities like London reduce harmful emissions. It took just eight days for London to breach its annual pollution limits in 2016 with pollution levels reaching 3.5x the legal limit in some of the Capital’s black spots.***

ENDS

Editors Notes:

* Sources: Energy Institute (www.energyinst.org) & Zap-Map (www.zap-map.com)

** http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21661001-though-plenty-gas-being-guzzled-filling-stations-have-become-scarcer-running-empty

*** https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/08/london-takes-just-one-week-to-breach-annual-air-pollution-limits

Source Data:

Fuel Stations Data: Energy Institute (www.energyinst.org). Decline rate of UK fuel stations is based on Dec 2005 – Dec 2015 data. There were 9,764 fuel stations in the UK by end of December 2005 and 8,472 by December 2015. An average decrease of 129 per year, or 10.8 per month.

Charging Location Data: Zap-Map (www.zap-map.com). Charging location increase based on Dec 2012 – Dec 2015 data. There were 913 charging locations in the UK by end of December 2012 and 3,646 by December 2015. An average increase of 911 per year or 76 per month.

UK Fuel Stations UK Charging Locations
2005 9,764
2006 9,382
2007 9,271
2008 9,283
2009 9,013
2010 8,892
2011 8,480
2012 8,693 913
2013 8,611 1,962
2014 8,609 2,775
2015 8,472 3,646

Over the past three years the number of electric charging locations has been steadily increasing whilst the number of petrol stations has declined. If these trends continues at the current rate then by August 2020 there will be more charging locations than petrol stations.

UK Fuel Stations UK Charging Locations
Dec-2019 7955 7290
Jan-2020 7944 7366
Feb-2020 7933 7442
Mar-2020 7923 7518
Apr-2020 7912 7594
May-2020 7901 7670
Jun-2020 7890 7746
Jul-2020 7880 7822
Aug-2020 7869 7898
Sep-2020 7858 7974
Oct-2020 7847 8050
Nov-2020 7837 8126
Dec-2020 7826 8201