May 28, 2013 | Vol. 64, No. 11
Dear PEI Member:
Tesla Motors is grabbing the headlines due to an extraordinary stock move following the release of its first ever quarterly profit this month. Coupled with a rare near-perfect score from Consumer Reports for its electric Model S sedan, interest in Tesla has given the electric car industry a real boost.
The first Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were sold in the United States 28 months ago. Sometime this month, the 100,000th plug-in electric car was delivered to a buyer somewhere in the United States. To some it's a sign that the electric car has arrived and is here to stay. To others, it was a ho-hum event. Let's look at the numbers:
What does this mean for the electric charging station market? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 5,894 electric charging stations are open to the public in the United States. The availability of public and private funds is certain to add more in the years ahead. Business seems to be booming, although anecdotal information suggests that the recharging stations are vastly underutilized.
Some people have even begun to question the necessity of an electric vehicle recharging station. Why build one if nobody will use it? That conclusion makes sense when you consider the average American drives just 29 miles a day, far less than the maximum range available from any electric vehicle. And manufacturers so far, at least, have not been able to deliver an affordable EV with long-distance range―an essential if these cars are to move beyond niche status and truly enter the mainstream. Statistics show that these drivers most often refuel from home and don't need a public facility. For example, Nissan reports that 90 percent of Leaf owners charge their cars at home.
Should we be concerned that we are not seeing charging facilities at traditional gasoline stations and that the 5,800 recharging facilities are not being outfitted with equipment manufactured, distributed, installed and serviced by PEI members?
I don't think so. I suppose it's true that electric cars today can meet many, if not most day-to-day mobility needs. But gasoline remains the default choice for most car buyers, and switching to electricity still requires some new habits and a different mindset. The average American buys a car for utility, convenience, low-operating costs and style. Nothing in our crystal ball says that is going to change soon. Petroleum equipment providers and their convenience store customers may be missing an "opportunity" by not serving the nascent electric car market, but I think at this stage they'd say it's no big whoop.
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Bond overcame a devastating injury and other challenges to become the first rookie free agent to start for the Dallas Mavericks. Since completing his successful eight-year professional basketball career, his powerful presentations have helped hundreds of thousands of people gain the confidence they need to focus, align and deliver desired results.
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.