In what is a massive sign of the times, service stations in the US and Norway have begun ripping out fuel pumps to make more room for electric car fast chargers.
In the US, a service station in Maryland has decided to ditch diesel and petrol in order to exclusively provide electric car charging facilities.
Owner-operator of RS Automotives Depeswar Doley who has owned the 61-year-old Takoma Park station for over 20 years made the decision to switch to servicing electric cars only citing complex and limiting clauses with oil and petrol companies as a driver for his decision.
The mid-atlantic state of Maryland is not exactly a hotspot for electric vehicles (that gold star goes to California where 50% of EVs of the US’s 1.3 million EVs are registered), there are currently over 20,000 EVs registered including a number of electric taxis, and a number of incentives in place to encourage further EV uptake.
In addition to the US federal government income tax rebate of up to $US7,500 ($A11,100), Maryland drivers can also cash in on up to $US3,000 ($A4,440) of excise tax credits, and up to a 40% rebate for EV charging equipment installations, as well as being able to use transit lanes.
Doley says that a conversation with the local Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI) convinced him to make the switch.
“You notice there are not too many electric vehicles on the road,” Doley told CNBC.
“So it’s not something that I expect to become rich overnight or something like that, but it’s a good cause [and] good for the environment.”
Jointly funded by $US786,000 ($A1.16 million) from the Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration, the fuel station was converted to help meet demand for local EV drivers.
According to EVI CEO Matthew Wade, the Maryland suburb’s two public chargers were just not enough.
“They were fully utilized throughout the day; people were lining up,” Wade said.
“The city was happy they were being used, but then they said, ‘Wait, no one can get in this parking lot, because these taxis are using these chargers.”
In Norway, the first service station to switch to exclusively electric charging is a Circle K in Oslo.
Circle K is already a leader in EV charging in the Scandinavian, having inked a deal with Swiss electrification leader ABB to install its high-powered 350kW chargers in March 2019.
“We’re in a new era. It is a historic milestone that the gas station chains replace fossil fuel pumps with quick chargers. We congratulate Circle K for investing properly in electric cars,” said Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
Bu says that the fact the first fuel station in Norway to ditch diesel and petrol supply comes in the same month that world leaders gathered for the UN Climate Summit in New York is “extra fun to highlight”.
With over 250,000 electric vehicles now registered in Norway, it is one of the globe’s leaders in the electrification of transport with an EV market share of 44 per cent.
Norway’s success in leading the way in electrification is also thanks to a number of carrot-and-stick incentives and targets aimed at encouraging electric vehicle uptake.
From toll-free roads, transit lane access, free parking, and free charging, to financial incentives for those driving EVs and penalties for those driving high emissions vehicles, the northern European country now has more electric vehicles per capita than any other in the world.
According to Bu, this amazing transition to zero emissions transport will also soon be reflected in the conversion of more and more fuel stations.
“Norway has an offensive electric car policy that works,” says Bu.
“Soon we will see that more and more petrol and diesel pumps are being replaced by fast chargers and gas stations are becoming energy stations.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.