I posted recently about the need to look at the (very near) future of electric car ranges before pushing ahead with the charging infrastructure based on current needs.

Our resident mathematician Chris Sewell has looked into this a bit more and, using the simplest principles of a field of study called Queuing theory (imagine the fun Chris has at his local Post Office), we’ve set out in the graph below the minimum number of chargers needed depending on how many cars arrive per hour.

The obvious statement to make is that the lower the frequency of arrivals, the lower the number of charging points are required and I’d argue the rate of arrivals is directly correlated to the range of an electric vehicle on a single charge. As these ranges increase the need for a large number of charge points in a single location reduces.

I’d even go one further and predict that there will be a shift in consumer behaviour where the charging of a vehicle becomes a secondary activity rather than the primary goal. For example, you go to Tesco to do your big shop and you plug your car in to get a boost. You drive to the cinema to watch the latest Marvel movie and you get a full charge.

Don’t get me wrong – there will still be a need for charging points at your conventional fuel stations, but shouldn’t we be considering the shift in consumer behaviour before installing thousands of charging points that may never be fully utilised?

Assumptions: Utilising the M/M/C queuing system theory, assuming each car is charged for 20 minutes.