This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Charger Congestion a Problem for Electric Cars

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I never thought I would write this article. Could we already have too many electric cars?

You read that right. By at least one measure, we do.

In some places in America today, there are too many electric cars competing for too few electric chargers in public locations, primarily in city and mall parking garages. This is causing some unhappiness and grief among electric car drivers, and it's getting worse every day.

Let's start by stepping back for a minute, reviewing the relevant numbers. By the end of 2012, there were over 70,000 electric cars on the road in the U.S. In 2013, estimates mostly range between 100,000 and 125,000 electric cars sold, so we would end 2013 with at least 170,000 electric cars on the road, cumulatively. This counts both pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Most electric car owners charge their cars in at least one of two places: home and work. However, sometimes it is either necessary, desirable or simply possible to charge while you are parked in a parking garage such as in a city center or at a mall. It just makes sense.

Except I'm starting to see more congestion at chargers in these locations. Granted, this is not universal. Some electric car chargers are still used very little.

However, at a rising number of locations, especially in California, I am noticing an increasingly more typical scenario: A parking garage has two chargers, each with one 240 volt and one 110 volt outlet. Four electric cars are plugged in, two of whom are charging more than twice as fast as the other two. In the same parking garage are many other electric cars, parked without charging.

In other words, you may have 15 to 20 electric cars in the parking garage, but only two are able to charge at a speedy rate, and two others at a turtle-slow rate. A year from now, you could have 30-40 electric cars in that parking garage, waiting and unable to charge. There is already today an acute need for many more electric car chargers, as the current ones are utilized nearly 100% of the time.

An even smaller, but more recent, phenomenon are the Tesla (TSLA) "superchargers." These chargers are DC -- as opposed to AC -- and operate at 440 volt. These charge many times faster than AC at 240 volt. Tesla tends to talk about these chargers giving five miles of range per minute you are charging, so in 12 minutes of charging you would get 60 miles.

Stock quotes in this article: TSLA, GM, NSANY 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,494.98 -6.67 -0.04%
S&P 500 1,873.86 -1.53 -0.08%
NASDAQ 4,120.3330 -6.6340 -0.16%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs