Easter and the unexpected increase in electric car traffic jams: the new normal?

The electric car revolution has begun, and with it, the change towards cleaner and more ecological transportation.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 11:37
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Easter and the unexpected increase in electric car traffic jams: the new normal?

The electric car revolution has begun, and with it, the change towards cleaner and more ecological transportation. But this transition is accompanied by certain obstacles. The limited autonomy of the batteries and the long charging times are some of them, added to the fact that charging points are still scarce, causing queues at many points.

Especially during periods of high demand, such as the Easter return operation, this situation becomes more palpable. Thus, Tesla users have experienced long waits at supercharger stations, which has made returning home even more complicated after a few days of rest.

In particular, stations located on main routes have seen queues of cars waiting to charge lengthen. A clear example is found at the Tesla station on the A-31 near La Gineta, Albacete, where, despite having eight charging points of up to 150 kW of power, the queues have not stopped. "The La Gineta supercharger is bursting at the seams and there are two poles that do not work," said a user on the social network X, reflecting the tension that the drivers have experienced.

These waits are not only due to the large influx of vehicles. Another big problem is the charging infrastructure itself, which, in some cases, must distribute its maximum power among several cars, which slows down the charging speed. This situation has led desperate users to look for alternatives, even if this means deviating from the planned route. "A disaster, three points stopped working and others were super slow. In the end I decided to go and charge at 7 km," commented another affected person.

The situation in Atalaya del Cañavate, in Cuenca, has been similar, with complaints from users of up to two hours of waiting and several chargers out of service. "Almost 2 hours to charge. Several chargers out of service. Not like that," lamented one user.

This difficult panorama has revealed an urgent need: to accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure. According to the ANFAC electromobility barometer, the number of publicly accessible charging points reached 29,301 in 2023, a figure that, although higher than the previous year, is still insufficient. Of them, only 827 were high power, essential for quick recharges on long trips. In addition, 21% of the network was out of service, either due to its poor condition or because they were not connected to the electrical grid.

ANFAC's position is clear: "We are not following the pace we should. We have fallen far short of those 45,000 charging points marked for 2023 to achieve the objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan for 2030."