It's been a while since I last blogged about my efforts transitioning to driving electric. It is not like nothing has happened but progress is slow. With the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man ranting, here goes.
Buying a commodity
Imagine a shop that sells a commodity, a typical sale is 20-40 kr (some 2-4 EUR/USD). To buy you need to enter your social security number, your email address, and your credit card information in an app. Approve with another app. There are 10-20 different companies selling the commodity across the country. The product is indistinguishably the same. The only difference is the price, where it is sold, and how you buy it.
Each provider has a slightly different process for you to go through to buy it. If you do something wrong you have to start over. Or call a phone number.
When you want to buy the product, you have to drive around and see if you can find a place where they are ready to sell it to you. When you have purchased it, it takes several hours before they have completed the order and you get the product. When the product has been delivered, if you are not there to pick it up, you can get a penalty for showing up late.
This is so messed up.
This is how it is to charge an electric car away from home in Sweden today.
Charging at work
We bought a plugin hybrid last year. It can go electric 50-60 km when fully charged. I tested charging while working today.
I found a place where you could charge for 2 hours, then realised that this was an app that I had not set up. I tried to buy without registering, but was asked to register. Then I found out that this was an app provided by a certain parking company.
5 years ago I had a mess with avoiding fees for a paper invoice and for paying late. The invoice arrived late by paper letter just after we headed to Denmark for Christmas. I was feeling extra stupid because the only thing I did wrong was that I forgot to check out as I left the parking lot as I could park one hour for free.
So when I tried to create an account, I could not create a new account but could reset the password of my old account. Then I entered my current credit card details and the license plate for the new car. Approve with BankId, the Swedish app for digital signing.
Then I had to go down and move the car after 2 hours. I paid 30 kr.
So yes, it is a real thing and this is so messed up.
I gave up charging when we visited Naturhistoriska (the Museum of Natural History) this Summer. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to set things up while I had impatient dogs and kids jumping around me.
What happened to "make it easy for customers to give you their money?"
Train crash in slow motion
At least driving electric is cheaper than taking public transportation or driving gasoline. Once you have invested in the car of course.
Finally after two and a half years, the offer for installing a charging station at home landed. I signed up within a day, even if the economy is stupid: For the kind of place I live, you don’t get any refund from the state. Everyone else get 50% of the expense covered. It is also unclear if I own it and can take it as a tax deductible expense in case we sell the house.
Hey, I just want to do my part to stop this train wreck of a disaster we are watching in slow motion. If it is this hard in Sweden, I can’t even imagine how this transition is going to happen elsewhere anytime soon. Tragedy of the public commons.
Besides the automatic confirmation of my order, I have not yet heard back from the company delivering the charging station. This is two weeks ago. My hopes are not high for charging at home soon.