Yesterday morning, the brave, ever-vigilant mainstream media alerted us to modern civilization's existential crisis of the week: The shortage of EV charging stations in our urban centers.
The articles that made the rounds through the media outlet ranks were stuffed with examples of urban-dwelling millennials and zoomers flirting with catastrophe because they weren't able to get as many electrons into the EV battery packs as they'd anticipated.
Take Stephanie Terrell of Portland, Oregon, for example. Having failed to secure a spot for her Chevy Leaf at her neighborhood EV charging station, she — get this — “nearly” ran out of charge while on a public freeway.
Surely as close to disaster as the 23-year-old had ever wandered, Stephanie was "stressed out" and "traumatized" by the event, even to the point of questioning her decision to go all-in on a plug-in.
Oh… the humanity.
Sarcasm aside, the problem of charging a rapidly expanding fleet of EVs isn't something to snicker at.
The EV Revolution Won't Happen Without It
The U.S. requires no fewer than 115,000 filling stations to keep its 280 million gas-driven vehicles on the road, with the average business operating between six and 12 pumps — giving us the capacity to fill between 690,000 and 1.38 million vehicles at any given moment.
As of April of this year, our national plug-in port count stood at a paltry 15,000.
Now, given that the nation's EV fleet still stands at around 1% of the total vehicles on the road, those numbers may not seem quite so deficient at first glance.
In cities, however, where EV buying is more active and where personal charging stations are harder to come by due to lower rates of private garage ownership, the problems like the kind experienced by Stephanie Terrell begin to bubble to the surface.
If plans to phase out ICE-driven vehicles for EVs come to fruition, the minor annoyances and periodic inconveniences will quickly evolve into a potentially paralyzing flaw in the system.
The one obvious solution, of course, is to install more stations. The Biden administration is working toward that end, having already approved $5 billion in federal funding to bolster our national charging network.
The Easiest Answer to Expanding EV Infrastructure
But there is another solution, and though it's discussed far less often, it's the one with the true potential as a long-term solution.
You see, the limited number of available charging ports is just one factor. The other, much more important matter to consider is charging time.
Taking an average of 30–45 minutes to bring an EV from near zero to near full charge, even today's fastest Level 3 chargers cannot compete with gas and diesel filling stations, which can fill your typical fuel tank in less than three minutes.
That shortcoming in the system is not only the biggest hurdle for prospective first-time EV buyers, but also the single biggest cause of the electron gridlock that we're seeing in today's population centers.
Charge delay is, put more concisely, the reason why 15,000 charge ports nationwide is a sorely insufficient number. If they take 10 times as long to charge, there need to be 10 times as many to serve the same number of vehicles.
One Charging Port Does Not Equal One Pump
So why not just figure out a way to cut the charge time? Make the queue move faster so that people like Stephanie Terrell can get in, get out, and get on their way with the confidence that their car won't clonk out halfway to work.
To solve that problem, we need to focus on the batteries themselves.
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To crack the charge delay problem, they've chosen to scrap the long-standard lithium-ion cathode and create a cathode out of an all-new material: graphene.
If you haven't heard of this stuff, it's nothing short of science fiction-level in terms of advancement.
It's one molecule thick. It's stronger than steel. A sheet weighing one gram could cover an entire football field, including the end zones.
The Next-Generation Battery Is Here
It's also a remarkable conductor of heat and electricity, which makes it an ideal material for the creation of a next-generation rechargeable battery cathode.
Graphene is so new and so advanced that its key researchers took home the Nobel Prize for their work in 2010, but it wasn't until much more recently that a new production technique made graphene practical for commercial applications.
The cost of production went down by orders of magnitude, and now the world's most advanced batteries are going from theory to reality.
Graphene-based batteries last longer, boast much higher capacities, and are far more stable, which means fewer failures and fewer fires.
But the biggest gain is charge time. We're looking at up to a 70x improvement in speed (you read that correctly), meaning that in the near future, EV owners will be able to charge their vehicles from zero to full capacity in less time than it takes to pump a tank full of gas.
The Last Piece of the Puzzle
This improvement is substantial enough to achieve two things: a) multiply the charging capacity of our existing charging stations by an order of magnitude and b) break down the last barriers to adoption for millions of would-be EV buyers.
The company that's pioneering this technology also invented the novel production method that makes all this possible, and its first production units are already coming off the assembly lines, headed for testing and evaluation programs at some of the world's biggest producers of consumer tech.
Soon enough, once the potential becomes publicly known, graphene batteries will invade the EV space.
From there, it will not be a long journey to total market domination.
At the moment, however, the company and its stock — already trading on two major North American exchanges — is almost unknown outside of the industry.
That makes this potentially the biggest secret in tech and, therefore, the most under-bought stock in the entire sector.
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Fortune favors the bold, Alex Koyfman His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.
Fortune favors the bold,
His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.