Major Increase in EV Charging Stations Across U.S.
While electric vehicles only make up a tiny 0.2 percent of passenger cars around the world, that number is growing, and growing fast. In 2016, there were 2 million EVs on the world's roads, up from "virtually non-existent" in 2012. Nearly 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2017 alone, a new record.
This boom in electric car ownership has corresponded with growth in public charging infrastructure. EVgo, the largest public network of fast-charging stations in the U.S., charged 40 million miles of electric driving in 2017. That's a dramatic increase compared to the 22 million EV miles charged in 2016.
The EVgo network increased by 20 percent last year, and now has more than 1,000 DC fast chargers across 66 markets nationwide. Network usage set a record with 1.1 million charging sessions, an increase of 50 percent.
Impressively, EVgo said that the 13 million kilowatt hours delivered from the network corresponded to 1.6 million gallons of gasoline saved and prevented the release of 9,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
"2017 was an extremely successful year for EVgo, and not only did we add the 1,000th charger to our network, but we also delivered more fast charging power to EV drivers than ever before, with a resulting impact of 1.6 million gallons of gasoline saved," said Cathy Zoi, EVgo's CEO. "We are extremely pleased to see such rapid growth not only of our network, but also of EV sales across the board, and we are proud to be at the center of this rapid change toward a more electrified world."
The company expects this growth to continue as more long range electric vehicle options come to market, and deliveries strengthen for EV's such as the Chevy Bolt, 2018 Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model 3.
Experts say that the rise of electric vehicles is all but inevitable. Within six years, the cost of owning an EV will be cheaper than purchasing and running a gasoline or diesel model, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicted.
"People are more likely to invest in plug-in cars once they feel confident they'll always find a place to recharge their batteries away from home, and fast. In fact, the availability of public charging infrastructure is a leading factor in EV adoption.
"While the vast majority of charging occurs at home, public charging stations enable EV drivers to take extended trips. They also facilitate EV ownership by households reliant on on-street parking."
But more and more companies—even ones you wouldn't expect—are waking up to the electric car revolution.
Futurism reported that oil giant BP is investing $5 million in FreeWire Technologies, a U.S. manufacturer of rapid charging systems for electric vehicles. In November, Shell teamed up with IONITY (a partnership between BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and other automakers) to build a High-Power Charging network in Europe.
The Electric Vehicle Charging Association reported there were more than 50,000 charge points (public and private) in operation in the U.S. in 2017, up from 45,000 the year before. The organization also projects major growth for the industry over the next few years.
"Globally, the EV charging infrastructure industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 46.8 percent from 2017 to 2025, reaching $45.59 billion in revenue by 2025," the association said. "In the U.S. alone, revenue increased by 576 percent over five years, growing from $27 million in 2011 to $182 million in 2016. If the annual increase in revenue matches the 11 percent growth rate from 2015 to 2016, the U.S. could see more than $276 million by 2020."
The switch away from traditional gas guzzlers couldn't come soon enough. According to the International Energy Agency, in order to limit temperature increases to below 2°C by the end of the century, the threshold set by the Paris agreement, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040.
Are Electric Vehicles Finally Taking Off? Here's What You Need to Now https://t.co/F435eQsyFq @BusinessGreen @Ethical_Corp— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1517488228.0
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It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.
Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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