The State & Promise of EV Charging Infrastructure — New Report

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Aside from the core matter of EV sales, there is no topic more instrumental to the transition to electric vehicles than the topic of EV charging. It’s the first or second thing anyone without an EV asks EV owners about, and it’s one of the most important factors everyone considers before going electric. But what is the state of EV charging — in the US, in Europe, in Australia, and elsewhere? What’s the state of progress, problems, and potential with EV charging infrastructure in these regions? That’s what our latest report, The State and Promise of EV Charging Infrastructure, tackles.

Here’s a little teaser from the report:

Satisfaction with public Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) networks slid from 75% in 2022 to 54% in 2023 in a Plug In America survey. Public charging networks are lagging, with 46% of those who used public DCFC stations considering broken chargers to be a “major concern” or “a deal-breaker for using this network.” That’s worse than the 25% result in 2022. Building codes requiring new construction to have adequate EV-ready parking spots will enable greater adoption of EVs by residents of multi-unit dwellings, as will grant programs and additional workplace charging.

While EV consumers say updates are needed for public fast charging infrastructure, the vast majority of them are still likely to buy an EV as their next vehicle. The capital from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021, as well as increased competition in the private sphere, should increase US investments and minimum charging standard requirements and improve the quality and reliability of public charging over the next 5 years.

[…]

On November 15, 2021, Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which contains significant new funding for EV charging stations. Key new USDOT programs include the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program ($5 billion) and the Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure ($2.5 billion). The law also makes the installation of EV charging infrastructure an eligible expense under the USDOT Surface Transportation Block Grant formula program. Additionally, BIL provides funding to USDOT, DOE, and EPA for the deployment of electric school buses and ferries, port electrification, a domestic supply chain for battery production, and battery recycling, among other EV-related initiatives.

[…]

A 2022 analysis from McKinsey suggests that the European Union (EU) will need at least 3.4 million operational public charging points by 2030 to enable a complete switch from fossil powered vehicles to EVs. This figure includes 2.9 million public chargers for passenger cars, 0.4 million for light commercial vehicles, and 0.1 million for trucks and buses. It does not include the estimated 29 million residential and workplace chargers.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reports that 6.8 million electric charge points will be needed across the EU by 2030, a 20-fold increase required to support the upcoming tide of EVs over the next decade. The EU is currently behind the target rate.

The two countries with the fastest public charging installation pace in the EU are France (400/week in 2021) and Germany (200/week in 2021). However, they, too, will have to increase their pace of installation to meet anticipated needs. Major improvements to the grid system will also be required for proper distribution of electricity to the millions of new charging stations in the future. EV electricity demand could potentially rise from 9 terawatt-hours (which is less than 1% of EU total electricity consumption) in 2021 to 165 terawatt-hours in 2030. Even though EV-specific electricity demand is predicted to increase by nearly 40% annually, it is only taking up about 6% of the total electricity consumed in the EU.

Where do Europeans charge?

In Europe, 70% of EV charging occurs at home or work, where charging outlets have lower power output and longer charging durations, resulting in lower costs. Residential EV chargers are AC chargers with charging power between 7.4 and 22 kW. Each charging point receives more than four charging sessions per week, totaling an average of 100 kWh/week. Higher than 95% of home charging sessions take place between 12 pm and 8 am.

There’s much more in the report, written by Carolyn Fortuna, including results from a CleanTechnica survey on EV charging.


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