The race for a cleaner future is on and it is being led by efforts of governments, organizations, and individuals all around the world, especially in the automotive industry.
This industry branch contributes to the efforts by designing, producing, and selling electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations, while governments provide an environment through policies and incentives that encourage their use and purchases.
Although sales of EVs continue to soar and many countries plan to sell only electric vehicles by 2040, there are still hurdles to overcome.
These include the price (greatly affected by the cost of the battery), the infrastructure (charging points), as well as the battery range in miles or kilometers. There may also be some potential hurdles with providing electricity in some areas, as the switch towards EVs continues.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Infrastructure Worldwide
At the end of 2018, the number of charging points around the world was estimated to be approximately 5.2 million, an increase of 44% from the previous year.
Most of the growth is attributed to private charging points, which accounted for over 90% of the 1.6 million charging point installations that took place in that year. [IEA]
Where Do You Find the Most Charging Stations?
Who is truly leading in the race in installing charging stations? How many EV charging stations are there in the U.S.? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the table:
|Europe||170,149||10.18 million km²||741.5 million|
|EU||144,000||4.476 million km²||513.5 million|
|US||25,000||9.834 million km²||331 million|
|China||5,004||9.597 million km²||1.41 billion|
|Canada||5,004||9.985 million km²||37.74 million|
|Australia||2,000||7.692 million km²||25.49 million|
EV Charging Stations in the US
As of March 2020, there were around 25,000 EV charging locations and 78,500 charging outlets in the US. A substantial sum of EV chargers in the U.S. is located in California, whose state-wide data points to 6,835 stations and 28,545 power outlets. [Statista]
This number is seven times higher than in Texas, which ranks second. Florida is in third place. By contrast, states like North Dakota and Alaska had only 36 and 26 public charging outlets in January 2020. [Mashable]
EV Charging Stations in the UK
As of April 2020, the UK had 11,320 charging stations, providing 31,619 charging outlets. Of these numbers, 13.3% were in Scotland, 13.5% in the South East England region, whereas 25.6% were in the Greater London area. [Zap-Map]
Scotland vs. England
EV Charging Stations in Europe
As of July 2019, Europe had 170,149 public EV charging stations. Within the EU there were about 144,000 charging locations/stations. Together, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom) account for 76% of all ECV charging points in the EU.
By contrast, the same four countries only take 27% of the EU’s total surface area. On the other hand is a large country like Romania (approximately six times bigger than the Netherlands) that only has 125 charging points or 0.1% of the EU total. [Statista, ACEA]
EV Charging Infrastructure Market
The period of 2009-2013 saw the development of nationwide EV charging infrastructure across the U.S., with the Energy Department supplying 18,000 commercial, residential, and public chargers.
The battery is the priciest component of an EV. In 2013, battery prices marked a decrease by 50%, helping make EVs more affordable for consumers. [Energy.gov]
The global EV charging stations market is predicted to reach $38.9 billion by 2027. [Meticulous Research]
Where Do You Charge Your EV and How Long Does It Take?
You can charge your EV at home with Level 1 or Level 2 charging station or a public charging station. If you’re looking to get a charging station for home make sure to get the best EV charging stations for home that have wide adoption.
Charging infrastructure in the U.S.:
|Charging level||Voltage||Protection||Typical Power||EV miles per/hour||Setting|
|AC level 1||120 V||None or breaker in cable||1.2-1.4 kW||3-4 miles||Primarily home or some workplace|
|AC level 2||208 V- 240 V||Pilot function and breaker in hardwired charging station||3.3-6.6 kW||10-20 miles||Home, workplace, and public with hardwired station|
|DC fast||400 V – 1,000 V||Monitoring and communication between vehicle and EVSE||50 kW or more||150-1,000 miles||Public, frequently intercity|
From around 6,900 public, workplace, and DC fast chargers across the U.S. in 2016, the public charging infrastructure has increased to approximately 61,000 outlets by the end of 2017.
About 74% of all the U.S. public and workplace chargers were in the 100 most populous metropolitan areas. Within these areas, there were around 11,400 workplace outlets, 30,700 public AC level 2 outlets, as well as 3,400 DC fast charging stations.
The year-over-year increase in charging points from 2016 to 2017 was 35% for workplace outlets, 39% for public AC level 2 outlets, and 46% for DC fast charging stations.
How People Charge Their Cars Varies Greatly
If you live in California, you’ll probably be able to charge mostly at home overnight. The process is slightly more difficult in cramped NYC. This is why governments and businesses are looking into different charging options.
Will the Future Lead to an Electric Overload?
The shortest answer is no. With smart homes and parking, people can avoid charging their vehicles at peak hours. Moreover, the electricity needed in total is not likely to cause great trouble.
However, in certain areas, such as cities, where fast charging may be necessary or peak hour charging may be particularly tricky, it may lead to temporary issues.
Where in the World Is It the Cheapest to Drive an EV?
The cheapest place to drive an EV in is Chile, where it costs approximately $0.27 per mile. Below, you can see what it would cost to charge up a Tesla Model S with a 100 kWh battery pack. Bear in mind that electricity prices vary, not just from country to country, but from state to state in some countries. This is a generalized overview.
|Country||Price of kW in USD||Cost to Charge Fully in USD||Cost per Mile in USD||Cost per 100 Miles in USD|
Chargers Are Needed for 2030 and What Will It Cost?
It will cost countries a great deal to install electric charging stations to meet the demands estimated by 2030. China is going to have to fork out a whopping $19 billion!
- a level 2 charger used in a home costs less than $1,000
- a level 2 charger in a workplace or in public can cost between $3,000 and $5,000
- a DCFC starts at about $25,000 and, depending on the power capacity, can rise to more than $200,000
Who Manufactures and Installs Charging Points?
Below are the major players that provide charge points for both residential as well as commercial customers. The commercial application include setting up charging stations to installation on parking lots, lamp posts, and on-site for businesses with large fleet.
It has been estimated that, in Europe alone, 2 million charging points are needed to be made in order to sustain the EV market by 2025.
However, this will be a challenging task as currently there are fewer than 200,000 charging points and only 12 major players in such a demanding market. [Mordor Intelligence]
Tesla Supercharger vs other charging stations in the US
Tesla’s Supercharger network currently has 1,800+ stations in the US, with plans to introduce more. [Tesla]
Although for years Tesla’s Supercharger system was the charging infrastructure leader in the US, independent charging networks, courtesy of companies like Greenlots, Electrify America, EVgo, and EV Connect, are increasingly threatening to take over the throne. These companies are all racing to build thousands of new charging stations that mimic the look and feel of their gas counterparts. [Quartz]
Governments across the world are on the warpath with fossil fuels. Their main weapon? Electricity – the rechargeable fuel that can easily be gathered from renewable sources and decrease our dependence on environmentally unsafe fuels.
Today, we’re witnessing not only the growing popularity and use of EVs but also the increasing spread of infrastructure required for powering them. All of this means we are actively working our way toward these types of vehicles being more accessible, practical, and affordable.
Hopefully, the future will bring an intensification of these efforts as we move toward living a better, environmentally-friendlier, and healthier life.