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- The US is in desperate need of more charging for electric cars.
- Charging needs to quadruple by 2025 and grow eight-fold by 2030 to accommodate EVs.
- That’s going to require a lot of investment, public-private partnerships, and government support.
The US doesn’t have nearly enough plugs to accommodate the coming influx of electric cars.
Charging infrastructure has been growing quickly over the past several years, but not fast enough now that the country has reached what some called a crucial tipping point in EV adoption, with 5% of new car sales electric last year.
Specifically, the US needs to quadruple its charging infrastructure by 2025, and grow it more than eight times by 2030, according to a new report out of S&P Global Mobility.
According to the firm, there are currently about 126,500 Level 2 charging stations (which take about five hours to fully recharge an EV) and 20,431 Level 3 (about 15-20 minutes to charge an EV to 80% battery) charging stations in the US — several thousand of which were just installed last year.
There are also about 16,822 Tesla Superchargers and Tesla destination chargers.
But S&P Global Mobility says that, assuming there could be as many as 7.8 million EVs on the roads in 2025, that will require 700,000 Level 2 and 70,000 Level 3 chargers deployed.
Looking to 2030, with as many as 28.3 million EVs expected on US roads, 2.13 million Level 2 and 172,000 Level 3 public chargers will be required, S&P Global Mobility forecasts, in addition to the home charging setups drivers might install.
Automakers are betting their futures on available charging
A lack of charging infrastructure is a problem, as nearly every major automaker is buying into electrification with billions in new technology, models, and manufacturing.
After all, 46% of US consumers surveyed last year for Deloitte’s 2023 global automotive consumer study cited lack of public charging infrastructure as a major barrier to EV penetration. That’s despite the fact that a majority of EV charging can be done at home — if an EV owner has access to a garage and plug.
The charging industry has been getting tons of interest as a result, and could be a more than $207.5 billion market by 2030, according to Guidehouse Insights. But it’s facing a ton of challenges.
So far, charging hasn’t been much of a money-making venture for those in the space. It often requires time-consuming, costly, and complex electrical and construction work.
It’s unclear where the onus lies to maintain the infrastructure once it is installed. It’s crucial to proactively pick the best spots where charging will be utilized the most — but it’s also important to prioritize lower-income communities that have been left out of the EV push.
That could change with more and more momentum from the Biden Administration, which is targeting a national network of 500,000 public charging stations by 2030 and has slated $7.5 billion toward charging build-out.