Top 5 Things You Need to Know About EV Charging Infrastructure
With the recent rise in fuel prices and heightened concerns about climate change, interest in electric vehicles (EV) is on the rise with 442,740 sales made last year. Government zero-emission initiatives encourage the development of electric vehicle charging stations, spending approximately 25% more on direct purchase incentives and tax deductions than last year. However, can infrastructure keep up with this accelerating industry to meet demand?
In this article, we will discuss the top 5 things you need to know about EV infrastructure, who the ‘big boys’ are in this industry, and how charging technology is bringing EV into 2023.
1. There’s more than one way to charge
- Level 1 – Trickle/domestic charge (3-7kW) is the slowest method of charging, taking up to 50 hours from empty.
- Level 2 – AV charge (3kW to 22kW) is faster and can be found in parking spaces and workplaces.
- Level 3 -‘DC fast charging (50 kW to 350kW) offers the fastest and most expensive public charge and can take time-poor drivers from as little as 8 minutes to charge.
2. If you build it, will they come?
Despite falling battery costs, the biggest roadblock to electric cars reaching ubiquity is ineffective EV charging infrastructure. EV charging infrastructure companies need incentives to implement fast-charging networks to benefit from the economies of scale.
3. Charging stations aren’t meeting coverage needs
Local governments in North America currently have their own incentives to reach green energy targets and these don’t always correspond with the need for EV charging stations in their area.
4. Maintaining EV networks
Power failures and blown fuses are common issues for charging stations. To maintain purchasing desire, it is important to manage these failures to reap long-term savings from EV.
5. Improved location technology
The rise in charging technology aims to resolve common challenges EV drivers face. Software such as ChargePoint integrates their charging network to cloud services so your fleet never drives aimlessly into a charge point that isn’t working.
The Largest EV Charging Companies in the US
With more sophisticated public charging technology and increased adoption of renewable energy, electric vehicle registrations are still on the rise, despite the setbacks due to covid. Not only is this good news for reducing carbon footprint and CO2 emissions, but also for the vehicle charging market, which is expected to rise from USD 17.59 Billion in 2021 to USD 11.90 Billion by 2028.
Let’s take a look at the top largest EV charging companies in the US:
Currently the lead choice for electric vehicles in the world. Tesla is the first vertically integrated sustainable energy company, offering end-to-end clean energy charging solutions from service technicians, body shops, supercharger stations and energy generation and storage.
With 15,454 locations and over 4,000 commercial customers, ChargePoint is the largest and independently owned electric vehicle charging network accounting for 42.8% of all US public charging stations.
Offering the largest public DC ultra-fast-charging networks across the US, Electrify America offers EV charging solutions for public, commercial and home use.
With a total of 2,175 ports, EVgo is powered by 100% renewable energy and achieves an impressive 98% uptime, along with their mobile app, EVgo proves one of the most convenient charging services available.
With a market value of $1.27 billion and over 3,000 ports, Blink Charging are a forward-thinking company that aims to build the EV infrastructure to make EV charging accessible to meet the growing needs of EV drivers.
A Canadian company supplies North America and Canada with a wide range of charging systems, software and equipment, interconnected with cloud-based servers.
Developing EV Infrastructure in the US
We mentioned earlier in this article that the lack of sufficient EV charging infrastructure, especially in remote locations, is the main roadblock to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. EV drivers are also anxious about affordability and reliability to connect when travelling long distances.
The solution requires bespoke planning. For example, urban cities may benefit from multiple DC fast charging stations and rural locations may only need a small number of domestic charge points. More research and investment are needed to understand driver’s habits to build chargers where people need them and at the speed they require. Electric cooperatives are working with state and federal agencies to address these issues and improve the current infrastructure.
As demand for EVs increases, electricity demand is estimated to surge from 11 billion kWh to 230 billion kWh in 2030. This would mean that approximately 30 million chargers would need to be developed to supply this demand.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes a $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to develop the nation’s EV charging infrastructure to build 500,000 new public chargers in the next five years. As infrastructure expands, not only should this help meet emissions standards but save consumers money, lower pollution, open up new job opportunities and improve public health overall.
The Benefits of Working with an industry leader like ChargePoint
Since first adoption in the mid-19th century, electric vehicles were not mass produced and did not need to rely on availability of commercial charging stations. With the electrification of homes in the 20th Century meant that EVs could be charged at home and were made more accessible to the public. More people would be in a position to buy an EV, although they were still limited as the infrastructure was just not out there to make the purchase worthwhile.
As technology has progressed in recent years, leading companies such as ChargePoint are responsible for the largest EV infrastructure network. Their network of AC and DC fast charging solutions connect to cloud-based software to help drivers balance the costs of fueling with real-time rich insights:
- Charge levels and time are used to optimize fueling on the go.
- Energy use vs energy cost so drivers can keep control of expenses.
- Charge station status and location for a seamless charge from any location.
- Scalable design meets changing needs of fleets.
In conclusion, there has been vast improvement in EV infrastructure in recent years, but with evolving technology and government incentives, more robust infrastructure will start to see EV charging companies benefit from the economies of scale and drivers reap the benefits of an accessible and affordable charging infrastructure.