EVs Outnumber Public Charging Stations
April 14, 2022—The number of electric vehicles on the road is quickly outpacing the amount of public charging points available to drivers, according to an article by Bloomberg Quint.
The number of EVs on the road per public charging station rose from 7.4 at the end of 2020 to 9.2 globally, per most recent data.
Last year, 6.6 million electric vehicles were sold across the globe. Some countries, like China, are able to keep up with the demand. They have been able to maintain a consistent ratio between chargers and EVs since 2018.
Inversely, here in the United States, the presence of EVs continues to grow but the amount of chargers per EV on the road remains greatly unequal. In China, there are 16 EVs for every ultra-fast charger compared to over 100 in the U.S.
Part of the reason for this difference could be attributed to the way housing is approached in places like China versus the U.S. In China, it is more common in densely populated areas to live in a high rise where the chance of having an at-home charger is small. Therefore, more public chargers are required. In the U.S, owners of EVs in areas like the suburbs do 80-90 percent of their charging at home.
That being said, it is still important for the average U.S EV owner to have access to public charging stations. But it is not as simple as just plopping more down in every convenience store parking lot.
Many charging stations are actually under-utilized. According to the article, "Most chargers need somewhere between 8-10 charging events per day to start to make a decent return for the investor."
Fast-charging operators want more charging sessions at these locations per day. Of course, that could mean a more concentrated density of customers waiting for their turn. It ends up being somewhat of a tricky balancing act.
Ideally, countries like the U.S will get to a more well-distributed point of at-home and public charging access. This will not only enhance EV customer experience but it will also better help the country face the influx of EV production that will undoubtedly continue to grow.