EV Charging Stations Need to Be Faster and More Plentiful

Experts estimate a need for more than one million new public charging ports in the United States by 2030. With most automakers transitioning their lineups to EVs, more charging stations are necessary. Currently, there are nearly 150,000 public EV charging stations, with only about 25% of those offering Level 3 DC fast charging capabilities. We urgently need more EV charging stations; how do we get them?

EV charging stations: a true chicken and egg dilemma

The future of electric cars requires a larger infrastructure of EV charging stations. The entire car industry is rolling out more electric vehicles every year, which means more places to charge are necessary.

Currently, we see gas stations on every corner, and we now call the unleaded gas we use regular. There was a time when leaded gas was considered regular and unleaded was an option. Eventually, the infrastructure caught up to this gasoline change. Surely, the electric car infrastructure will also catch up to the number of EVs.

The federal government is pushing the electric car needle

The current presidential administration set an ambitious goal, and most automakers have responded with new plans to build electric vehicles. The goals set by the Executive Office include half of all vehicles sold in 2030 must be zero-emissions models and 500,000 charging ports must be available for them.

Here we are near the end of 2022 with only seven years until the due date arrives. Experts tell us we’ll need nearly twice as many EV charging stations than planned.

EV charging stations need to be faster

Closeup of a Toyota RAV4 Prime electric plug-in hybrid PHEV charging cable connected, green grass visible in the background.
Toyota RAV4 Prime electric plug-in hybrid | Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Most of the current public charging locations for electric cars are Level 2 chargers, which take a long time to charge EVs. Charging at Level 2 locations is the same as charging an EV at home, provided you’ve installed a 240-volt charging location.

We need faster chargers that can support the speed of charging using DC fast charging power and technology. This change/upgrade would go a long way to ensuring EVs have places to charge and charge quickly.

Who is the largest provider of EV charging stations?

Currently, the ChargePoint Network is the largest, with 14,155 Level 2 locations and 47,114 Level 2 ports, as reported by EV Adoption in December 2021. Tesla offers the most DC fast charging ports with 12,580, which are used specifically by Tesla EVs.

How much does charging an electric car at a charging station in the United States cost?

Promo photo of a blue 2013 Nissan Leaf charging in a driveway, a black charging cable coiled on the ground visible in front of the car.
Nissan Leaf | Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rates at charging stations vary from state to state. The average Level 2 charging in California costs 30 cents per kWh and 40 cents per kWh for DC fast charging. To put this price into perspective, a Nissan Leaf with a 150-mile range and 40-kWh battery costs about $12.00 to fully charge using the Level 2 charging speed. The same Leaf costs $16.00 to charge using DC fast charging.

When was the last time refueling your vehicle cost so little? Just something to think about.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a public charger?

How long does it take to charge an electric car at Walmart?
An Electrify America electric car charging station at Walmart | Walmart

Most EVs can charge up at public charging stations in as little as 30 minutes using the DC fast charging option. Most automakers offer EVs that charge to a high percentage in less than one hour. This allows enough driving range to continue your journey. When you want a vehicle fully charged, most automakers suggest doing this at home using your own Level 2 charging port.

Automakers are furiously working to reduce the charging times for electric cars. Simultaneously, EV charging companies are installing more charging stations regularly. Hopefully, we won’t see a time when electric cars must be parked due to a lack of charging locations. This is something we should be concerned about for the future.