With so many automakers producing electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid variations, it’s clear that consumers are ready to go green. However, if you’re thinking about buying an EV, you’re probably also wondering how easy it will be to keep it charged. EV infrastructure isn’t advancing as fast as EV models are rolling off the dealer lots. Furthermore, depending on your travel plans, where you can find charging stations will determine whether or not you reach your destination. So, how many EV charging stations are there right now in the U.S.?
Can EV infrastructure sustain the boost in vehicles?
According to Vox, there were roughly 627,000 EVs purchased across 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, projected sales numbers only show increases in those metrics. Nearly every automaker producing for the U.S. market is promising hybrid and EV variations in the coming years, some phasing out some of their gas-powered vehicles altogether. So, can the EV infrastructure of the U.S. handle all these electric rides on the road? Most critics say no.
How many EV charging stations are there?
The current availability of charging stations nationwide pales compared to the rapid growth of EV sales. At the moment, home charging has largely been the most important way to keep those batteries juiced. It’s cheaper than installing charging stations and pretty convenient for EV owners, though not an option for all drivers depending on their parking situation.
As of 2019, there are roughly a little more than 68,800 charging units across the U.S., says the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. This data represents both DC fast chargers as well as Level 2 units. The DC fast chargers appeal more to travelers, adding another 60-80 miles of range in 20 minutes. The more prominent Level 2 chargers only add 10-20 miles of range in about an hour.
There are currently 42,490 public EV charging stations dotted around the nation, with significant voids throughout the Midwest and Mountain West. Of those, only 5,141 units are DC fast chargers. To compare, there are currently 115,000 or more gas stations offering multiple pumps for service.
How far EV charging station infrastructure has come
EV infrastructure will improve, with contributors like Electrify America committing to grow the number of available charging stations over the next few years. According to Electrify America, the EV network provider plans to deploy 150 and 350 kW chargers, another 1,800 fast-charging stations, and 10,000 individual chargers by 2025. Part of the expansion includes growing availability footprints in more remote areas, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii, and West Virginia.
The federal government aims to support the EV infrastructure advancement, with President Biden’s proposal to invest $2 trillion in America’s roadways and overall infrastructure. Part of that spending, according to CNBC, includes a promise to have no fewer than 500,000 EV charging stations nationwide by 2030. That’s if the bill passes, of course.
No one disagrees with the shortcomings of the EV charging station infrastructure. Furthermore, with recent surges in electric vehicle sales and popularity, it’s becoming more of a dire need that these charging unit maps catch up to the demand. The EV industry has certainly come a long way, but not enough. Hopefully, with private sector companies and new potential infrastructure legislation in Washington, the next five years will see major improvements. In the meantime, you’ll have to plan your travel plans around available charging stations strategically.