And expand the charging network by eight times its current size to meet the coming demand.
According to a new report by S&P Global Mobility, America needs to quadruple the number of electric car charging stations it has in the next three years and increase it eightfold by 2030 if it's to support the number of EVs expected on our roads.
Logically, the need for more EV charging stations makes sense. As government incentivizes the adoption of electric cars like the Ford Mustang Mach-E with various programs like the Inflation Reduction Act, their numbers grow. As this happens, the infrastructure supporting them needs to grow, but it appears this is not happening fast enough. According to the report, there are currently more than 140,000 charging points across the US, but this number needs to increase in a big way to support the incoming tsunami of electric cars.
Manufacturers are starting to play their part, recognizing that infrastructure, or a lack thereof, is slowing EV adoption. Mercedes-Benz announced last week the roll-out of a self-branded, 10,000-strong global charging network that will start in America this year, and VW's subsidiary, Electrify America, is planning to add 6,500 chargers to its existing network by 2025.
S&P's research suggests that 2022 was a good year for EV charger roll-out, and at present, there are roughly 126,500 Level 2, 20,431 Level 3 (DC fast-charging), and 16,822 Tesla chargers. In 2022 alone, around 54,000 Level 2 and 10,000 Level 3 chargers were added to America's EV infrastructure. Contrarily, there are more than 145,000 gas stations with multiple pumps, all of which take just a few minutes to refuel.
But that network caters to only 1.9 million EVs currently in operation (as of October 2022), making up 0.7% of vehicles on American roads. S&P forecasts that by 2030, that percentage will swell to 40% or roughly 28.3 million EVs.
America is not yet equipped for this, and while many users will be able to charge at home, for many Americans, that is simply not an option.
Even as soon as 2025, S&P predicts as many as 7.8 million EVs in the US. So how many chargers are needed?
By 2025, roughly 700,000 Level 2 and 70,000 Level 3 chargers will be needed, and by 2027, 1.2 million and 109,000 of each will be required. By the decade's end, we'll need 2.13 million Level 2 chargers and nearly 200,000 Level 3 chargers to sustain the demand for electricity.
According to Deloitte's 2023 global automotive consumer study, 46 percent of US consumers said a lack of public charging infrastructure kept them from switching to electric vehicles.
There will be a natural skewing of which states see the biggest growth in EV charging infrastructure, mainly driven by legislation that puts an end to the sale of new internal combustion-powered cars. States like California, New York, and Oregon are well on their way to making a full switch to electrification, but Florida and Texas have also seen massive demand and registration of new EVs. Naturally, automakers and infrastructure suppliers will focus on these states.
However, there will be problems. This being a capitalist venture, most manufacturers will snap up highly coveted areas that offer the most traffic, but there are fears that low-income and less densely populated areas will be neglected. This is something CarBuzz staffers have already seen in action, where some lower-income demographic areas in California, for example, have had their only fast-charging stations removed with no clear intent to replace them and no response to questions on the matter.
The Federal government has earmarked $7.5 billion for the expansion of charging networks that should bag the US 500,000 chargers by 2030, but it is going to take a concerted effort to get things up and running in time for the day when there are more Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks on the road than gas- and diesel-burning ones.
Other options exist for reducing the load, such as battery-swapping, which has proven viable in countries like China. However, Americans seem to care little for such a concept. In light of this, it's imperative we increase our charging networks rapidly; otherwise, traffic jams to get to chargers will become a reality.