Four factors are believed to impact the charging infrastructure requirements by 2030 to support the pressing demand for EV charging stations.
First, drivers’ charge anxiety emerges as they fear failing to locate an operable charger at the most needed time and place. Although EV drivers can charge their cars at home, at a fleet depot, or work, their need to charge while in route is still present, especially for unexpected circumstances. To address the emerging “charge anxiety” among EV drivers, there is a significant need to build more EV charging infrastructure to meet today’s and tomorrow’s demand.
Second, there is an ineffective distribution and availability of EV chargers. To support this claim, facts you should know will be provided below:
- Public charging stations in the EU are about 330,00, but 69% are distributed in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. In addition, only about 10% of these infrastructures are considered fast charging.
- In the UK, public charging stations are over 32,000, with 1,800 ultra-rapid chargers highly concentrated in London, and some are distributed evenly across the country.
- In the US, public charging stations are over 47,000, with about 6,000 ultra-fast chargers significantly installed in higher income and population-dense areas, including California with 34,000 total public charging points, followed by New York (6,547) and Florida (5,644).
Despite having enormous public charging stations, there is still no guarantee that EV drivers will be able to charge up their cars, as evidenced by studies showing high rates of charger outages. As a solution, smart charging management on the charging networks can offer a more stable charging network and higher charger availability to meet the pressing demand.
Third, levels of electric vehicle charging, and its charging times are another essential consideration, especially for EV drivers. As of now, there are three EV charging and charging times levels that are specifically associated with the charging need, and these are the following:
Level 1 slow charging: 120-volt AC
Connectors used: None or J1772
Charging speed: Up to 20 hours for a full charge, or 3 – 5 miles of range per hour
Use cases: Home charging
Level 2 slow charging: 208-240-volt AC
Connectors used: J1772
Charging speed: 5 – 6 hours, or 12 – 80 miles of range per hour
Use cases: Home charging, workplace charging, multi-family unit charging, public charging
Level 3 fast charging: 400-volt to 900-volt DC
Connectors used: CCS (Combined Charging System), CHAdeMO
Charging speed: 15 (ultrafast) – 45 (fast) minutes, or 3 – 20 miles of range per minute
Use cases: Public charging
Fourth, there is a grid aside from the growing power demand for EV charging infrastructure. It is projected to cater to most Level 1 and Level 2 charging requirements through 2030, per the International Energy Agency and McKinsey & Company. However, the plan to build the Level 3 EV charging infrastructure is rarely close to the high-power grid lines, requiring costly grid upgrades.
As noted by McKinsey & Company, “few grids can deliver large amounts of electricity to many EVs at high rates at the same time,” which proves that the use of smart charging management on the charging networks and the application of energy management is significant to the success of EV charging infrastructure buildout.
To achieve the EU’s proposed 55% CO2 reduction targets for passenger cars by 2035, 6.8 million public EV charging stations would be required, according to the European Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Masterplan.
Aside from this, smart energy management can offer solutions, including its ability to incorporate local renewable energy and local energy storage to avoid stressing the grid. It can also enable V2G technology to effectively store energy to the grid as needed and balance the response and demand to reduce energy consumption at peak demand periods.