- EV takeup is slower than it should be due to a lack of growth in public charging infrastructure.
- The research claims that current government initiatives are not sufficient to address the issue.
- Some of the issues addressed are set to change in the future, however.
Are electric vehicles outpacing their own charging infrastructure?
Juniper Research’s new paper has analysed the current state of the EV charging network across the world, and concluded that the current growth trajectory is not sufficient – warning that more electric car chargers are needed to drive consumer demand for EVs. The report states that the number of plug-in cars on global roads is expected to reach 137.6m by 2027, nearly four times the 2022 number of 34.6m.
The research found that chargers are overwhelmingly located in urban areas, creating concerns around range anxiety which in turn reduces consumer confidence in EVs. This is combined by the number of different apps and payment methods needed to use different chargepoint operators, and the fact that plug types have not yet been fully harmonised.
With the UK planning to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, sufficient charging infrastructure is essential for making this date, and similar timeframes around the world, feasible.
In the UK, installation of public charging stations will need to see a significant boost in order for the government to hit its target of 300,000 public charging points by 2030. 3,870 chargers have been installed since the start of April. Unless that rate is increased, the government will fall far short of that six-figure target.
What’s being done already for EV charging?
Increasing the number of EV chargers available is easier said than done. The report concluded that to help fix this shortfall, chargepoint operators need to make their stations more accessible, and work with local authorities to roll out chargers across a variety of locations.
There are several initiatives underway across the world, though, that should go some way to meet the issues raised by Juniper Research. Here are some that have materialised in just the last few weeks:
One barrier to public charging in particular is the constraint on the grid, especially when larger charging stations have several points sipping power. This is more of a problem in rural areas where grid capacity is lacking, making it harder for planning permission to be granted for large charging hubs. This goes some way to explain the lack of EV charging options in those areas.
However, UK chargepoint operator GRIDSERVE have come up with a solution at their new charging ‘Super Hub’ in Cornwall. This uses solar panels on the roof of the station, along with an on-site battery storage unit, to store power at quiet times. This can then be discharged during peaks in demand, all without impacting the grid.
EU charging regulations
Meanwhile, the European Union has signed off on regulations that will mandate high-speed EV chargers to be located every 60km along major trunk roads across the Union.
America’s new charging network
Just last week, seven of the world’s leading car manufacturers announced a partnership to install accessible-to-all EV charging stations across the North American continent. The group plans to install 30,000 high-speed chargepoints – fairly significant when you consider that the USA as a whole currently has 32,000 DC charging stations.
The UK plans to enforce contactless payment options on all chargepoint operators, which will soon negate the need for EV drivers to carry a wealth of separate apps and cards to charge up reliably across the country.