As More EVs Hit The Market, Recharging Them Remains A Problem

A number of automakers are pursuing ambitious plans for electrification, but the world’s charging infrastructure is sorely lacking.

While there seems to be a gas station on nearly every corner, charging stations can be far and few between. That’s especially true in some suburban and rural areas where the nearest charging station could be several towns away.

Bloomberg recently looked at this issue and noted there are approximately five million electric vehicles on the road, but they’re only supported by approximately 632,000 public chargers.  Unsurprisingly, many of these chargers are concentrated in markets where electric vehicles are popular so anyone looking to travel outside one of those areas could have problems finding a place to recharge.

Even if drivers do find a charger, it might not be ideal. As Bloomberg noted, more than 66% of existing chargers are “slower units that may add only 10 miles (16.1 km) of power for every 30 minutes at the plug.”

While it’s clear more chargers will be needed in the future, electric vehicles are still a tiny fraction of the overall market. Given these low volumes, some charging stations aren’t profitable.

In the case of fast charging stations, Bloomberg says they need to be used at least eight times a day just to break even. However, some chargers are being used less than five times day.

Despite these issues, a number of companies are moving ahead with plans for new charging stations. Tesla is planning a major expansion of their Supercharger network in Europe this year and Electrify America plans to have 484 charging stations – with more than 2,000 ultra-fast chargers – by July 1st.

That’s good news, but the International Energy Agency estimates there would need to be between 14-30 million public chargers to support electric vehicles if they hit a 30 percent market share by 2030.

  • jelloslug

    The vast majority of charging happens at home or at work on private chargers. One study showed that 94% of all charging happens on private (home or workplace) chargers. Every car sold comes with charging equipment that can make any electric outlet a charging point for an EV.

  • TheBelltower

    Cars like the original i3 and Leaf that only get 70 electric miles or less, have become obsolete. They are too reliant upon public chargers and cannot drive a reasonable distance without being reliant upon public infrastructure. If your EV can achieve a range of 150 miles or more, charge at home if you can.

  • Astonman

    Saw a line of Teslas – 5 of them waiting for a charging space at our mall tonight.

  • traveler543

    It is time for those owners to pay for those installations not the general public.

    • jelloslug

      The vast majority of the installations are paid for by owners of the property or the respective charging network.

    • Yavor


  • EyalN

    No one is making money from EV’s.
    When the government stops paying for EV’s, they will be moch more expensive than regular cars.
    EV charging stations are money lost.
    The only way to charge EV cheap is throwing electric cable from your apartment on the 30th floor

    • jelloslug


    • Yavor

      My city will install a free charging point in front of your building if you can prove that you either own or are buying an EV

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