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EV charging infrastructure to emerge as a pillar for the ongoing transition to electric mobility

 Author: Global Market Insights

With the clean energy transition in full swing, EV charging infrastructure development is becoming paramount in sparking growing acceptance towards zero-emission vehicles

The transportation industry has long been one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the sector accounts for nearly 28% of carbon emissions, making decarbonization a crucial undertaking in the journey towards cleaner mobility, with electric vehicles (EVs) leading the charge.

The EV revolution has been in the works for a while now and is expected to continue its growth across the globe over the next decade. According to the IEA (International Energy Agency)’s 2021 Global Electric Vehicle Outlook, more than 230 million EVs, equivalent to nearly 12% of all road transport could be on the streets by 2030.

Despite several favorable conditions, however, EV adoption still faces some substantial challenges, most prominently the inadequacy of dedicated recharging infrastructure. According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory study, almost 40 Level 2 and 3.4 DCFC charging points are required per 1000 EVs. This has spurred many major organizations into action, particularly in terms of their contributions to the EV charging infrastructure market, which is set to cross $61 billion by 2027, according to a Global Market Insights Inc. report.

Public-private sector initiatives promoting EV charging infrastructure development

In recent years, several organizations like the IEA have recognized that EV adoption and its associated economic and ecological benefits are reliant largely on the availability of dedicated and robust charging infrastructure.

Range anxiety, in particular, has been identified as a major roadblock to the adoption of electric mobility for years, with many EV owners and prospective buyers becoming apprehensive of the limited availability of EV charging points. Various entities have started to take targeted efforts to address these issues, like the U.S. Federal Government, which in January 2022, unveiled a $7.5-billion funding plan for a national charging station network spanning all 50 states.

Designed to go hand-in-hand with the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the funding strategy will support the government’s plan to convert half of all new car sales into EVs by 2030. Approximately $5 billion will be used to set up charging points along important transportation corridors, while the remaining $2.5 billion will help in establishing EV charging ports in small towns and urban areas, representing a phenomenal boost to the EV charging infrastructure industry.

Private sector organizations are not far behind in their EV efforts, which is evident from the formation of the National Electric Highway Coalition in December 2021. The coalition, which includes Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and other major electric companies from across the U.S. combines the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure collaboration and the Electric Highway Coalition. With the support of an electric cooperative, the Tennessee Valley Authority and over 51 investor-owned electric firms, the coalition is determined to develop EV fast-charging points that will boost the confidence of the public in driving EVs across major travel corridors in the U.S. by 2030 end.

Simultaneously, efforts are also being taken by entities worldwide to expedite the transition to electric mobility by installing charging points as well as converting existing vehicle fleets into EVs. For instance, the EV100 Initiative by the Climate Group involves over 100 companies across 80 markets, with the common goal of establishing EV chargers in over 6,500 locations and switching over 4.8 million vehicles to electric vehicles, making electric mobility the new normal by 2030.

EV adoption garners renewed interest with the emergence of the DC fast charging era

Despite certain challenges, EV charging points are gradually becoming more prevalent across the globe. Most charging points in existence today are AC chargers, mainly due to their use in home and office settings, which are considered the most common places to recharge EV batteries for most drivers. While they allow for more convenience in EV charging, AC charging points generally require vehicles to be connected for long periods to reach full charge, which can be challenging for EV drivers when they are on the move.

In recent years, however, there has been a surge in the number of public EV charging infrastructures available, which means that drivers are no longer restricted to at-home or private stations to recharge their vehicles. Adding impetus to this are efforts from major companies that are developing a novel charging technology called DC Fast Charging, which allows for faster charging of EVs than conventional AC chargers.

These efforts are being supported by new initiatives and incentives being put into place to promote the use of DC EV charging infrastructure. The Electric Highway Coalition (EHC), for instance, involves a group of electric utility firms working collaboratively to install EV fast-charging points along key interstate highways in the United States. In July 2021, 14 more utilities including DTE Energy, Eversource Energy, Consolidated Edison, and AVANGRID, among others joined the coalition, to contribute to the common goal of accelerating EV adoption.

New York also made similar efforts in September 2021, by installing four new EV fast-charging stations at Manhattan-based parking facility Delancey-Essex Municipal Garage, capable of charging batteries in most EVs up to 80% in less than 60 minutes. This was part of the officials’ plan to install 24 additional DC EV chargers at other municipal garages over the next year, as well as the city’s broader goal to establish over 80 fast-charging stations in facilities across five boroughs by 2025 end.

Since the onset of the EV revolution that began almost a decade ago, there has been a massive rise in awareness and acceptance worldwide towards cleaner and more environment-friendly energy alternatives. Organizations are working hard towards combating air pollution caused due to existing ICE vehicles, by embracing the gradual transition to electric mobility. The establishment of advanced and smarter electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a core part of this transition, by making EV adoption a lucrative prospect for businesses and consumers alike in their journey towards a cleaner future.