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New Report Projects Number of EV Ports in U.S. will be Close to 18 Million by 2027

Wood Mackenzie estimates that the number of electric vehicle charging ports in the U.S. will reach close to 18 million by 2027, with most chargers in the residential category.

However, the residential market share will slightly decline in that period as the public and commercial EV charging segments grow, according to Wood Mackenzie.

According to the inaugural North American EV charging infrastructure monitor, Tesla and ChargePoint dominate the market, with Tesla boasting a 61% market share of DCFC ports in the US, while ChargePoint leads with a 46% market share of level 2 ports in the US.

Deployment of EV charging infrastructure at brick-and-mortar locations offers major growth potential and remains an untapped market, the report said.

Eligibility for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure grant program and proximity to population centers is driving retail store chains to deploy EV charging networks.

Walmart intends to build its fast-charging network, potentially becoming the fifth-largest DCFC network in the US (based on current deployments).

“There is so much opportunity in the brick-and-mortar segment as it has synergies with EV charging,” said Amaiya Khardenavis, Analyst, EV Charging Infrastructure, Wood Mackenzie. “It is estimated that 85-90% of the US population lives within 10 miles of major retailers, making them very convenient charging locations for EV drivers. The stores seeking to increase customer dwell time will benefit from offering onsite EV charging, while stores that already enjoy high dwell time seek to earn additional revenue from charging.”

Meanwhile, optimal duty cycles and substantial government funding are driving school bus electrification.

Even though capacity upgrades needed to host charging infrastructure at depots can take months, the report notes that the growth of electrified school buses (ESBs) will drive more demand for charging infrastructure as well, with more than 4,000 ESBs receiving funding in Q4 of 2022, more than three times Q1 2022 totals.

Report Identifies Charging Infrastructure Investment Needed to Meet EV Growth

Meanwhile, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a report that said that the United States is on track to install the charging infrastructure needed to meet expected 2030 demand for plug-in electric vehicles.

The report, The 2030 National Charging Network: Estimating U.S. Light-Duty Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, estimates that cumulative investment of $53 billion to $127 billion in private and public charging infrastructure is necessary to support a mid-range adoption scenario of 33 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2030. For publicly accessible charging stations, the range is $31 billion to $55 billion by 2030.

As of March 2023, NREL estimated that $23.7 billion of capital has been announced for publicly accessible light-duty plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure through the end of the decade, including from private firms, the public sector – including federal, state, and local governments – and electric utilities.

“Public and private investments in publicly accessible charging infrastructure have accelerated in recent years,” the report’s author wrote. “If sustained with long-term market certainty grounded in accelerating consumer demand, these public and private investments will put the United States on a path to meeting the infrastructure needs simulated in this report.”

Based on a combination of policy and industry goals, plug-in electric vehicles could account for 48 percent to 61 percent of the U.S. light-duty plug-in electric vehicle market by 2030, according to the NREL report.

A 2021 presidential executive order targets 50 percent of U.S. passenger car and light truck sales as zero-emission vehicles by 2030. California has established requirements for 100 percent light-duty zero emission vehicle sales by 2035, and many states have adopted, or are considering adopting, similar regulations. Both goals were set prior to passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, which provide policy support for electric vehicles through tax credits and investment grants.

NREL’s analysis found that a national electric vehicle charging network in 2030 could be composed of 26 to 35 million charging ports to support 30 to 42 million plug-in electric vehicles with a mid-range -adoption scenario of 33 million plug-in electric vehicles and 28 million ports.

NREL said its analysis of electric vehicle demand was based on a need-based assessment in which charging infrastructure is brought online simultaneously with the growth in the electric vehicle fleet, but noted that charging infrastructure would likely be necessary before demand for electric vehicles materializes as many drivers would likely need to see available charging stations before committing to an electric vehicle purchase.

The report cautioned that if infrastructure investment were to lead vehicle deployment, it could create prolonged periods of poor utilization, jeopardizing the financial viability of infrastructure operators.

NREL said the cost of grid upgrades and distributed energy resources were excluded from the estimates in the report and noted that those costs could be significant and even be critical in building out the national charging network, but they tend to be site-specific and were deemed out of scope for its analysis.