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Slow build up of EV chargers in the US may actually be a good thing

May 21

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The United States is experiencing a shortage of electric vehicle (EV) chargers as the number of EVs on the roads continues to grow. While EV adoption has increased in recent years, the infrastructure to support these vehicles has not kept pace.

In 2016, there was one EV charger for every seven electric vehicles in the U.S. This ratio has now widened to one charger for every 26 EVs, more than double the global average of 11 cars per charger. This shortfall places the U.S. behind other countries such as Japan, France and China in terms of charging convenience.

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Charging anxiety remains one of the primary barriers to widespread EV adoption. Recognizing this challenge, the Biden administration pledged $7.5 billion in 2021 to build more fast chargers. Despite this substantial investment, progress has been slow. Nearly three years later, the funds have resulted in the creation of only seven charging stations and 38 individual chargers.

However, there may be a silver lining in this gradual buildout. One significant issue in the U.S. is the lack of standardization, with different EVs using connectors that are not universally compatible with all chargers. This is set to change as many automakers have committed to making their vehicles compatible with Tesla’s Supercharger network.

This standardization could turn the slow expansion of charging infrastructure into an advantage, ensuring that by the time the new chargers are fully deployed, most EVs will be able to use them.

Officials at the International Council on Clean Transportation remain optimistic, believing that the U.S. is on the right path to meeting its charging infrastructure goals. They project that over the next eight years, sufficient infrastructure will be in place to meet the needs of American EV drivers.

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[JACK AYLMER]

THE U.S. IS RUNNING INTO A SHORTAGE OF E-V CHARGERS.

AS THE NUMBER OF THESE VEHICLES ON AMERICAN ROADS GROWS, THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT THEM HASN’T EXPANDED AT THE SAME RATE.

BACK IN 20-16 – THERE WAS ONE CHARGER FOR EVERY SEVEN E-VS IN THE US. 

NOW THAT RATIO IS MORE LIKE ONE CHARGER FOR EVERY 26 ELECTRIC VEHICLES.

AND IT’S FAR REMOVED FROM THE GLOBAL AVERAGE, WHICH SITS AT ABOUT 11 CARS PER CHARGER. 

NOT TO MENTION NATIONS LIKE JAPAN, FRANCE AND CHINA – WHICH HAS 1 CHARGER FOR EVERY 8 E-VS.

RANGE ANXIETY IS LISTED AS A PRIMARY BARRIER FOR MANY CONSIDERING E-V ADOPTION. 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS TRIED TO ADDRESS IT – BUT PROGRESS HAS BEEN SLOW. 

IN 20-21, THE GOVERNMENT PLEDGED SEVEN-AND-A-HALF BILLION DOLLARS TO BUILDING OUT MORE FAST CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE.

ALMOST THREE YEARS LATER, ALL THAT MONEY HAS PRODUCED ONLY SEVEN CHARGING STATIONS AND 30 INDIVIDUAL CHARGERS.

THE NUMBERS PAINT A TROUBLING PICTURE, BUT SLOW AND STEADY PROGRESS MAY BE A PLUS SIDE TO THE CHARGING DILEMMA. 

A LOT OF DIFFERENT E-VS IN THE US HAVE CHARGE PORTS OF DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES.

BUT STANDARDIZATION IS ON THE WAY.

A LARGE NUMBER OF AUTOMAKERS ARE COMMITTING TO MAKING VEHICLES COMPATIBLE WITH TESLA’S SUPERCHARGER NETWORK.

SO, WHEN THE MAJORITY OF CHARGERS THOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WENT TOWARDS FUNDING ARE FINALLY BUILT OUT- MOST EVS WILL ALREADY BE ON THE SAME SYSTEM.

IT’S WHY OFFICIALS AT THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON CLEAN TRANSPORTATION STILL BELIEVE THE U.S. IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK TO HIT ITS CHARGING GOALS.

OVER THE NEXT 8 YEARS, THEY EXPECT THERE WILL BE ENOUGH OF THIS INFRASTRUCTURE BUILT UP TO MEET THE NEEDS OF AMERICAN DRIVERS.

TO STAY IN THE LOOP ON THE STATE OF U.S. EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE, DOWNLOAD THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS MOBILE APP AND SIGN UP FOR ALERTS FROM ME- JACK AYLMER- TO KEEP YOU PLUGGED IN.