EV Charging Infrastructure
1 min

The Need for Reliable EV Infrastructure

Could a shortage of reliable EV charging stations slow the adoption of electric vehicles?

Date: 13 Jan 2023

It is estimated that 45% of new car sales could be electric by 2035 making half of the cars on the road in the United States electric by 2050.1 With the growth of EV sales, the number of charging stations must support demand.

A number of EV infrastructure projects are currently planned or underway across the United States. The state of Michigan plans to add 30 EV charging stations across 12 state parks along the Lake Michigan Coast,2 and more stations are expected to follow. This expansion allows for park visitors to have access to reliable EV charging.

Santa Cruz, California upgraded 12 of the 13 aging EV charging stations in the city. The California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project grant of $80,000 allowed the city to upgrade downtown chargers to the new chargers. The new stations charge vehicle batteries nearly twice as fast as the previous chargers at rates up to 16kW.3

However, the potential shortage of well-maintained charging stations could pose a problem in the future if EV charging infrastructure falls behind. In a recent survey, researchers found that only 72.5% of the charging stations in California’s Bay Area were operational.4 The most common reasons why charging stations were out of order were:

  • Connectivity issues
  • Broken plugs
  • Unresponsive screens
  • Payment system failures

A shortage of available and operational charging stations could deter consumers from purchasing an electric vehicle. In a future powered by e-mobility, the reliability of EV charging stations will be a key factor in adoption. If 70-75% operability of stations for gas-powered vehicles would be unacceptable, then it's reasonable to expect it would be unacceptable for EV charging stations, too. 

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Resources:

1https://graphics.reuters.com/AUTOS-ELECTRIC/USA/mopanyqxwva/
2https://www.wxyz.com/news/michigan-to-add-ev-charging-stations-at-12-state-parks-along-lake-michigan-coast
3https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2022/05/17/photo-new-electric-vehicle-charging-stations-glow-with-energy/
4https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2203/2203.16372.pdf

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