The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), operated by Alliance for
Sustainable Energy, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), recently published a series of four reports under the rubric of “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends.” The fourth report in the series measures the current state of charging infrastructure relative to projections deemed necessary to meet charging demands by the year 2030.
Of various alternative fuels—e.g. biodiesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol (E85), hydrogen and liquefied natural gas—electric vehicle (EV) charging has continued to experience both the most rapidly changing technology and the most rapidly growing infrastructure, spurred by consumer demand, nurtured by government and industry.
The majority of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in the Station Locator are Level 2 but direct current (DC) fast charger EVSE grew by the largest percentage during the fourth quarter. The state of California, which experienced the largest increase in public charging infrastructure during that quarter, continues to lead the country in terms of available public EVSE. Any company with a serious interest in an EV charging station will certainly find this worth noting.
Although strides in building out EV charging station infrastructure have been impressive, the NREL report notes that the majority of charging stations are on the Tesla network and therefore only accessible to drivers of Tesla vehicles. Any forward-looking company, therefore, recognizes the opportunity for infrastructure that accommodates other types of electric vehicles.
In terms of developments—of interest to any EV charging station company—that could impact future, the NREL report cited the election of Joe Biden as president as the Q4 development with the single largest potential impact on future EV infrastructure growth. In this regard, the report notes Biden’s pledge to make significant investments in the U.S. EV market, including the installation of half a million charging stations across the country.
The period immediately following Biden’s election saw the launch of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA). ZETA is a nationwide industry-backed advocacy organization made up of 28 EV manufacturers, EV charging networks, utilities and mineral producers. ZETA’s mission is to enable100 percent of all new light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold in America to be electric by the year 2030. To reach this goal, ZETA has articulated a national charging initiative, which includes a federal government investment of $30 billion for building out public charging infrastructure and for prioritizing infrastructure development along what is known as the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN).
Also of interest to any serious EV charging station company is the fact that the last quarter of the year 2020 witnessed the expansion of charging network business models, with many new charging networks arising. As the U.S. EV market continues to rebound from pandemic-related challenges, total PEV sales were up a whopping 40.3 percent in December 2020, relative to the year-ago period. This is clearly the time to pay close attention to these developments.