The electric car revolution always had a perceived chicken and egg problem with charging infrastructure. This perception is starting to dissipate as both industries are growing rapidly side by side.
A new report on the status of the U.S. EV charging industry is giving us a new look at the market and confirms that over 50,000 charge points (public and private) are now in operation in the country.
Electric Vehicle Charging Association (EVCA) released their 2017 ‘The State of the Charge’ report last week.
Here’s the biggest takeaway from the report:
“Globally, the EV charging infrastructure industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 46.8% from 2017 to 2025, reaching $45.59 billion in revenue by 2025. In the U.S. alone, revenue increased by 576% over five years, growing from $27 million in 2011 to $182 million in 2016. If the annual increase in revenue matches the 11% growth rate from 2015 to 2016, the U.S. could see more than $276 million by 2020.”
Unsurprisingly, California leads the US in charge point deployment like it does for electric car sales. Here’s the growth of the US of the last few years compared with the growth in California:
EVCA is projecting incredible growth for the industry over the next few years and points to VW’s Electrify America program as one of the main reasons behind this expected growth.
‘Electrify America’ is a VW subsidiary created as part of the German automaker’s settlements with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its use of emission test cheating devices in its diesel vehicles.
They are required to spend $2 billion on EV infrastructure in the US. Earlier this year, they released their plan for California, which includes installing ultra-fast 320 kW chargers, and the plan for the whole country, which includes a ‘nationwide 150 kW+ fast charging network’.
Earlier this summer, they started rolling out the first few stations. It’s likely going to drive the entire industry.
Aside from the actual deployment of more charging points, the expansion of the industry is slowly turning the operation of charging networks into big business.
Revenue from EV charging could potentially reach close to $300 million by the end of the decade:
When it comes to charging network operators, there are 4 major players controlling half the market:
“Four companies, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, and SemaConnect, collectively operate 49% of all public and private charging outlets in the U.S. for a total of more than 25,000, and 57% of California outlets for a total of 9,072.Their headquarters include the greater Bay Area and Los Angeles metropolitan area.”
There has been some consolidation in the industry too with ChargePoint acquiring GE’s network earlier this year – adding 10,000 charge points to its network.
It’s all encouraging stuff for EV drivers and enthusiasts, but the industry also needs to accelerate the market shift from primarily providing level 2 chargers to investing more aggressively into fast-chargers.
There have been many announcements about more powerful fast-charging technologies over the last year, but very little deployment so far.
It’s understandable considering not many vehicles today, aside from Teslas, are capable of accepting charge rates higher than 50 kW, but they are coming and it would be nice if the charging infrastructure can be a leader in the deployment instead of playing catch up.
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