EV Charging Infrastructure Continues Its Growth
According to “Commercial Landscape of EV Charging Networks in North America,” a new report published by Wood Mackenzie, as electric vehicle (EV) adoption continues to rise, the market for public charging networks in North America is forecast to grow rapidly by 2050.
Currently, according to the report, more than 70 networks are already in operation, spanning multiple business models.
The number of DC fast-chargers (DCFC), which have a charge rate between 50 kilowatt (kW) and 350 kW, is expected to grow more than sixtyfold between 2022 and 2050. Level 2 chargers, with a slower charge rate between 3 kW and 19 kW, are set to increase thirtyfold in the same timeframe.
“We are seeing collaboration and integrations among EV charging networks both old and new, as well as significant local and federal policy support, and investment across the public charging market,” said Nick Esch, research analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s Grid Edge.
Amaiya Khardenavis, an analyst with EV Charging Infrastructure at Wood Mackenzie, added, “Gas stations, quick service restaurants, and convenience stores with existing locations are in the early stages of deploying public charging infrastructure as they look to capitalize on their existing retail footprint, as well as EV adoption.”
Furthermore, according to Khardenavis, the growth strategy of charging networks is focused on building their footprint in high-traffic locations, setting up roaming agreements with other networks, and installing high-power charging infrastructure to future-proof their sites.
According to Wood Mackenzie’s findings, there are 19 utility-owned EV charging networks operating in North America, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. “While U.S. utilities have initiated investments in public charging, their scope is restricted in size and locations where chargers can be installed is limited by regulators,” said Khardenavis.
Automakers are also getting involved, in that they are starting to focus on providing vehicle owners with access to reliable public charging by exploring partnerships with charging infrastructure developers or through direct investments in the deployment of chargers.
“Since the public EV charging space is highly fractionalized, EV automakers are aiming to own the customer relationship after the point of sale and play a larger role in public EV charging,” said Khardenavis. “Many are taking on the e-mobility service provider role, facilitating payments and navigation to chargers while also curating charging networks for their customers through integrations with public charging networks.”