More Growth Projected for EV Charging Infrastructure
It’s no secret that the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road has been increasing, and is expected to continue to increase, driven by a number of factors, the three most significant being: demand from certain segments of the public, a commitment from the auto manufacturing industry to phase out gas-powered vehicles, and an increase in incentives from the federal government for EVs and EV infrastructure.
The increase in the number of vehicles, of course, implies an increasing demand for EV charging stations – at home, in businesses, in communities as a whole, and along thorofares. All of these increases imply a growing demand for electric power, which will come from electric utility companies.
There is another factor that is leading an increasing demand for EVs – new government regulations. In April of this year, for example the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards that will accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicles future.
According to the EPA, since 2020, the number of EV sales has tripled, while the number of available models has doubled. “There are over 130,000 public chargers across the country – a 40% increase over 2020,” said the EPA. The private sector has also committed more than $120 billion in domestic EV and battery investments since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law.
The proposed EPA standards affect two classes of vehicles:
1 – The light- and medium-duty vehicle proposed standards, titled “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” builds on EPA’s existing emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years (MYs) 2023 through 2026. EPA’s proposal considers a broad suite of available emission control technologies, and the standards are designed to allow manufacturers to meet the performance-based standards however works best for their vehicle fleets.
In addition, according to the EPA, the proposed standards are projected to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. “Depending on the compliance pathways manufacturers select to meet the standards, EPA projects that EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales in MY 2032,” said the EPA
2 – In terms of heavy-duty truck proposed standards, titled “Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3,” these would apply to heavy-duty vocational vehicles (such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers or dump trucks, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, school buses) and trucks typically used to haul freight.
Overall, according to the EPA, both sets of standards align with commitments made by automakers and U.S. states as they plan to accelerate clean vehicle technologies in the light- and medium-duty fleets in the next 10 to 15 years. “Car and truck companies are moving to include electric vehicles as an integral and growing part of current and future product lines, leading to an increasing diversity of clean vehicles for consumers,” said the EPA.
These developments are bolstered by the federal government’s commitment to increasing resources designed to support the development and market for clean vehicle technologies and associated infrastructure and represent significant investment in expanding the manufacture, sale, and use of zero-emission vehicles. “As these technologies advance, battery costs continue to decline and consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to grow,” added the EPA.