U.S. on Track for 800,000 EV Chargers by 2030: Report

EV charging investments accelerate to over $21.5 billion
EVgo EV charger
Photograph courtesy of EVgo

A new report suggests that more than 800,000 electric-vehicle chargers could be in place in the United States by 2030.

More than $21.5 billion in investments supporting about 800,000 EV chargers have been announced since 2021, based on research from the Environmental Defense Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and WSP, a New York engineering and consulting firm, which worked together on the report, U.S. Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure Deployment. In a relatively short period, investments in EV charging have dramatically accelerated, due in large part to the availability of government funds through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The $21 billion in investments don’t include charging stalls to be constructed at Cumberland Farms, Shell, Wawa, Kroger, Subway and Target, the report said.

President Joe Biden announced a goal of 500,000 EV chargers in place by 2030, while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in April announced stricter emissions standards supporting a goal of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  The new industrywide average emissions target for light-duty vehicles is 82 grams per mile of carbon dioxide in model year 2032, according to the EPA. The average passenger vehicle emits about 404 grams of CO2 per mile, the agency said.  EVs also are expected to reduce the carbon footprint.

C-Store Impact

Boosted by new EV cars coming off assembly lines, the convenience-store industry is gearing up for a new kind of customer with more free time to discover what c-stores offer.

“Depending on the retailer, it’s happening at different speeds. Where you’re seeing retailers like Circle K, where they have a mission to put in 200 sites in the next 12 months, and we’re helpng them do that. Some retailers are partnering with Tesla for a revenue share for getting EV on site. For us, it expands our customer base,” said John Force, president and chief executive at SPATCO Energy Solutions, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based provider of turnkey solutions for petroleum, environmental and EV charging segments.

Among other capabilities, SPATCO services EV chargers. “As you start to see NEVI funding in the Build Back Better plan, as you start to see that hitting the states, more and more retailers are going to start taking advantage of it,” Force told CSP Daily News. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program earmarks $5 billion in federal funds to build a national network of charging stations along highways and alternative fuel corridors.

“Today, for EV sites, there’s a large demand and small resources, a shortage of resources,” he said. To support the growing number of EVs expected to be on the roads by 2030, the EPA is forecasting that 1.1 million Level 2 chargers and 135,000 DCFC chargers will be needed. They're expected to drive demand for new services.

With ongoing consolidation in the convenience-store industry, stores are larger today than in the past, Force said. “They’re going to be destinations where somebody’s going to sit for more than a 5-minute fillup. Sites are getting bigger and more inviting, and we’re seeing some of the much smaller sites start to disappear or go to single-site owners,” Force said. SPATCO’s growth-through-acquisition strategy is allowing the company to keep up with growing demand for its services, which include EV-charger maintenance and repair. The company recently announced its acquisition of MSCS Ltd. in Dallas.

Charger Numbers

To date, about 58,000 charging stations and 155,700 charging ports exist, including 2,900 Level 1 ports, 121,500 Level 2 ports and 31,300 DCFC ports, according to the report, which indicates the number of announcements about DCFC charger installations soared to 522,900 during the second quarter of 2023, from about 100,000 in August 2022, when the Inflation Reduction Act became law.

The report doesn’t include an estimated 2.75 million announced charging ports from convenience stores, fuel brands and other corporations, such as Enel XWay, Francis Energy and Prologis. It also doesn’t include $4.9 billion in EVSE grants expected to fund construction of about 100,000 ports.

Vehicle Sales

Sales of new EVs in the United States rose 50% to 557,330 in the first six months of the year from the year-ago period, while sales of internal-combustion-engine vehicles increased about 10%, according to information from Motor Intelligence cited by The Wall Street Journal. Among new vehicle purchases, EVs accounted for about 7.2% of overall sales in the first six months of 2023, up from 5.4% in the year-ago period.

While many EVs have a higher purchase price than similar gas-powered vehicles, over a 10-year period they’re estimated to cost the same or less to own and operate, according to the Environmental Defense Fund report. Federal tax credit have ranged from $3,750 to $7,500, while state tax credits cut as much as $3,500 from the price of EVs, the report said.

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