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How can the crisis of electric vehicle chargers be solved?

electric vehicles will likely reach two-thirds of new car sales in the US by 2032, and we'll need millions of new chargers to power them.

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The crisis of electric vehicle chargers be solved

There aren't enough chargers in the US to power all the electric vehicles that the US government plans to put on the road during the next few years.

The US Environmental Protection Agency recently published a set of proposed standards that place limits on companies in terms of the total CO2 emissions of their new cars. To ensure compliance with the standards, electric vehicles must account for 60% of automakers' new car sales by 2030, and 67% by 2032. These standards apply to cars starting with the model year 2027.

Support for the electric vehicle industry

The transportation sector is currently the most significant single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The new rules are part of an upward drive by the federal government to support electric vehicles and other low-emission modes of transportation. In 2021, US President Biden has set a goal of halving the proportion of electric vehicles in new car sales by 2030. The Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, includes individual tax breaks of $7,500 for new electric cars.

At a news conference unveiling the new rules, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “Today's actions will accelerate our ongoing transition toward a future of clean motorized vehicles, address the climate change crisis head-on, and improve air quality for communities across the country”.


Powering these new electric cars will require a lot of chargers, far more than what is currently available in the United States. Currently, there are approximately 130,000 public chargers across the country, and the percentage of fast chargers among them is very small. Although this number represents a 40% increase compared to 2020, according to the EPA press release, it is still not enough. And we'll need to build millions of new Chargers over a decade.

One of the most significant barriers to the transition to electric vehicles is the lack of available charging infrastructure, according to the International Energy Agency. Universal chargers allow drivers to travel longer distances and provide a critical level of reliability.

cars with bidirectional charging

In 2021, the Biden administration has set a goal of increasing the number of working public chargers for electric vehicles to 500,000 by 2030 and has allocated $5 billion in funding to build the national charging network. With this investment, "we will see a rapid increase in the number of DC fast chargers on the country's major highways," said Zero Emissions Transportation Association policy director Leilani Gonzalez in an email.

Some analysts think these goals will not be enough to support all the electric vehicles that could hit the road by the end of this decade. And if the proportion of electric vehicles in new car sales reaches only 40% in 2030 - a percentage lower than expected after the new subsidies that will be provided by the EPA rules - then the country will need to install more than two million public chargers by this date, according to the January report. January from S&P Global. This number includes units used under special conditions, such as units allocated to employees in specific places.

EV charger

Household charging accounts for between 70% and 80% of all electric vehicle charging, according to research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. So, in addition to universal chargers, the bloating fleet of electric vehicles will need millions of new home chargers. All in all, if electric vehicles make up just one-third of all new car sales in 2030, we'll need 17 million home chargers, according to a 2021 report from the International Council on Clean Transportation.

But the costs will be high. Building public and workplace chargers alone will require a total investment of $28 billion between 2021 and 2030, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation report.

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electric vehicle charging station

Electric vehicle owners will incur the costs of installing home charging equipment, but they are likely to face some additional hurdles. Most homes require some electrical work to support electric vehicle charging, which can be quite expensive if it involves design modifications. 

What exacerbates the charging problem is that there is a shortage of electricians. However, despite all the logistical difficulties, the trend towards establishing a freight infrastructure is not limited to the government alone, as some companies such as Walmart are striving to keep up with the demand for freight. The company plans to add the chargers to thousands of store parking lots in the next few years.

The electric vehicle wave is on the rise

There is no doubt that we will need more chargers, but the only unknown is the number needed to secure the shipments, in addition to the time period available to us to do this. The new EPA regulations are the latest in a slew of other federal and state policies that are starting to make a positive impact on the transition to electric vehicles.

Last year, the state of California announced new auto standards that require automakers to sell an increasing proportion of low-emission vehicles, including electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell cars. In practice, the rule would ban the sale of new petrol-powered cars in the state after 2035. The rule could have a nationwide impact: 17 states have signed on to California's earlier standards for cars, and a few states have announced their intention to adopt the new rules.

home EV charging station

Essentially, the EPA's announcement will align federal laws with new California laws, Jonas Nam, associate professor of energy, resources, and the environment at Johns Hopkins University said in an email.

These rules will also ensure that electric car sales will continue even after the tax breaks for the Inflation Reduction Act expire at the beginning of the next decade. Individual tax breaks and other incentives in the inflationary law were expected to increase projected sales of electric vehicles from less than 40% in 2030 to nearly 60%, according to one of the Energy Innovation models.