By John Bozzella
You’ve heard of range anxiety… the fear that an electric vehicle battery might run out of juice and leave a driver stranded.
It’s top of mind for customers thinking about making the switch to EVs – especially if you can’t charge at home or work or live in an apartment building, or a rural part of the country.
Newsflash: public EV charging lags in the U.S.
The installation of public EV chargers (while growing) is not keeping up with current and projected EV sales. Actually, the gap is widening. The data shows we’re moving in the wrong direction.
In the first half of 2023, the number of publicly available EV chargers increased 11 percent year-over-year.
But EV sales grew 57 percent.
In the second quarter of 2023: the U.S. had a total of 140,171 publicly available charging outlets for 3.7 million EVs on the road – a ratio of one charger for 26 EVs.
Nearly 355,000 EVs were sold during the same period, but only 7,300 new public chargers went online. That’s 49 EVs for every new public port.
That’s not enough.
The Biden administration will point to a $5 billion program in the bipartisan infrastructure law called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program to build public charging in the U.S. – especially along highways.
That law was enacted exactly two years ago TODAY. How many NEVI funded charging projects have broken ground in that time?
The private sector is doing its part – investing $13 billion in public EV charging. There’s even a consortium of major automakers that joined forces this year to spend $1 billion to install 30,000 additional chargers.
NEVI was a great down payment, but charging infrastructure is one reason I’m a dog with a bone on EPA’s ‘unachievable’ greenhouse gas rules requiring 67 percent battery electric vehicle sales by 2032.
The administration’s own analysis shows that to support just (just!) 50 percent EV sales by 2030 the U.S. will need more than 1.2 million publicly accessible charging ports – at a cost of $31 - $55 billion.
Meeting EPA’s ambitious EV sales goals won’t happen until more consumers overcome range anxiety… and that won’t happen until there’s more public charging. Much more.
So happy second birthday to NEVI. We’re all hoping you grow up real fast.
John Bozzella is president and CEO of Alliance for Automotive Innovation.