Explained: The state of the U.S. electric vehicle charging network

President Joe Biden wants to expand the U.S. charging network for electric vehicles, a key part of his agenda to curb greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Today, I'm announcing steps we're taking set a new pace for electric vehicles. (FLASH) This is a big deal."

Here’s the state of the U.S. electric vehicle charging network

BIDEN: “One, it transforms our infrastructure. We're going to put Americans to work modernizing our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, rail and transit systems. You know, that includes putting IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) members and other union workers to work, installing a national network of five hundred thousand charging stations on our roads and highways and at our homes and our apartments.”

1/CURRENT NETWORK

The U.S. currently has a total of nearly 43,000 public EV charging stations and around 120,000 charging ports.

That’s according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

But chargers are distributed unevenly across the country, with California having nearly the same amount of stations as the 39 states with the lowest count combined.

EV-supported policies by other states concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and U.S. Northeast have expanded charging stations on a per-capita basis in recent years.

2/CHARGER ECONOMICS

The vast majority of EV charging stations in the U.S. are Level 2 chargers.

Level 2 chargers require higher voltage and charge EVs faster than Level 1 chargers, topping up a vehicle in about five hours.

Level 2 chargers cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to install, with many subsidies available for residents and businesses to cover upfront costs.

Fast chargers are significantly more expensive, requiring more than $100,000 per station in upfront capital.

Providers recoup those investments by charging higher rates.

EV owners who rely on public charging will face significantly higher bills than those charging at home, altering the total cost of ownership calculation for EVs.

3/CHARGING INDUSTRY

There are more than 300 EV charging companies globally, including nearly 100 in North America.

Many are less than five years old and few are more than 10 years old.

Investors have poured more than $2 billion into EV charging startups, according to private market data company Pitchbook, with most of the funding flowing in the past five years.

Many charging stations are also subsidized or run by local governments or electric utilities.

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