The Number of EV Chargers in the U.S Will Soon Surpass Gas Stations, but There's a Problem

Despite people’s reluctance to buy electric vehicles, there are more than two million of them on U.S. roads today. The number will grow exponentially though, with a projected 35 million EVs on the road by 2030. Even though the number of EV charging ports will soon surpass the number of gas stations in the U.S., they are still not enough to keep up with EV adoption.
The number of EV chargers in the US will soon surpass gas stations 8 photos
Photo: Kia
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Owning an electric vehicle is still considered unusual today, with the charging experience being patchy at best. Many people charge their EVs at home and for those on the road, public stations offer fast charging to top up the battery in minutes. Statistically, there are 21 electric vehicles per public charging port in the U.S. which means the 108,000 public charging ports compare favorably with the number of gas stations, estimated at 110,000-150,000.

There is a catch though, as a gas station usually has more pumps, just like charging stations do. The problem is nobody counts them, so we are left with this apples to plum trees comparison. Even so, the situation looks worse from the gas-powered vehicles’ owners’ perspective, since there are roughly 2,514 ICE cars per gas station. This number is advancing fast, as the number of gas stations in the U.S. has been steadily declining for the last 20 years.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the ideal ratio of EV to charging ports is 40 Level 2 charging ports and 3.4 DC fast charging ports per 1,000 EVs. Currently, we are within this ideal ratio, with 41 Level 2 ports and 5.7 DCFC ports per 1,000 EVs, but the situation is soon to change. By 2030, the number of electric cars on the road is projected to skyrocket to 35 million, so the country will need to build a combined number of 1.5 million charging ports to support all those EVs. This means that around 500 charging stations will have to be built every day for the next eight years to meet the goal.

The number of available charging ports varies state by state, from the 1:2 EVs in North Dakota, Wyoming, and West Virginia to 1:18 in New Jersey. This means drivers of electric vehicles in the latter states are more likely to wait in line at a charging station.

There are various programs in place to accelerate EV chargers deployment, both in the private and the public sector. The carmakers are doing a great job at extending their proprietary charging stations, while retail groups also invest heavily in charging infrastructure. Recently, National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) unveiled a $5 billion charging infrastructure investment plan to build 500,000 charging stations. It’s safe to say that soon EV charging stations will far outnumber gas stations.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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