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The Costs of EV Fast Charging Infrastructure and Economic Benefits to Rapid Scale-Up

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May 18, 2020

The recent COVID-19 crisis has heightened the urgency of transitioning to a fully electrified transportation sector, one of the keys to unlocking a more sustainable future for all. Replacing gas-guzzling cars with emissions-free electric vehicles (EVs) will not only help slash smog-forming pollution and curtail greenhouse gas emissions, but is also critical to protect human health.

The good news is that with one more than one million electric vehicles on the road across the U.S., the EV market is at an inflection point.

To enable everyone to take advantage of the benefits of transportation electrification, though, charging infrastructure must be much more widespread. EV drivers will rely on a combination of charging at home, work, and on the go. For ‘on the go’ it’s estimated that the U.S. EV market will require as many as 45,000 public DC fast chargers by 2025 to enable EV adoption—a ninefold increase from the approximately 5,500 public DCFCs currently in operation. Fast charging enables customers to integrate charging into their everyday lives and get 100 miles of driving range while they’re at the grocery store, eating lunch, or otherwise on the go.

EV charge time graphic

What’s not well understood is that the speed and convenience of fast charging come via sophisticated, high-powered electrical equipment—and hence costs more than charging at home or on a Level 2 charger at work. DCFC siting, construction, utility upgrades, and 24/7 reliability require significant investments to ensure EV drivers get the convenient, reliable fast charging experience they deserve. As the market scales, it’s likely that these costs will decline – just as costs in other clean energy technologies (like solar) have done over the past decade. However, catalyzing investment in a ubiquitous fast charging network ahead of EV adoption at scale requires financial collaborations between keenly aligned stakeholders—charging networks, government, utilities, and OEMs. Private sector innovation accompanied by government incentives, legislative or regulatory mandates, and streamlined processes will enable accelerated deployment of fast charging infrastructure so that every prospective driver in the U.S. has the confidence that charging an EV will be more convenient than getting gas and as easy as recharging a cellphone.

A team of EVgo experts—including CEO Cathy Zoi, SVP of Business Development Jonathan Levy, and Senior Business Development Analyst Isabelle Riu—has developed a new whitepaper that examines the full costs of EV charging infrastructure costs and outlines key elements necessary to accelerate widespread EV adoption. Click here to download the full paper.