How Fast Is the Charging Network Growing?

Most electric vehicle (EV) charging occurs at home or workplaces, but as more people make the switch to an EV, public charging infrastructure is sure to expand. But how soon can we expect to see these improvements?

Growth of the EV Charging Market

EV sales hit a record high in 2021, with a global total of 6.6 million. Much of this growth can be attributed to public spending on EV incentives and national commitments to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in the coming decades. To manage this growing market, global infrastructure needs to become more EV-friendly.

Global Charging Statistics

These charging statistics were provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA):

  • Approximately 1.8 million public charging points are currently available worldwide.
  • The annual growth of charging stations averaged 50% from 2015 to 2019.
  • There was a 37% increase in charging stations in 2021* (nearly 500,000 new chargers were installed).
  • China continues to lead the EV market with the highest number of public chargers available.

According to the IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2022 report, charging infrastructure still needs to improve significantly to support the increasing number of EV sales. The global market value of electricity for EV charging is projected to reach USD 190 billion by 2030, but the path to this growth will differ between countries. Variations in housing stock, average travel distances, population density, and reliance on home charging all impact the speed of charging infrastructure rollout.

To achieve the IEA’s Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) goal of net zero emissions by 2050, the number of EV chargers worldwide needs to increase nine-fold to reach 15 million units by 2030.

*Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction and the automotive industry, the growth of EV charger installations wasn’t as high in 2021 as in previous years.

Canadian Charging Statistics

The Asia-Pacific region has the largest EV market, and Europe has the fastest-growing market. Let’s look at how Canada is stacking up:

Like many countries, Canada has its own plan to increase the number of EVs on the road. The Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) is part of the Government of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan for all new light-duty vehicles and passenger trucks to be zero emission by 2035.

The ZEVIP will end in 2027 after hopefully making significant contributions to the number of charging stations available across the country. By offering financial incentives, the ZEVIP will attempt to improve charging infrastructure in workplaces, public spaces, commercial and public fleets, multi-unit residential buildings, and on the streets. The target is to have 50,000 more chargers in operation by 2026.

To support this goal, most charging networks in Canada  are actively working on increasing the number of chargers they have set up—both nationally and within specific regions.

Fast Charger Installations

Fast chargers, also known as Level 3 chargers, are much more desirable than Level 1 or 2 chargers for their quick charging speeds. With a fast charger, an empty EV battery can reach 80% capacity in 30 minutes. With a Tesla Supercharger, this time can be cut in half (depending on the charging speed). However, Level 3 charging is currently not possible in residential areas. Therefore, public fast chargers are a must.

As of now, most of Canada’s public chargers are Level 2, but according to Electric Autonomy Canada, there was a 39% increase in faster charger installations in 2021. Based on the government’s emissions reduction plans, this rate is likely to grow significantly in the coming years.

An All-Electric Future?

To keep up with the EV market, expanding public charging infrastructure should be a priority for all governments. This means improving incentives for EV charging installations in public parking spaces—especially fast chargers.

If you’re thinking about switching to an EV, check out our blog for more tips and information to help you make your decision.