The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced earlier this month that during the first quarter of 2021, there were almost 10,000 workplace EV charging stations installed (that is, in place, not newly installed). This is up by almost 2,000 charging stations compared to one year prior. The announcement came via the DOE’s Fact of the Week and it noted that almost 95% of the workplace chargers were Level 2 chargers while Level 1 chargers accounted for around 5% and DC fast chargers (aka Level 3 chargers) accounted for less than 1%.
The data come from a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report, Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator: First Quarter 2021. The 37-page report provides a glance at the state of EV charging infrastructure in the US during the first quarter of 2021 and uses data from the DOE’s Station Locator to analyze the growth of both public and private charging infrastructure by charging level, network, and location. It also measures the current state of charging infrastructure compared with its target infrastructure volume for 2030.
The report noted that it was expected that the majority of workplace EV charging infrastructure was Level 2 charging stations because employees use these chargers while they are parked at work for several hours and don’t really need rapid charging.
By the end of Q1 2021, there were a total of 9,894 workplace EVSE ports listed in the Station Locator.
The increase seen across all charging levels in the first quarter of 2021 is a result of the annual update of federally owned EV charging stations that the Station Locator team receives each year from NREL’s Federal Fleets team. This resulted in the addition of 407 workplace EVSE ports located at federal buildings.
NREL’s 2017 National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis estimated how much both public and workplace charging infrastructure would be required in the US to meet the charging needs of at least 15 million light-duty plug-in EVs by 2030. Those numbers are 601,000 Level 2 charging ports and 27,500 DC fast charging ports. Based on the analysis from the new report, around 63.8% of the needed DC fast chargers and 15.2% of the Level 2 EVSE ports have been installed as of Q1 2021. This shows that infrastructure development is keeping up with and possibly surpassing forecasted needs.
The report also noted that the majority of the public DC fast charging ports in the Station Locator for Q1 2021 were on the Tesla network and were only readily accessible to Tesla owners. However, if Tesla opens those up to other EVs, as the company recently said it would, that could mean a big difference for ease of EV use across the country and EV uptake.
Featured image courtesy National Renewable Energy Laboratory/US Department of Energy.