The State of the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Written By: Jen Neville
September 26, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 8.11.16 AM EVs & the Grid will showcase all of the public and private programs and initiatives that are enabling electrification. Government, utilities, and environmental advocates will guide property developers and fleet owners through the installation process and how to get a piece of the billions of dollars in funding as they prepare for the future. In addition, innovative OEMs and EVSE vendors will discuss the latest developments in standards and interoperability, and how EVs will impact the grid.


The global electric vehicle population reached 3 million units at the end of 2017, which represents approximately 0.23 percent of the global vehicle population. Electric vehicle producers have responded to consumer's range anxiety by increasing the available range per charge in their vehicles to more than 200 miles. However, ultimately the deployment of electric vehicles will depend on the deployment of ubiquitous chargers.

State of the art in electric vehicle charging technologies. Source: IDTechEx Research
IDTechEx – EV Charging Infrastructure Forecast Infographic
IDTechEx estimates that approximately 60 million electric vehicle chargers (both public and private) could be deployed in the global market by 2029.

IDTechEx Research's new report Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 2019-2029 presents a ten-year market forecast (2019-2029) of electric vehicle chargers by region (Europe, China, USA and Japan) and by type of charger (public or private). The report provides profiles of leading companies developing and commercializing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. As public policies have always been key for electric vehicle deployment we include some of the recent highlights of policies favorable for electric vehicle charging infrastructure globally.

State of the art in electric vehicle charging technologies.

The report presents an overview of the state of development of technologies for electric vehicle charging including conductive, inductive, and capacitive charging among others. The report presents the different charger topologies by different levels (Level 1 to Level 3). A comprehensive overview of the main charging standards (Chademo, CCS, Tesla, China GB dtd, India Bharat std), communication protocols and standards including an analysis of Vehicle to Grid communication interphase. Some of the key enabling technologies are presented such as semiconductor technology, fast charging, battery swapping and robotic charging which will have a role in new mobility paradigms.

Electric vehicle charging and the integration of renewable energy.

The EV charging infrastructure value chain will evolve as the integrating of both electric vehicles and renewable energy goes forward. Challenges and opportunities arise when this happens, as there will be increasing requirements for operating the electricity network in a smarter way. For this purpose, concepts like demand-side management and key enabling technologies like energy storage will have a key role.

The emergence of the autonomous, shared vehicle and ride-hailing platforms will change the needs of charging infrastructure. So what charging technologies can come forward to satisfy these special needs? What will be the overall impact of these technology trends in the future global vehicle population? IDTechEx believes that at some point shortly after 2030 the world might reach peak car in relation with the emergence of autonomous and shared vehicles, the question raises whether an autonomous vehicle will still require a man-operated electric vehicle charger. The answer is probably not, as initiatives are underway to replace man-operated charging infrastructure. This includes technologies like inductive charging and robotic charging. Some speak about the possibilities of capacitive charging as well, a new concept for charging electric vehicles through electric fields rather than magnetic, being developed by ARPA-E. One very interesting start-up is integrating magnetizable materials in concrete for wirelessly charging electric vehicles dynamically.

The report presents an outlook to the future, including avenues of technology development that can potentially disrupt the electric vehicle charging infrastructure industry. What does IDTechEx mean by this? Not fully energy autonomous of course but given the increasing performance of energy harvesting technologies we foresee a future in which electric vehicles will be capable of recharging themselves by harvesting energy from the environment and therefore become less reliant on grid-based charging infrastructures. Companies like Toyota, Hanergy and IFEVS are working in extending the range of electric vehicle by integrating energy harvesting technologies in them, from solar photovoltaics to small-scale turbines. Depending on how these trends may evolve in the following ten years we may have points in time of peak and decline of car populations and required charging infrastructures.

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