The provision of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) worldwide is a booming market, forecasted to grow to a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent between 2019 and 2030. However, while the U.S. boasted the second largest network of public chargers in 2020, it lagged behind the Chinese charging infrastructure. Despite its wide infrastructure availability, populous U.S. cities still struggled to meet EV charging demands: In San Francisco, there was around one charger per 39 EVs, while New York recorded a 1:32 ratio. On average, there was also under one charging location per 100 kilometers of roadway in the U.S. in 2021.
An unequal market not matching consumer demandWith just under 126 EVSE ports available per 100,000 people in the first quarter of 2021, Vermont recorded the largest share of EVSE per inhabitant, followed by Washington, D.C., and California. California was also the largest market in terms of private and public infrastructure, with a network of over 14,600 charging stations as of August 2021—almost five times more than the volume of charging stations available in New York, which came second in the ranking. Among the leading 10 U.S. cities with the most electric charging stations as of February 2022, half were located in California, with Los Angeles recording over 1,400 stations.
By January 2022, the U.S. EVSE network was comprised of just under 46,300 charging stations and approximately 113,600 charging outlets. The number of publicly available fast chargers soared in 2019, over threefold more than the 2018 volumes, and workplace electric vehicle charger volumes were also on the rise through the first quarter of 2021. However, despite this increase in public charging stations, the prevalence of public infrastructure does not match EV owners’ charging demands: As of an October 2021 survey, EV owners expect to charge their vehicles most often at home, denoting a greater need for private charging ports rather than for public stations.
U.S. innovation fuels the charging infrastructureWhile the U.S. has not yet matched consumer demand, it is at the forefront of EVSE innovation. In 2019, the U.S. was the second leading country of origin for electric vehicle charging technology patent families. American multinational companies Qualcomm and Ford were among the companies filing the most EV charging infrastructure patent families, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Tesla—the plug-in electric vehicle market leader in the U.S. in 2021—also filed most of its patents between 2000 and 2020 in the United States, with 307 patent families filed in the energy generation and storage technology areas.
However, while Tesla’s vehicle sales soared in 2021, the manufacturer encountered stiff competition in the electric charging stations market. The ChargePoint Network was the leading public charging station network in the U.S. as of February 2022, with a charging station volume far greater than Tesla Destination stations. The majority of ChargePoint’s 2021/2022 revenue came from its network charging systems. However, with a net loss of around 132.6 million U.S. dollars for the 2021/2022 financial year, ChargePoint was yet to make a profit. This was a hurdle that other charging networks also faced: Blink Charging, the leading private station network in 2022, recorded a net loss of around 55.1 million U.S. dollars in the 2021 fiscal year. The U.S. charging infrastructure, while boosted by American companies, still has a long road ahead for profitability.