Buoyed by strong growth in the market for plug-in electric vehicles, the market for electric vehicle charging equipment has expanded rapidly in the last 18 months, as well.
Navigant Research released new estimates showing that almost 64,000 electric vehicle charging station are currently operational worldwide.
This growth has also been fueled by government programs that have continued to support electric vehicle charging station deployments, and by companies that are bringing a broader portfolio of products to market.
Navigant Research predicts that worldwide sales of electric vehicle charging equipment will grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022.
“As the electric vehicle charging equipment market has matured, some of its early challenges, such as a lack of compatibility of charging units with various plug-in electric vehicle models, have dissipated,” says Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Today there is increasing choice for consumers, including chargers with a wide range of power ratings, home chargers that are competing on price, public chargers with more options for payment and access, the first commercially available wireless charger, and an increasing number of high-speed DC chargers.”
This market, however, is not without growing pains, according to the report. The most notable challenges are related to the very large number of players competing for what remains, for now, a relatively small market. The industry still must devise an easy way for motorists to access public chargers hosted by a multitude of network operators, each of which often requires its own key card or access code. At the same time, the industry has not yet figured out how to expand public charging without relying on government subsidies.