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Electric car charge points soar to 7.3 million chargers, 60% growth in public chargers

We are getting some new and interesting data about how fast electric car charge points are growing in a new report.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its 2020 EV Outlook report, which includes analyses of several important data points related to electric vehicle adoption, like charging infrastructure.

Charging infrastructure has often been described as the ‘chicken or egg’ problem for electric cars: electric cars won’t be popular until charging is readily available and charging won’t be widely deployed until electric cars are popular.

But it’s not as big of an issue as people think because an electric vehicle can plug into a regular electric outlet and charge – albeit slowly.

Therefore, there already are hundreds of millions of EV charge points in the world that help kickstart EV adoption.

With this said, dedicated EV charge points are still extremely important to accelerate EV adoption by making the ownership experience more convenient.

IEA’s report claims that are now about 7.3 million chargers worldwide as of the end of 2019.

However, most of them are private charge points:

“The infrastructure for electric-vehicle charging continues to expand. In 2019, there were about 7.3 million chargers worldwide, of which about 6.5 million were private, light-duty vehicle slow chargers in homes, multi-dwelling buildings and workplaces. Convenience, cost-effectiveness and a variety of support policies (such as preferential rates, equipment purchase incentives, and rebates) are the main drivers for the prevalence of private charging.”

These charge points mainly enable faster overnight charging for electric cars.

But the report also had good news for public charging stations, which they believe grew 60% last year:

“Publicly accessible chargers accounted for 12% of global light-duty vehicle chargers in 2019, most of which are slow chargers. Globally, the number of publicly accessible chargers (slow and fast) increased by 60% in 2019 compared with the previous year, higher than the electric light-duty vehicle stock growth.”

The report shows that China, the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles, is leading the way when it comes to charging infrastructure:

Electrek’s Take

These reports can be a little confusing to follow because there’s a lot of data that is not really that important.

When it comes to charging, private charging stations and level 2 public charging stations are not really important in my opinion.

They certainly help, but public fast-charging stations help 10 times more and of course, they also cost 10 times more.

The growth of charging infrastructure has been impressive over the last few years, but we were often disappointed by the small number of fast-chargers, which are needed to enable long-distance travel and a seamless EV ownership experience.

Now IEA reports that fast-chargers account for 31% of the new deployment – thanks to several networks like Tesla Supercharger, Ionity, and Electrify America, who grew a lot in 2019.

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