And, according to a report from market research firm Research And Markets, global companies are installing tens of thousands of these fast-charging stations every year.
The report found that nearly 134,000 electric vehicle fast-charging stations were installed globally, and nearly 100,000 more are expected by 2025. Research and Markets credits worldwide legislation incentivizing the adoption of electric vehicles with the growth of this industry, which is growing by over 10% compounded annually.
Advancements in Fast-Charging Technology
Research and Markets says that technical developments in fast-charging technology will make electric vehicles more viable and desirable to consumers. Alternating current (AC) electric charging stations, which populated the first electric chargers, can charge electric vehicles between 6 and 10 hours.
Direct current chargers, by contrast, can charge an electric vehicle in as little as 30 minutes. Companies like ABB, BTC Power, Tritium Pty Ltd, Star Charge, and Efacec Electric Mobility are developing and deploying these chargers in large numbers and leading innovation in the space.
This innovation is perhaps most pronounced when it comes to Tritium Pty Ltd. and United Kingdom-based charging infrastructure company Pod Point, who collaborated to bring a 50-kilowatt charging system and a network of electric vehicles across the UK.
Kevin Pugh, Tritium’s country manager for the UK and Ireland, made much the same point as the Research and Markets report did — that the market for electric vehicles is increasing in large part due to UK legislation attempting to hasten their adoption.
“Electric vehicle interest was already increasing, and when you combine that with the Government’s amended deadline it’s clear we’ll see electric vehicles become the norm sooner rather than later,” he said.
The Adoption of Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles were, in the past, a niche market. General Motors, formerly the world’s largest automaker, is becoming a leader in electric vehicle manufacture on a wide scale.
The carmaker announced just days ago that it is bringing 30 new electric vehicles to market in the next five years, a colossal change of pace for a company that has historically relied solely on gas-powered automobiles.
GM aims to lead the world market in electric vehicle adoption, said CEO Mary Barra at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference. She further said that electric vehicles will be a huge source of value for shareholders and that GM plans to invest $27 billion in the development and adoption of self-driving and electric vehicles through 2025.
"We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience," she said in a statement.
GM is far from alone in pushing toward electric vehicles on a wide scale. Others, like Volkswagen, are planning big investments in comparable technology.
In a recent statement, Volkswagen said it plans to invest about $86 billion in a complete “transformation into a digital mobility company.” This investment is part of a larger, $177 billion investment that the company admits that they hope will help it become a serious competitor to Tesla.
“Yes, it is going to be a race with Tesla,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, “...[but] we have more different body styles, and when it comes to an established dealership network, we should have an advantage over Tesla.”
The statements are remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, the fact that a legacy car manufacturer like Volkswagen, who is the second-largest largest manufacturer in the world, would invest so heavily in electric vehicles is an unmistakable bellwether of the coming electric economy.
Secondly, that such a company would admit the competitiveness of Tesla, a relative newcomer in the automobile manufacturing space, perhaps signals a regret that mainstay carmakers did not invest more heavily in electric vehicles sooner and an admission that Tesla’s sometimes turbulent path was correct after all.
Because of this, you should expect to see more carmakers leaning heavily into electric vehicles and working on playing catchup with Tesla. Whether they are successful remains to be seen, but the effects of the investments will echo into our daily lives in the form of increased sustainability measures, more electric vehicle advertising, and fast charge stations across the world.
About the Author
Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.