Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and its fast development will be the KEY to success of EV implementation and adoption. “BATTERY CAPACITY AND RANGE ANXIETY” is today’s biggest hurdle in adoption of EV’s.
Over the past decade, governments and stakeholders in the energy and transport sectors have been striving to accelerate the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and new electric vehicle models. The limited availability of charging infrastructure, including a lack of adequate business and financing models, is considered to be one of the biggest obstacles to the widespread adoption of EVs by customers, many of whom still suffer from ‘range anxiety’.
Let’s have a look at Global Investments and Development in Charging Infrastructure and then a discussion on Infra solution strategies.
- The growth of publicly accessible chargers accompanies the increase in the number of electric cars on the road: the growth rate in the number of publicly accessible chargers in 2016 (72%) was higher, but of similar magnitude, to that of the electric car stock growth in the same year (60%).
- Electric cars still outnumber public charging stations by more than six to one, indicating that most drivers rely primarily on private charging stations
NORWAY CASE STUDY : (Norway is the country with the highest electric
- Electric car owners charge their vehicles most frequently at home or at work, relying on slow chargers.
- The third most frequent charging option is publicly accessible slow charging, followed by chargers located in commercial facilities (charging at a destination).
- Fast charging is not frequently used and it primarily takes the form of planned stops for long distance trips.
Note : This is an interesting insight for India EV charging infrastructure development. Policy makers should study Customer pattern of charging and then plan a EV charging strategy in India. It will vary from State-State, City to City and User to User.
The market comprises two types of chargers namely Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) chargers. AC chargers use AC current, which is usually available at home, to charge an electric vehicle (EV).
These chargers can be further divided into three types namely Type-1 (up to 3.7 kW), Type-2 (> 3.7 kW and ≤ 22 kW), and AC rapid chargers (up to 43 kW). They are capable of charging an electric vehicle in 6-8 hrs., 3-4 hrs., and 40-50 minutes, respectively.
The fast charger segment occupied a significant market share in 2016. It includes rapid AC chargers (up to 43 kW), DC chargers, and Tesla Superchargers. These chargers have the potential to charge an EV battery, up to 80%, within 30 minutes. These chargers are expected to grow faster than slow chargers, as they reduce driver’s anxiety and battery recharging time.
EVSE DEPLOYMENT :
Defining EVSE ( electric vehicle supply equipment ) deployment targets also helps speed up policy action. The advantage of setting targets is the ability to focus on the development of instruments for meeting them and moving beyond the need to decide upon their ambition.
• China aims to deploy, by 2020, 4.3 million private EVSE outlets, 0.5 million public
chargers for cars and 850 intercity quick-charge stations, among other targets for buses
• The EU Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (EC, 2014)
required EU member countries to define electric charging point targets for 2020 by
November 2016.32 France has stated its ambition to deploy 7 million charging outlets by
• In 2016, Korea upgraded its former target for deploying countrywide, publicly accessible fast chargers by 2020 from 1 400 to 3 000, with the aim of making all parts of the country accessible with an electric vehicle.
Note : In India, EV infrastructure policy should be in the direction of Publicly accessible slow and fast chargers, Statewide infrastructure development policies, Intercity quick charge stations.
Following four categories of charging infrastructure should be considered while making policy :
1. Public charging station on public domain (e.g. roadside/sidewalk);
2. Publicly accessible charging station on private domain (e.g. commercial areas such as
3. Semi-public charging station on public or private domain (e.g. car sharing CS, hotels or
business parking for visitors and customers);
4. Privately accessible charging station (e.g. home or office locations). The classification is important both from a commercial and a technical perspective.
Financial incentives, fiscal advantages and other forms of monetary incentives
National legislative frameworks are also important for providing financial incentives, fiscal advantages and other forms of monetary incentives for individuals, businesses and local authorities willing to invest in the installation of EVSE.
• In China, the central government supports municipalities deploying public charging
infrastructure by subsidising the construction of charging stations.
• In France, financial incentives can take the form of a tax credit equivalent to 30% of a
home charger or subsidies for the installation of residential or workplace chargers.
• In the Netherlands, the Green Deal has resulted in a governmental contribution for the
joint deployment of publicly accessible EVSE with municipalities and a third party. This is accompanied by a tax incentive for businesses investing in EVSE deployment (Munnix,
• Norway provides EVSE public funding for fast-charging stations every 50 km (on average) on main roads and contributes to deployment incentives for public chargers. (Interesting policy for market like India)
• Sweden offers financial support for the development of charging infrastructure. In 2015, the funding amounted to SEK 130 million.
• In the United Kingdom, individuals receive GBP 500 (USD 650) for the installation of a
dedicated home charger for an electric car, and businesses are entitled to grants of
GBP 300 (USD 400) per socket to fund charge points for fleets and/or employees (Gov.uk,
2017a) and receive tax breaks for investment on large EVSE deployment (Gov.uk, 2016a).
Local authorities also receive refunds to install roadside charge points in residential
• In the United States, most EVSE support takes place at the state level. For example, the
state of Colorado provides grants of up to 80% of the costs for an EVSE unit and
installation (Hodge, 2017).
Note : In India, EV infrastructure policy should be backed by Financial incentives and tax benefits which will motivate individuals, businesses to adopt it at faster rate.
Regulation and Permits :
Real estate sector is also a very important sector for the growth of EV charging infrastructure and in long run it will play a crucial role in India. Henceforth, all real estate relevant policies and laws should be in the direction of EV infrastructure development also.
In France, recent legislation mandated that 50-75% of parking bays in any new or
renovated residential building must be pre-installed with conduits that allow the easy
installation of EVSE ranging between 7 kW and 22 kW. In commercial buildings, 5-10% of
parking bays must have conduits suitable for installing EVSE with a power rating of at
least 22 kW (Legifrance, 2016). The European Commission included similar provisions in a proposal aiming to revise the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings.
• In France, Spain, Portugal and the United States (California), steps have been taken to
adapt property laws to simplify and accelerate the process of approval procedures for
electric car owners to deploy (private) EVSE infrastructure, notably in rented and/or
owned multi-unit dwellings, including in parking garages (Legifrance, 2014; BOE, 2009;
Diario da Republica, 2010; WXY Architecture, 2012).
Investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Investments towards the EV sector is expected to grow, with a new report issued in late July by energy market intelligence firm Navigant Research projecting $80 billion in investments towards the development of infrastructure between now and 2025 as developed economies continue to address challenges restraining the growth of the EV market.
In addition to an increase in the number of public EV charging, consumers have also highlighted their interests in using EVs with battery capacity enabling a vehicle to travel for long without the need to charge again.
National and continental EV markets
CALIFORNIA : California, San Diego Gas & Electric is building 3,500 utility-owned chargers for $45 million, Southern California Edison is building 1,500 host-owned chargers for $22 million, and Pacific Gas & Electric is building the infrastructure behind 7,500 chargers in a utility-private investor partnership
UK : the government is focusing on expanding the country’s EV charging infrastructure at the same time ensuring the charging stations will be equipped with the latest technologies which would shorten the time required to fully charge a vehicle.
In early July, the UK government announced $25.8 million in funding towards research and development of vehicle to grid technologies.
The aim of the funding is for the region to develop and implement new technologies which would, in turn, support an increase in adoption of EVs from the current 100,000 to approximately 1 million by 2020 at the same time make use of the EVs to stabilise grid networks during peak periods.
DENMARK : E.ON is currently operating 1,200 public charging points and 39 ultra-fast EV chargers. E.ON’s efforts in the EV sector in Denmark have resulted in the European state witnessing a significant growth in its EV market. To date, Denmark’s EV chargers exceed petrol stations.
According to a recent study conducted by the Danish Energy Association, there are 2,030 EV charging docks and 2,028 ordinary petrol stations.
AUSTRALIA : In early June, distribution network operator Stromnetz Hamburg selected Australian-based Tritium for the construction of some 52 ultra-fast chargers capable of charging 50KW and 11KW vehicles at once. The project is expected to be completed by October.
NORTH AMERICA : partnerships between governments and solution providers continue to play a leading role towards the development of charging infrastructure.
CANADA : The Canadian government through its ministry of energy and natural resources announced a partnership with energy storage firms Leclanche and eCamion and independent power producer SGEM to construct some 34 fast charging systems across the Trans-Canada highway in a $6.2 million project.
The programme is being deployed using funds sourced from the country’s Energy Innovation Programme, Leclanche and eCamion for completion by the first quarter of 2019 to increase adoption of EVs and their use for long distance travelling.
The construction of the 34 charging stations falls under efforts by Canada to reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector which contributes one-quarter of the country’s total carbon emissions.
SOUTH KOREA : The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has on the 3rd of July launched the operation of some 1,560 charging stations following a $123 million investment made by the utility to expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure by developing up to 3,000 charging ports by the end of 2017.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the market and accounted for 50% revenue share in 2016. In the past few years, China has witnessed growth in both electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure. In 2015, the nation announced its intention to invest in the EV infrastructure market to accomplish their target for 5 million EVs, on road, by 2020.
Furthermore, in 2016, Japan has successfully surpassed the number of petrol stations with EV charging outlets. This growth is supported by government policies and automakers’ effort to boost EV infrastructure. For instance, in 2014, Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation formed a new company called Nippon Charge Service, LLC to encourage the installation of EV chargers. In 2016, South Korea announced its investment of USD 180.3 million for expansion of EV infrastructure.
The prominent vendors dominating the market include ABB Group, AeroVironment, Inc., Elektromotive Limited, ChargePoint, Inc., Schneider Electric SE, Chargemaster Plc, Eaton Corporation, Siemens AG, SemaConnect, Inc., ClipperCreek, Inc., Tesla Motors, Inc., Delphi Automotive LLP, General Electric Company, and Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
The players of this market are continuously working toward new product development and up gradation of their existing product portfolio. For strategic growth, these players prefer collaborations, with other players or electric vehicle manufacturers. For instance, in 2016, ChargePoint, Inc. collaborated with BMW of North America, LLC and Volkswagen of America, Inc. for setting up approximately 100 DC, fast-charging stations across east and west coasts of the U.S.
Moreover, these players are consolidating their market shares by undertaking M&A activities. In 2017, Chargemaster Plc announced the acquisition of Elektromotive Limited, an infrastructure supplier, along with its subsidiary (Charge Your Car). Through this acquisition, the former company is planning to expand its existing portfolio and customer services.
WAY AHEAD TO DEPLOY EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE :
OPTION 1 :
At homes and businesses, connecting local charging points generally requires some form of connection from the low voltage grid, and the additional load could require subscribing to a higher power capacity tariff and/or reinforcement of the network at the point of connection.
It is thus critically important to install charging points in areas where both the projected impact is low and the utilization throughout the day is expected to be high. An early example of such robust planning of EVSE is in the Netherlands, where the installation of charging points is tied to residential areas where electric car owners request parking permits.
Incentivising end users to maximise self-consumption through solar
systems installed on consumers’ homes combined with the available storage and recharging infrastructure.
As utilities transition to distributed energy, such business models could be
deployed as an integrated service combining energy efficiency, distributed energy resources and the minimisation of EV charging costs – and, on the utility side, provide system benefits by reducing the impact of the charging profiles seen by the grid
In India, Charging infrastructure can be scaled up in phases that follow the growth of the electric car market
Careful planning for this could bring economic advantages as well as advantages for grid stability.
- The first set-up phase of EVSE deployment, which can be identified as the present phase of most urban areas, can be handled with a few initial charging points.
- In the second phase, as electric cars become more numerous, a typical parking garage (or a suburban road) is needed to distribute the available power between a number of charging points. In this second phase, challenges start to arise as the number of charging points must be limited to the available power in the building (or neighbourhood).
- In the third phase, in which there is a large demand for charging from electric cars, the available power of the entire building needs to be distributed between the apartments in the building (or the network of dwellings in the neighbourhood) and the charging points.
As EV penetration increases, such options could deliver lower costs for both charging
infrastructure owners/operators and distribution grids. The question is thus whether the existing cost signals and regulations are sufficient to drive end users and owners/operators of charging stations to drive enough efficiency and flexibility at the system level. In multifamily dwellings, public charging stations and parking lots, for instance, higher capacities can be expected. The higher the charging capacity, the higher the need to manage charging – and yet, given the higher demand for it, users are likely to be less amenable to changing their charging profiles. If the demand-side operator (DSO) needs to reinforce lines and transformers, plus bear its share of the cost of the home grid connections due to regulations, it will then seek to pass on costs to consumers through the tariff system, exacerbating the issue without increasing flexibility.
Some form of additional regulation, generally in the form of digitally enabled, smart charging of electric cars, will be necessary. To enable smart charging, regulators and policy makers will have to enable business models that deliver some combination of price signals, control signals and aggregation enabled by data analytics and controls for a large numbers of users.
EVSE : electric vehicle supply equipment