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Global EV Charging Infrastructure Investments Are On the Rise

Raquel Soat
Aug 27, 2019

EVs 3

In June 2019, China surpassed 1 million charging post installations across the country, maintaining the title of largest EV charging network in the world. This amount of charging infrastructure is no easy feat. It is made more difficult by the price tag to install and purchase chargers, particularly DC fast chargers (DCFCs). Typically, investment in charging infrastructure comes from both public and private sources. Until recently, most investments came in small sums leading to small deployments of infrastructure. However, as the plug-in EV (PEV) market grows, large-scale investments are more and more common.

Private versus Public Investment in Charging Infrastructure

Charging infrastructure investments come from a variety of sources under both the private and public umbrellas. In the past year, many governments have committed to investment in charging infrastructure to move the PEV market forward. In July 2019, the Canadian government invested CAD$4.6 million ($3.5 million) to install 92 DCFCs. The investment will create a coast-to-coast charging network for Canada. The Indian government is also committing to PEVs and sent out a call for proposals to establish 1,000 chargers in the country.

Other Developments

India is seeing private investment commitments in charging infrastructure, too—despite the country having no firm timeline for introducing PEVs. Tata Motors and Tata Power are partnering to install 300 DC fast charging stations by 2021 across five cities in India. Vakrangee, a last-mile retail point-of-sale company, has committed to set up PEV chargers across India as well.

Other recently announced private investment in charging infrastructure include:

  • Didi Chuxing and BP forming a joint venture to construct, develop, and operate charging stations in China
  • Engenie to receive £35 million ($42.9 million) for over 2,000 charging points across the UK
  • BMW completing installation of 100 new charging stations at US national parks
Charging infrastructure investments and incentives are also offered through electric utilities, particularly in the US. In Texas, Austin Energy offers charging infrastructure rebates for the installation of residential, workplace, and multi-unit dwellings—including DCFCs for multi-unit dwellings and workplace locations. In California, utilities are working with regulators to approve filings that would allow them to install and own public charging infrastructure.

Follow-Through

The mix of public and private investment in charging infrastructure across industries is a promising sign of the potential for PEVs, even in developing countries such as India. However, with any commitment, there is potential for these investments to fall through, particularly on the public side where politics may dictate future budgeting. Stakeholders need to continue to pursue investments in charging infrastructure, while managing current investment promises.