• EV Charging Infrastructure
  • EV Charging
  • Tesla
  • Fast Charging
  • Energy Storage

Storage-Backed EV Charging Networks Begin to Take Root

Alex Eller
Mar 12, 2019

EVs 3

Supporting the development of EV charging infrastructure has emerged as a major driver for the development of energy storage worldwide. Navigant Research's 2Q 2018 report, Energy Storage for EV Charging, provides an analysis of how energy storage system (ESS) technology is being used to reduce the costs required to build out charging networks. The report covers the use of ESS in residential homes, commercial and industrial buildings, and on the distribution grid. 

Recently announced industry partnerships and projects are highlighting the potential growth in this segment of the market. Particularly, projects at the distribution grid level designed to minimize the need for infrastructure upgrades as charging stations become ubiquitous.

Developments in North America

December 2018 saw two major announcements of new energy storage projects and partnerships to support EV charging. Charging station developer EVgo opened one of the nation’s largest public fast charging stations in Baker, California, and it includes a new ultra-fast charger with a 350 kW output. These high output stations can significantly strain grid infrastructure. EVgo opted to install ESSs to reduce the impact on the grid and associated demand charges through a partnership with BWM and the California Public Utilities Commission. Notably, the ESS will use second-life EV batteries from BWM vehicles; each ESS has a capacity of 30 kW/44 kWh and will be tied to solar canopies to further reduce strain on the grid. 

In the same month, EV and battery vendor Tesla announced a major deal with charging network provider Electrify America to install its Powerpack ESS at over 100 charging stations. Each station will use a battery system rated at 210 kW/350 kWh, resulting in up to 21 MW and 35 MWh of total ESS capacity installed. 

Projects and Partnerships in Europe

Despite the recent projects in North America, Europe remains the hottest market for energy storage-supported EV charging; Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché is one of the leaders in this market in Europe. The company announced one of its first major projects in September 2017 through a partnership with Dutch firm Fastned to test the use of ESS at multiple EV fast charging stations in the Netherlands. 

Leclanché announced another major deal in late 2018 through a partnership with a newly formed EV charging provider, The EV Network. Together, the companies plan to develop ESS-backed EV fast charging stations throughout Europe and the UK, with a target of at least 200 stations installed by 2025.

Expected Market Growth 

Naturally, the growth of the ESS-backed EV charging station market will closely follow sales of EVs and their needed charging infrastructure. Navigant Research projects that Western Europe will be the largest market for these solutions, with a cumulative capacity of 9.1 GW of ESS expected to be deployed through 2027. Western Europe is expected to be followed by Asia Pacific and North America. 

The market forecasts presented above represent total energy storage capacity across all levels of the market, including residential customers. Navigant Research expects the residential market to be the largest, followed by public charging stations, including the types of projects noted in this article. In 2019, an expected 175 MW of new energy storage capacity will be installed worldwide to support EV charging networks, and a cumulative 9.2 GW of storage capacity through 2027. The latest projects in this space are just the tip of the iceberg, which will lead to validating the technologies and proving the business models required for the market to take off.