US Electric Vehicle Sales Set to Skyrocket Amid Infrastructure Challenges

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The boundaries of an electric vehicle’s journey — how far it can travel on a single charge, the proximity of the next charging point — are still dependent on the specific model and region. These uncertainties may inhibit the breakneck speed of the electric car boom seen in the past triad of years.

However, this certainly doesn’t denote a retreat by U.S consumers from electric vehicles. Although their numbers are still dwarfed by those of conventional cars, the International Energy Agency forecasts growth of more than 60%. It is anticipated that U.S. electric vehicle sales will crescendo to 1.6 million this year, a significant leap from the estimated 990,000 in 2022.

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Unlike their counterparts piloting traditional vehicles, who can bank upon decades of reliable infrastructure, electric vehicle operators grapple with doubts regarding the next charging station’s availability. This is particularly underscored by the fact that the evolution of charging ports has not paced alongside the escalating electric vehicle market.

Over the upcoming years, successfully cultivating an electric vehicle ecosystem calls for a charging station for every eight to twelve electric vehicles, proposes SBD Automotive, an international automotive research titan.

The ratio of charging venues to electric vehicles, defined as a key barometer in the HERE-SBD Automotive EV Index by SBD and HERE Technologies, a location data company, was far from ideal in most states back in 2020. However, with an influx of electric vehicles on the road over the last two years, the equation has started to show equilibrium. In 2022, the optimal vehicle-to-charger ratio was achieved in twelve states.

Still, this solitary measure barely scratches the surface of the true count of chargers in states booming with electric vehicles. Ownership of electric cars fluctuates dramatically across the U.S. In 2022, an overwhelming 903,600 electric vehicles were registered in California, dwarfing Iowa’s mere 6,200 registrations, indicating higher sales rates on the coasts compared to the country’s heartland.

Such statistics suggest an urgent need for augmenting public charging provisions in states boasting a significant electric vehicle populace. New Jersey, for example, struggles with a mere 30 registered EVs per charging point, though it shines brighter in other aspects compared to the herculean challenge of efficient EV infrastructure.

New Jersey falls behind in the car-to-charger ratio yet it triumphs in the top 12 as per the index developed by HERE and SBD. This success can be chalked up to three areas: good EV market share compared to traditional vehicles, impressive ratio of charging points to miles of roads, and commendable average power of EV charging stations.

In 2022, Alaska was found wanting with a meager 93 charging stations scattered along its extensive 17,681 miles of roadways, thereby breaching the bottom five for charging-station metrics and losing the last place for overall EV infrastructure preparedness.

The novel index serves as a solid ground to embark on the decision-making process regarding the purchase of an electric vehicle or planning a lengthy trip. Furthermore, HERE has curated a U.S. map portraying the number of EV charging stations available in each county, a tool that could prove incredibly handy for electric vehicle drivers nationwide.