Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) is evolving rapidly in the U.S. Tesla has emerged as the leader in charging technology, setting the standard for the charging connector. Mercedes-Benz is now joining the expansion of charging networks through its partnership with MN8 Energy.
Mercedes-Benz announced earlier this year that it would be building its own charging stations, with the first ones set to open in October. The initial stations will be located in Atlanta. This development prompts a closer look at the current state of EV charging in the U.S. and the progress that still needs to be made.
ChargePoint is currently the largest charging network in the U.S., offering a wide range of Level 2 chargers and a limited number of DC fast chargers. However, Tesla’s Supercharger network dominates the DC fast charging space, with the fastest charging speeds at 250 kilowatts. Tesla provides a seamless charging experience for its owners, as the cars have payment information stored and the charging process is automatic.
Other significant charging networks include Blink, SemaConnect, Electrify America, EVgo, and EV Connect. These networks primarily offer Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, with Electrify America being Tesla’s closest competitor in the DC fast charging segment.
Mercedes-Benz aims to create a superior charging experience and has announced plans to develop chargers capable of charging at up to 400 kilowatts. This would make them the fastest chargers available and could charge a vehicle in 10 to 15 minutes, provided the car supports such high charging speeds.
California leads the way in terms of charging infrastructure, with nearly 15,000 public charging stations. New York and Florida follow in second and third place, respectively. As electric vehicle adoption continues to grow, there will be a need for more charging stations across the country to accommodate the increasing number of EV drivers.
According to S&P Global Mobility, by 2027, the U.S. will require approximately 1.2 million Level 2 chargers and 109,000 Level 3 chargers. These numbers will increase significantly by 2030 when it is projected that 40% of new vehicles will be electric. In order to meet demand, there will be a need for 2.13 million Level 2 chargers and 172,000 Level 3 chargers.
Currently, the U.S. has around 126,500 Level 2 chargers and 20,432 Level 3 chargers, excluding Tesla’s network. The existing infrastructure falls short of the anticipated demand, highlighting the long road ahead in terms of expanding the charging network.
As EV manufacturers adhere to charging standards, additional chargers and more charging companies will benefit the overall EV charging ecosystem. Streamlining the charging process, such as using Tesla chargers, is an area that EV manufacturers should focus on to enhance the user experience. The widespread adoption of Tesla’s NACS port could also contribute to a more unified EV charging landscape in the future.