Trends in electric vehicle charging

Charging for electric light-duty vehicles

There are almost ten times as many private chargers as public ones, with most owners charging at home

Home charging is currently the most common means of charging electric cars. EV owners with access to a private parking space that can be equipped for charging can charge overnight, which is not only convenient but also typically takes advantage of lower electricity prices while demand is relatively low.

The availability of home charging varies substantially between regions and is linked to differences in urban, suburban and rural populations, as well as income bracket. In dense cities, where most people live in multi-unit dwellings, access to home charging is more limited and EV owners rely more heavily on public charging. This is most apparent in Korea, which is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and has the highest ratio of public charging capacity to EVs.

Though access to charging is different to actual use, it is a useful proxy for the levels of home charging among EV owners across countries. The share of EVs in new car sales is over 90% in Norway, whereas it stands at under 2% in Mexico, yet the shares of EV owners reportedly charging at home are similar, at 82% and 71%, respectively. The United Kingdom has one of the highest reported shares of access to home charging, at 93%, more than half of which are smart chargers.1 This is partly due to the United Kingdom being the first country to release smart charge point regulations, but, importantly, it could also be attributed to the high share of early EV adopters that also own a home in which a charger can be installed. In India, 55% of consumers state that they have access to home charging today. Changes to building regulations in order to mandate chargers, as have been proposed by the European Union, are an effective way of increasing access over time, especially for people who live in rented accommodation.

In regions where the voltage of the power grid is 220V or above, EV owners can charge their vehicle from a regular domestic socket overnight. This is the most common case and holds true in Europe, Australia, large parts of Latin America, and most of Asia. In regions where the voltage is lower, typically 100-120V, recharging speeds from regular domestic sockets are much slower,2 and can present a safety risk. As such, in countries with a 100-120V power grid, the ability to recharge in under ten hours requires installation of a dedicated charger.3 This is the case in some countries where the share of EV charging at home is high, such as the United States (83%) and Canada (80%). However, it also includes developing countries with ambitious electrification targets, such as Indonesia, Costa Rica and Colombia, where both the cost (in the region of several hundred US dollars) and lower availability of private parking spaces may present significant hurdles to private charger installation. Reliance on more expensive public charging may therefore be higher. Beyond home charging, private charging also includes other non-publicly accessible chargers, such as chargers reserved for the employees, fleets or customers of certain establishments. There are, for example, 15 900 such private non-home chargers in the United States. In the European Union, over 250 000 chargers are described as having restricted access.

While home charging infrastructure is well established in many countries, the landscape for 2Ws is markedly different. Stock and sales of 2Ws continue to increase in India and the ASEAN countries. These growing markets also see growing momentum in battery swapping technologies, especially in India. In 2023, the Chinese Taipei-based battery-swapping company Gogoro announced a USD 2.5 billion partnership with the Indian State of Maharashtra. Gogoro intends to invest more than USD 1.5 billion in deploying smart battery infrastructure, which will include their battery swapping stations. Other Indian start-ups such as Sun Mobility and Battery Smart raised USD 50 million and USD 33 million, respectively, for further expansion of battery swapping infrastructure. Elsewhere, Africa has also seen increased investment in battery-swapping technologies for 2Ws. Ampersand, a Rwanda-based company, currently performs 140 000 monthly battery swaps to more than 1 700 customers that together travel 1.4 million km every week in Kigali and Nairobi. Spiro, an African electric 2W start-up, secured around USD 60 million in 2023 in order to expand its electric fleet and fund more than 1 000 swap stations.

Public and private installed light-duty vehicle charging points by power rating and by type, 2015-2023


Governments are strengthening support for public charging infrastructure

Although there are many more private chargers, public charging and the interoperability of its infrastructure is key to enabling more widespread adoption of and more equitable access to EVs. The public charging stock increased by more than 40% in 2023, and the growth of fast chargers – which reached 55% – outpaced that of slow chargers.4 At the end of 2023, fast chargers represented over 35% of public charging stock.

Overall, China leads electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) deployment, with more than 85% of the world's fast chargers, and around 60% of slow chargers. Having achieved an electric car sales share of over 35%, thus already surpassing their policy ambition for 2025, China is shifting focus to charging infrastructure development, targeting full coverage in cities and on highways by 2030, as well as expanded rural coverage. China has also begun to support more sustainable charging behaviour, with the aim that 60% of EV charging occurs off-peak by 2025, starting with five pilot cities.

In late 2023, the European Union agreed on the text of the alternative fuels infrastructure regulation (AFIR), which will require public fast chargers every 60 km along the European Union’s main transport corridors (Trans-European Transport Network [TEN-T]). This will ensure that 1.3 kW of publicly accessible chargers are available for each registered BEV, and another 0.8 kW for each registered PHEV.

Other developed markets are also expanding support for EVSE while reducing funding for vehicle incentives. The United Kingdom has ended subsidies for private cars, but maintained incentives for private and public charging installations, with more than 53 600 installed as of 2023, and 300 000 public chargers expected by 2030. New regulations relating to payments and reliability also aim to improve the customer experience. Elsewhere, Korea has reduced the value of its EV subsidy while committing funding to EVSE. This has attracted additional private investment to the sector, and allowed for the installation of over 200 000 public chargers to date.

Publicly installed accessible light-duty vehicle charging points by slow chargers and region, 2015-2023


Publicly installed accessible light-duty vehicle charging points by fast chargers and region, 2015-2023


In other countries, EVSE targets are being adopted alongside vehicle targets. New Zealand released its charging strategy in 2023, targeting one charging hub5 every 150-200 km on main highways, and at least 600 charging stations installed in rural areas by 2028. The United States announced funding for new EVSE projects, and has already installed more than 180 000 public chargers towards the goal of 500 000 by 2030, as well as funding the repair or replacement of existing chargers. Canada is currently on track to meet its target of 33 500 charging ports by 2026. Developing markets are also increasingly recognising the importance of EVSE, such as India, which provided funding for over 7 000 fast chargers in 2023.

As the number of public chargers grows, attention is also turning to the interoperability of charging infrastructure. In the United States, SAE International announced it would use Tesla’s charging connector (J3400) as the standard across North America under the North American Charging Standard (NACS). The aim is to ensure that any supplier or manufacturer is able to use and deploy the connector, providing EV drivers with more options for reliable, convenient charging across North America.

Both the AFIR regulation in Europe, and the NACS in North America, are examples of legislation enacted to enhance interoperability of the charging infrastructure. Achieving greater interoperability across more regions will require enhanced collaboration amongst all stakeholders in order to agree common standards and protocols.

Public charging roll-out needs to keep pace with electric vehicle sales

Deployment of EV chargers should be co-ordinated with power grid developments to ensure that new connections are consistent with the wider grid-planning horizon. When not managed appropriately, charging can lead to a surge in peak demand, meaning that it is increasingly important to ensure that transmission and distribution grids are appropriately sized and equipped.6 Strategies to manage charging, such as through time-of-use tariffs and smart-charging, will become more necessary as EV deployment grows.

High ratios of publicly available charging capacity to EVs in use are crucial in regions where home charging is less accessible, and can help improve the consumer experience more widely. Sufficient coverage reduces concerns about range, and can allow for vehicles with lower battery capacity, thereby reducing costs and critical material demand. Accurately planning for the most appropriate ratio can prove challenging due to the varying supply and demand dynamics within individual countries. Insufficient public charging infrastructure (high EV:EVSE ratio) could lead to considerable customer inconvenience, while excessive infrastructure (low EV:EVSE ratio) may prove uneconomical. Finding an appropriate balance is important to ensuring optimal utilisation and satisfaction among EV users.

It may be more relevant to consider the total charging capacity per EV rather than EV:EVSE ratio, given that fast chargers can serve more EVs per day than slow chargers. In the initial phases of infrastructure development, the ratio of charging capacity to EV is generally high, given that charger usage will likely be low until the market matures. As the market matures and utilisation increases, the capacity per EV tends to decrease.

Connecting cities through EVSE along motorways is a priority for a number of governments. In 2023, the Australian Government announced that it will provide AUD 39.3 million (Australian dollars) to the National Roads and Motorists’ Association, through the Driving the Nation Fund, to build EV chargers along national highways. This proposal (like that of New Zealand) aims to install chargers every 150 km along eligible routes.

Number of electric light-duty vehicles per public charging point and kW per electric light-duty vehicle, 2023


Charging ratios also illustrate the differing priorities of governments with regards to slow versus fast charging. Although New Zealand has the most vehicles per charger, it is ahead of countries such as Australia and Thailand when considering charging capacity per EV. This can be attributed to New Zealand prioritising fast public chargers over slow, resulting in the highest proportion of fast chargers to slow chargers globally, standing at 75%. Similarly, the next highest proportions globally are observed in South Africa, China, and Norway, with 53%, 44% and 41%, respectively. At the other end of this spectrum lie countries such as Brazil, the Netherlands and Korea, which have installed more slow public chargers, with the share of fast public chargers representing 0.1%, 4% and 10%, respectively.

Charging for electric heavy-duty vehicles

Dedicated charging for heavy-duty vehicles is the next frontier

Electric HDVs can generally use the same charging points as LDVs, but the larger size of both the vehicle and battery, and the resulting longer charging times required can disrupt normal operations, ultimately creating a need for dedicated equipment and facilities. HDV charging facilities of this kind are still in the early stages of large-scale development and deployment.

Progress is being made globally on developing standards for megawatt-scale chargers, with the aim of achieving maximum interoperability for electric HDVs. This will be essential to enable a fast roll-out of the charging technology, and mitigate any potential risks and challenges faced by vehicle manufacturers, importers, international operators and equipment providers. In 2023, the European Union and United States produced a set of recommendations for charging infrastructure, including the harmonisation of standards between the two regions. In essence, this provided recognition of the adoption of the megawatt charging system (MCS) – which allows charging capacity up to 3.75 MW – by international standardisation organisations such as SAE International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Some companies such as Kempower, who mainly operate in Europe but are expanding globally, are expected to introduce chargers designed to operate at up to 1.2 MW in 2024, ahead of the formal standardisation of the MCS, though this is not expected to cause issues of divergence. In Asia, predominantly in China and Japan, the ChaoJi-2 began demonstration in late 2023. Although ChaoJi-2 has a lower power rating than the MCS (up to 1.2 MW), it allows for compatibility with existing standards in the region.7

In March 2024, the United States released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy. This sets out a phased approach to electrifying road freight, starting with establishing charging hubs at locations such as rail yards and airports, before expanding the network with the aim of achieving full coverage sometime between 2035 and 2040. Smaller demonstrations have also been undertaken, such as the Run on Less – Electric DEPOT scheme, through which around 140 charging points were installed at 10 depots across the United States. According to data collected by the Atlas EV Hub, a further 210 charging points are already operating in the United States to serve electric trucks, and another 1 020 are planned, around 75% of which are due to be completed in 2024. The weighted average capacity of chargers whose power was included in the database is 180 kW, with almost 95% being direct current fast chargers.

To date, there are around 160 truck-specific charging points deployed in Europe. In early 2023, Europe’s first truck charging corridor was launched along a 600 km stretch of the Rhine-Alpine corridor, one of the busiest road freight routes in Europe. All 6 public charging locations are fitted with 300 kW charging points. The company behind the corridor, BP pulse, is also electrifying one of the largest truck stops in the United Kingdom.

Looking forward, the EU AFIR details the progressive roll-out of minimum coverage and capacity for HDV charging stations, specifying that each station must include at least one charger of at least 350 kW power output by the end of 2025. Alongside national policies, AFIR has sparked the creation of several pilot programmes dedicated to charging HDVs using MCS charging, such as HoLa, ZEFES, HV-MELA-BAT, and a joint ABB and Scania project. In late 2023, Milence, an independent joint venture established by Traton, Volvo and Daimler, presented their HDV charger. In collaboration with Hitachi Energy, they plan to build 1 700 public charging points across Europe by 2027, based on the MCS.

Although high-powered charging can enable the decarbonisation of freight, it may also present challenges for the electricity grid, like fluctuations in power quality or supply-demand imbalances. These imbalances can cause grid congestion at the local level, and could affect entire regions where there is a large electric HDV fleet. Some countries, such as the Netherlands, are already developing policies to anticipate these issues. One way to mitigate challenges and avoid peak demand is through stationary storage batteries that are co-located with high-powered chargers. This solution would require significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the installation of large, stationary batteries, but it could also offer new revenue streams to charging station owners, such as through electricity price arbitrage or grid services provision. Co-locating renewable sources close to charging hubs can also decrease the stress on the local power grid. The electricity grid is a key enabling technology for HDV electrification, and careful planning and investment will be required in order to accommodate new loads. For further analysis of the impacts of HDV charging on the electricity grid, see the Outlook for electric vehicle charging infrastructure later in this report, as well as the recently published Electricity Grids and Secure Energy Transitions.

More innovative solutions, such a battery swapping and electric road systems, can also play a role

Alternative solutions for HDV charging may reduce uncertainty about the system-level costs associated with high-powered charging, and can already compete favourably in terms of total capital and operating costs. Two such solutions are battery swapping and electric road systems, both of which can potentially offer significant advantages compared to high-powered charging.

Battery swapping can be completed in as little as five minutes, can help to extend battery life through more controlled charging, and can spread power demand over a longer period, thus reducing pressure on the electricity grid. Battery swapping is currently most developed in China, where it has been encouraged by national and local governments since 2020. As many as half of electric heavy-duty trucks sold in 2023 were enabled with battery-swapping technology. In late 2022, SAIC launched a joint venture to set up around 40 battery swapping stations in cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with the aim of installing 3 000 stations by 2025. In 2023, CATL, the world’s largest producer of EV batteries, launched QIJI Energy, an all-in-one heavy-duty truck chassis battery-swapping solution, which aims to reduce costs by building upon existing battery technology.

Electric road systems (ERS) allow vehicles to charge while they are driving, using one of three main technologies: induction between the vehicle and the road, conduction connections between the vehicle and road, or catenary lines.8 With increased access to charging through ERS, vehicles would require less battery capacity, leading to reduced battery demand and a more equal distribution of power demand throughout the day, with the trade-off being a greater and more distributed overall infrastructure requirement. ERS have significantly progressed in countries including Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States. In 2023, Sweden became the first country in the world to commit to turning a highway into a permanently electrified road. Though the exact charging method has yet to be decided, the planned road should open to the public by 2025, with up to 3 000 km of further road expansion by 2045. In France, a study for the Ministry of Transport on the impact of ERS concluded that it could reduce CO2 emissions by 86% for road freight trucks that currently run on diesel. The installation of nearly 5 000 km of ERS by 2030 has been proposed, and the first stage of this project is expected in 2024 with a proof of concept being installed on 2 km of motorway to the southwest of Paris. In Germany, a catenary system was installed over 10 km of motorway in 2019 as part of a pilot trial, and a further 7 km have since been added , with long-term aspirations for the entire A5 motorway to be fitted with ERS. Other countries such as Italy and Israel have already completed proof-of-concept trials run by Electreon.

  1. Smart chargers are defined in the study concerned as being chargers connected to the internet such that they can be operated remotely to optimise energy consumption.

  2. Assuming a fuel economy of 20 kWh/100 km and charger power of 1 kW, 10 hours of lower-voltage overnight charging can provide 50 km range to an electric car, whereas electric 2/3Ws have battery capacities of under 8 kWh and consume approximately 3 kWh/100 km, and can therefore fully charge in the same time.

  3. Dedicated chargers allow for AC charging above 3.7 kW and up to 22 kW.

  4. Slow chargers have power ratings less than or equal to 22 kW, whereas fast chargers have a power rating of more than 22 kW and up to 350 kW. “Charging points” and “chargers” are used interchangeably and refer to the individual charging sockets, reflecting the number of EVs that can charge at the same time.

  5. A charging hub is a centralised location equipped with multiple charging stations specifically designed for EVs.

  6. Further information on the impact of EV charging on the electricity grid can be found in the IEA’s Electricity Grids and Secure Energy Transitions report.

  7. Maximum powers are based on specifications of 1 250 V and 3 000 A for MCS, and 1 500 V and 800 A for ChaoJi

  8. Catenary lines can only be used for HDVs due to the suspension of overhead wires for delivering electricity. Conductive charging works for both HDVs and LDVs where there is a conductive system embedded in the road.