ChargingUS Fast Charger Network Surges, Filling Gaps in "Flyover Country

US Fast Charger Network Surges, Filling Gaps in “Flyover Country

Electric vehicles (EVs) are hitting the road in greater numbers, and the infrastructure to support them is keeping pace.

The US now boasts nearly 8,200 public DC fast-charging stations, a 7.6% increase in just the first quarter of 2024. This growth spurt is partly fueled by the Biden administration’s $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. The program’s focus on filling gaps in the charging network is evident, with the number of stations reaching a point where there’s roughly one for every 15 gas stations nationwide.

But the growth isn’t just concentrated on the coasts. States like Indiana (16 new stations), Missouri and Tennessee (13 each), and Alabama (11) are seeing a significant rise in fast-charging options. Notably, Ohio became the first state to utilize the NEVI program for a charging station installation back in December 2023.

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This expansion beyond traditional EV strongholds is partly due to the involvement of convenience store chains like Buc-ee’s and Wawa. These chains collectively added 19 new charging stations in the first quarter alone, making long journeys with EVs even more convenient.

However, simply counting stations doesn’t tell the whole story. A 2023 study by HERE, a mapping-data firm, highlights the importance of considering existing EV fleets and their driving patterns when evaluating charging infrastructure. Additionally, the Department of Energy’s “Designated Alternative Fuel Corridors” map remains a valuable tool for predicting future fast-charger locations.

Meeting the ambitious goals of the NEVI program, which calls for stations every 50 miles along major corridors, will require over 1,100 additional fast-charging stations nationwide according to a 2023 analysis by the Great Plains Institute. This doesn’t even factor in the impact of other large-scale charging initiatives like Ionna or the ever-growing Tesla Supercharger network.

The future of EV travel in the US looks bright. With a rapidly expanding charging network, particularly in areas previously lacking options, road trips and long-distance journeys are becoming increasingly feasible for electric vehicle owners.

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