U.S. electric car charging infrastructure must expand to provide drivers with at least as much convenience as provided by existing fueling stations. The pace of required infrastructure scaleup is ambitious and achievable, and the costs are modest. Over the next 30 years, the U.S. must install an average of approximately 270,000 public chargepoints for LDVs and 35,000 MDV/HDT chargepoints. The cumulative annual investment in public charging infrastructure, approximately $6.5 billion per year, makes up a small portion of the total cost of ownership for electric vehicles.
The cost of building the DRIVE Clean charging infrastructure is modest compared to the scenario’s benefits. For light-duty vehicles, of the $11 billion required annually through 2035, $6.8 billion is for home charging, $510 million for workplace charging, $1.1 billion for L2 public charging, and $2.6 billion for DCFC (50 and 100 kW). Annual heavy-duty truck and medium-duty vehicle public charging infrastructure investments through 2035 are $3.6 billion and $390 million, respectively. Beyond 2035, annual charging infrastructure investments for HDTs and MDVs increases to $6.3 billion and $520 million, respectively, while public L2 and DCFC investments for LDVs falls to $460 million and $1.1 billion, respectively. The cumulative investment in public charging infrastructure makes up a small portion of EV TCO in the DRIVE Clean scenario. As another point of comparison, U.S. utilities invest about $30 billion annually in new electricity distribution system upgrades. Still, the United States must commit to accelerating project-development timelines—already a major hurdle in charging infrastructure deployment—to reach DRIVE Clean levels on time.