Over the last two years, growing sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have fueled a burst of activity in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure development. To realize the economic and environmental benefits of electrified transportation, national and local governments across the globe are backing deployments of PEV charging stations in an effort to increase consumer interest in PEVs.  According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, there are currently 48,705 public charging stations around the world.

“Numerous companies offering various technologies and business models have emerged to take advantage of the large public investments in this emerging industry,” said Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.  “There has also been enormous private investment in EV infrastructure as these companies respond to and anticipate growing demand.  As the market for PEVs grows, and government support for charging infrastructure tapers off, the EVSE industry will become more dependent on private investment to expand.”

Public networks of charging stations for electric vehicles are spread among those operated by manufacturers, utilities, and third-party service providers. Charging stations also vary widely from country to country in terms of size, number of units, and configuration, while charging systems encompass AC and DC technology, as well as battery-swap modes.  The wide range of ownership and operating models reflects the lack of clarity within the EVSE industry as to the best business models for public charging, according to the report.  Companies in this sector are still figuring out how much customers are willing to pay for charging, and what return on investment station hosts should expect.

The report, “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tracker 1Q13”, surveys more than 150 key players in the EVSE industry and tracks the total number of publicly accessible EVSE units, segmented by region and technology, with an additional focus on all commercial EVSE installed in the United States, both public and private. In addition, the report examines EVSE technologies, business models, and market barriers on a regional basis.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.