For the public and private entities building out that infrastructure, knowing where to put charging stations is essential. According to the analysis, most locales will need to up the number of plug-in places they build each year by 20 percent to keep up with demand. Even in California metros, where utilities and private companies already have plans to build more than 26,000 new stations by 2025, the analysis finds that the state may come up almost 41,500 chargers short.
“It’s a tough position for cities—if they don’t build enough charging stations the growth of EVs will be slower, hampering local climate and air quality goals,” says Costa Samaras, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies electric transportation and climate change. “But if they overbuild charging stations, it’s expensive and these chargers might sit empty for a little while during the transition.”