EV fast-charging stations to reach 200,000 by 2020, says IHS

August 28, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Fast-charging technologies are driving the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) recharging market, with the cumulative number of stations established worldwide expanding by a factor of more than 100 times from 2012 to 2020, according to a new report from IHS Automotive, part of IHS Inc.

Total fast-charging stations for EVs are set to reach 199,000 locations globally in 2020, up from just 1,800 in 2012. The number of these stations, meanwhile, is anticipated to rise more than threefold in 2013 to 5,900 and then nearly triple to 15,200 in 2014. Overall growth will continue at a rapid pace through 2020.


 

Hard charging

“The length of time it takes to recharge an EV continues to be one of the major stumbling blocks inhibiting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” said Alastair Hayfield, associate research director at IHS Automotive. “Compared to the time it takes to refuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, the recharge time for EVs is incredibly slow—at about four hours to charge a 24 kilowatt-hour (kWh)-capacity battery using a 6.6 kW on-board charger. If EV auto manufacturers could overcome this obstacle, it could lead to a high rate of adoption from environmentally minded consumers as well as those seeking to cut gasoline expenses. That’s where fast charging comes in.”

Hooked up to a fast-charging system, which offers a high-voltage DC charge instead of a slower AC charge, a vehicle can be fully charged in as little as 20 minutes. This could be a major step toward EVs becoming generally equivalent to ICE vehicles when it comes to refuelling.

“IHS believes fast charging is a necessary step to promote higher adoption of EVs, but there will need to also be better consumer education regarding behavioural changes that may need to happen when owning an electric vehicle—such as charging overnight or at work,” Hayfield said.

 

Japanese standard charges ahead

One fast-charging standard designed for electric vehicles is dubbed CHAdeMO, a primarily Japanese-backed technology. The major proponents of the technology are Japanese automotive OEMs—including Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi; and Japanese industrial giants—including Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Tokyo Electric Power Co. and more.

CHAdeMO, roughly translated as “charge for moving,” began deployment in 2009 in