New report: DC fast charging poised for exponential growth

DC fast charging is about to take off like a rocket-powered drag racer, according to IHS Automotive (NYSE: IHS). The market analysis firm’s new report predicts that the worldwide number of public fast chargers will grow to 5,900 by the end of 2013, nearly triple to 15,200 in 2014, and explode to almost 200,000 stations by 2020.

“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 IHS Associate Research Director Alastair Hayfield. “Compared to the time it takes to refuel an ICE vehicle, the recharge time for EVs is incredibly slow, at about four hours to charge a 24 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.”

Source: IHS, Inc. August 2013 

“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 behavioral changes that may need to happen when owning an electric vehicle, such as charging overnight or at work,” Hayfield said.

The report describes the competing fast-charging standards – CHAdeMO, favored by Japanese  automakers, and CCS, supported by German and US OEMs, and notes the advantages of Tesla’s third “Supercharger” standard, which operates at a higher power rating than current CHAdeMO or CCS chargers, and uses a proprietary plug interface. “The charging stations are free to use for Tesla owners, and there are plans to power all stations using photovoltaics,” Hayfield said. “These Superchargers represent a powerful proposition for Tesla – drivers can charge faster, have US-wide coverage by 2015 and will charge for free for life. This triple threat will aim to lock drivers into the Tesla experience, and also will give Tesla a perceived advantage over other original equipment manufacturers competing in the same market.”

IHS declined to predict the victor of the charging war, saying that “it’s clear that DC charging is becoming the favored means for supporting rapid, range-extension electric vehicles. But it is less clear as to whether CHAdeMO or CCS will win the battle for the consumer.”


Source: IHS Automotive

  • mark

    Actually, most people are going to find that having charging stations all about is unnecessary. I own a Volt and I’ve had the need for a remote charge only about 15 times in the 15 months I’ve owned it. You see, with gas cars nobody has a gas station at home so we need stations everywhere to fill up. But everyone has a plug at home so this will meet the needs of 98% of drivers about 98% of the time. At 1/3 the price of gas. (A barrel of oil went to $110 today due to Syria so the price of electricity may soon be 1/4 the price of gas.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of charging stations all about and I’d love to get my average monthly use of them down to zero, but with a range extending vehicle like the Volt, not a big deal, and if the Volt had an EV range of say 80 miles and not the current 45 or so that I get, I’d have needed the remote station only 6 times in the last 15 months.

  • http://chargedevs Charles Morris

    In the early years of any new tech, people tend to think of it in terms of the old tech.

    A lot of people are still thinking that public chargers are going to replace gas stations. They haven’t thought through the implications of the fact that you can charge at home.

  • Daniel Phillips

    As the amount of true EV’s increase (not Hybrids), there will be more of a need for public and workplace charging stations. As people start traveling more in their EV’s it will be critical to the industry to have public, rest stop, gas station,retail and lodging located charging stations. The sooner we get off the petroleum and out from under the control of the petroleum mafia the sooner we can be truly independent of outside control.

  • Jason

    A typical range of an electric vehicle is approximately 80 miles without public charging stations. With DC fast chargers located every 50 miles or so you can easily drive double the range of the EV on a single charge. This would make road trips of 150-200 miles feasible.

  • Art Vatsky

    I have to agree with Mr. Morris. I have aviation experience so, to me, current EVs give me a ~40 mile range in reasonable conditions. That will not be sufficient for the occasional trips I take. With well-located fast charging, I have a full ~80 miles range or ~160 miles for the day’s trip. That is plenty of driving for me, 3+ hours a day.
    To simulate driving an EV, try driving a gas car with no more that 1/4 tank of fuel.