The number of electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in the United States may soon surpass gas stations, according to a study from Jerry, a licensed insurance broker that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for its car insurance comparison service. In 2021, about 108,000 public charging ports were available in the United States, which is about one port for every gas station in the country, estimated to be about 111,000–150,000, according to Jerry.
Over the last two decades, the number of gas stations has been declining. Meanwhile, charging ports are being built to keep up with additional EVs on the road. Currently, there are over 2,500 gas-powered cars for every gas station, and 21 EVs for every public charging port, according to Jerry. The Department of Energy also estimates there are 4,500 private charging stations in the nation. The ideal ratio of EVs to charging stations is 40 level 2 charging ports and 3.4 DC fast chargers per 1,000 EVs, according to a report from the Department of Energy.
The number of available EV charging ports varies by state. The states that have the best ratios of charging ports to EVs are North Dakota (1:1.6), Wyoming (1:1.9) and West Virginia (1:2.2), according to the study from Jerry. This means these states have more charging ports available to EV drivers. Meanwhile, the states with the lowest ratios are New Jersey (1:17.9), Hawaii (1:13.9) and Arizona (1:13.3). This means EV drivers in these states might have trouble finding available public ports and must rely on private home chargers.
To keep up with demand and create the required infrastructure, 1.5 million new charging ports need to be built, which means the country would have to install nearly 480 charging ports a day for the next eight years.
To support the development and deployment of chargers in the country, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes funding for EV charging infrastructure, including $5 billion in formula funding for states to build a national charging network; $2.5 billion through a competitive grant program to prioritize rural charging, increase EV charging access in disadvantaged communities and improve local air quality; and sets ambitious targets for 500,000 public charging stations and 50% of EV sale shares in the United States by 2030. A Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will be set up by the Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to focus on deploying EV infrastructure.
The Biden Administration called this “the largest-ever U.S. investment in EV charging” and “a transformative down payment on the transition to a zero-emission future,” according to a White House Fact Sheet.
Convenience stores are also beginning to add EV charging ports and traditional gas fuel pumps, according to Jerry. This year, 7-11 is working to install 500 EV charging ports. And by 2030, BP plans to increase its charging ports from 11,000 to 70,000.