Deploying charging infrastructure to support ZEVs

At COP-26, many envisioned a widespread adoption of light and heavy zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). This, however, can only be achieved if charging infrastructure is deployed at a scale and pace as described in the ZEV Declaration and the Global Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. Through modeling, this briefing aims to assess the amount of charging infrastructure needed in Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council (ZEVTC) member jurisdictions through 2030 to match an accelerated transition to ZEVs. Moreover, the briefing provides details of policy approaches to accelerate deployment of this infrastructure.

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Ramping up infrastructure deployment

To align with ZEV ambition, infrastructure deployment needs to ramp up considerably. In order for the emissions from road transport to align with goals set out in the Paris Agreement, approximately 80% of new light-duty vehicle (LDV) sales and 45% of heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) sales need to be zero emission by 2030. By 2040, both segments need to maximize that number to 100% of new sales.

This means that by 2030 ZEVTC members will need 6 million public charge points for LDVs and 200,000 public charge points for HDVs, requiring 240 GW of installed power output. Halfway 2022, only 13% of public chargers and 10% of installed power output needed in 2030 were already in place. Aside from public charging, it is estimated that ZEVTC jurisdictions will need approximately 95 million private chargers by 2030.

Source: Deploying charging infrastructure to support ZEVs | ZEVTC
Source: Deploying charging infrastructure to support ZEVs | ZEVTC

No more time for delays

ZEV demand is rapidly growing. To keep pace, robust public charging networks need to be built before 2030. However, this takes time and planning. Therefore, governments have no more time to waste and should start now with the build-out of infrastructure for public chargers with adequate power output. The needed estimated yearly (mid 2022-2030) growth rate of installed public charging power output for LDVs ranges from 7%–8% in

the Netherlands and Norway to over 50% in India and Mexico. The same countries are at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to HDVs, with a 26% yearly growth for Norway and up to 59% for India.

Source: Deploying charging infrastructure to support ZEVs | ZEVTC

Sharing costs of infrastructure with the private sector

Over the period to 2030, the combined cost of hardware, installation, and planning for required public and private charging infrastructure in all ZEVTC jurisdictions would come to approximately €336 billion. While these costs are substantial, the ZEV transition has larger

societal benefit. In leading markets, like Norway and The Netherlands, building charging infrastructure is funded through public-private partnerships and utility ratepayers, thus creating a positive business case. To fill the gaps in charging infrastructure deployment, collaboration between governments, car and truck manufacturers, energy companies, and infrastructure providers is crucial.

Supportive government policies to enable faster infrastructure

As emerging government programs show, infrastructure policies need to include planning and coordination among stakeholders, while limiting the use of public funds closing gaps in the charging network and ensuring equitable access. Governments should put focus on these three priority areas:

  • Setting binding installation targets for charging infrastructure to align with expected ZEV growth. This would help ensure broader geographical coverage of chargers and that there is sufficient power output available. To ensure smooth charging infrastructure rollout, energy, transportation, and environment agencies and electricity utility regulators should coordinate their efforts.
  • Using regulatory tools and incentives to address charging gaps and improve the business case for private investment. In an effort to limit public funding in the long-term, governments need policy mechanisms that encourage deployment of private capital.
  • Empowering utilities to support ZEVs through the design of electric vehicle-friendly rate structures and by encouraging smart charging. A long-term view of grid requirements for the future vehicle fleet allows utilities to plan for and invest in upgrading the grid effectively. By promoting smart charging capability, the utilization of existing capacity increases and can defer unnecessary grid upgrades.

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