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NREL snapshot of state of US EV charging infrastructure in Q1 2021

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a report that provides a snapshot of the state of EV charging infrastructure in the United States in the first calendar quarter (Q1) of 2021. The report also measures the current state of charging infrastructure compared with the target infrastructure volume for 2030.

In Q1, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Alternative Fueling Station Locator reached the milestone of 100,000 public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) ports. All types of EVSE ports grew, except for public Level 1 EVSE ports, which decreased by 2.4%.

Overall, there was a 7.3% increase in the number of EVSE ports in the Station Locator, with Level 2 EVSE ports contributing to the majority of that growth.

The South Central region had the largest increase in public charging infrastructure in Q1 (7.9%), though California, which has almost one-third of the country’s public charging infrastructure, continues to lead the country in the number of available public EVSE ports.

In Q1, the Biden administration announced the American Jobs Plan, which aims to build a national public charging network of 500,000 EVSE ports by 2030. Using this figure as a benchmark, the United States has installed 20.2% of those EVSE ports as of Q1.

NREL’s 2017 National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis estimated how much public and workplace charging infrastructure would be required in the United States to meet charging needs for a central scenario in which 15 million light-duty plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are on the road by 2030 (601,000 Level 2 and 27,500 DC fast EVSE ports).

Based on this analysis, about 63.8% and 15.2% of the necessary DC fast and Level 2 EVSE ports, respectively, have been installed as of Q1. However, the number of DC fast EVSE ports and Level 2 EVSE ports per 1,000 PEVs on the road was 10.1 and 52.4, respectively, compared with NREL’s projected need of 1.8 and 40.1, respectively. This indicates that infrastructure development is keeping up with—and even surpassin—forecasted needs, NREL said.

However, the majority (56.7%) of public DC fast EVSE ports in the Station Locator are on the Tesla network and are therefore only readily accessible to Tesla drivers.


Breakdown of public DC fast EVSE ports by network in Q1 2021

Early DC fast charging stations were often capped at 50 kilowatts (kW). However, a majority of DC fast charging ports now exceed 50 kW with some ports supplying up to 350 kW of peak power.


DC fast chargers by power level, Q1 2021


  • Brown, Abby, Alexis Schayowitz, and Emily Klotz. 2021. Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator: First Quarter 2021. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-5400-80684. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/80684.pdf


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