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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Written by Dr. Tomy Granzier-Nakajima
Published on January 25, 2023
Research Highlights

In the U.S., 6.7% of all light duty vehicles sold in 2022 were electric vehicles.

Costs are cheapest when installing an EV charging station during renovation or construction of a new building or parking lot.

More EV charging stations are needed to meet anticipated demand.

EV sales and charging station numbers are growing.

In 2022, 918,464 plug-in electric vehicles (EV) were sold in the U.S., 6.7% of all light duty vehicle sales (ANL 2022). This is a 45% increase over EV sales in 2021. The federal government and automakers have aimed for EVs to make up 50% of vehicle sales by 2030 (US 2022).

About 36% of Americans plan to buy an EV for their next vehicle (Bartlett 2022). The primary barrier for those not planning to buy an EV is concerns about EV charging. The average range for EVs in 2020 was 260 miles (DOE 2021).

EV Charging Stations. There are three types of EV charging ports (Table 1). Level 1, level 2, and DC fast charge (DCFC) charging ports charge EVs about 5, 25, and over 200 miles of range per hour, respectively (Brown 2022).

There are currently 50,133 public charging stations in the U.S. and 128,924 individual public charging ports (DOE 1 n.d.).

  • In Missouri, there are 987 public EV charging stations. The largest concentrations are in St. Louis, Kansas, and Springfield.

Typical EV charging station locations include homes; tourist destinations; businesses such as hotels, grocery stores, and restaurants; transportation facilities, including airports and park-and-rides; and community sites such as libraries, schools, business districts, and curbside parking spaces.

  • By attracting EV-driving visitors, these charging stations can provide economic benefits to the host and surrounding businesses during the time it takes EV owners to charge their vehicle (DOT 2022).

More EV charging stations are needed to meet anticipated demand.

Two analyses have estimated future EV charging station needs and their results differ based on assumptions of future EV sales (Woods 2017; McKenzie 2021). The U.S. has met from 17%-41% of level 2 charger needs and 11%-100% of DCFC charger needs. However, 61% of all DCFC ports in the U.S. are on the Tesla network and only accessible to Teslas (DOE 1 n.d.).

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) to provide $7.5 billion to states to build a network of 500,000 EV charging stations around the nation. The Missouri Department of Transportation already has a plan approved through NEVI and plans to open requests for proposals in 2024.

EV charging station costs depend on several factors.

Charging station costs depend on several factors including the power it delivers; type of charger; the number of charging ports; and the presence of communication, data collection, and billing features (Table 1; Smith 2015).

Installation costs can vary greatly (Table 1). Some factors that can increase installation costs include laying or connecting electric supply conduits, upgrading the electrical capacity to run the charging stations, and meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements (Smith 2015).

Soft costs, such as the cost of meeting building codes and obtaining utility connections and local building permits are some of the largest opportunities for reducing costs (Nelder 2019).

  • Installing EV charging infrastructure during construction or renovation of a building or parking lot is the cheapest way to install EV infrastructure, and can reduce many of the soft costs, as well as costs associated with retrofitting such as trenching.
  • Installing level 2 charging stations during new construction can be 2.5x - 4x cheaper than a retrofit (Salcido 2021). Similar data for other charging stations is unavailable.
  • Several states and cities have EV charging infrastructure installation requirements for new construction including: MA; WA; CA; OR; St. Louis, MO; and Atlanta, GA.
    • MO HB 184 (2023) requires political subdivisions that require the installation of EV charging stations to pay for them. This would require St. Louis to pay for EV charging infrastructure that its ordinance requires.
    • States and cities typically do not provide funding with their EV charging infrastructure installation requirement. However, some states may have separate grants to help pay for EV charger installation.

Maintenance costs for charging stations include regular checking of parts, cleaning, and occasional repairs (DOE 2 n.d.). Repairing broken chargers may be expensive if they are no longer under warranty. Owners should plan for $400 per charging station per year for maintenance.

Usage fee structures that are commonly used include charging per kWh, by session, by time, or a subscription (DOE 2 n.d.). Session and time fee structures are common in states where non-utilities are not allowed to sell electricity. More than 25% of public charging stations are free.

Table 1. Summary of EV charger stations. Table created using data from (Smith 2015; Nicholas 2019).

Charger Type Miles of Range Added per Hour Equipment Cost Installation Cost (per unit) Average Installation Cost (per unit)
Level 1 ∼5 $300-$1,500 $0 - $3,000 Not Available
Level 2 ∼25 $400-$6,500 $600 - $12,700 ~$3,000
DCFC 200-400+ $10,000 - $140,000 $4,000 - $66,000 ~$21,000



Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). (2022, December). Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates - Historical Data. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.anl.gov/esia/reference/light-duty-electric-drive-vehicles-monthly-sales-updates-historical-data  

Bartlett, J. S., & Bergmann, A. (2022, July 7). More Americans would buy an electric vehicle, and some consumers would use low-carbon fuels, survey shows. Consumer Reports. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/interest-in-electric-vehicles-and-low-carbon-fuels-survey-a8457332578/  

Brown, A., Cappellucci, J., White, E., Heinrich, A., & Cost, E. (2022). (rep.). Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Trends from the Alternative Fueling Station Locator: Second Quarter 2022. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy23osti/84263.pdf 

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). (2014). (rep.). Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Installed Cost Analysis. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.epri.com/research/products/000000003002000577 

McKenzie, L., & Nigro, N. (2021). (rep.). U.S. Passenger Vehicle Electrification Infrastructure Assessment. Atlas Public Policy. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from https://atlaspolicy.com/u-s-passenger-vehicle-electrification-infrastructure-assessment/ 

Nelder, C., & Rogers, E. (2019). (rep.). Reducing EV Charging Infrastructure Costs. Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://rmi.org/insight/reducing-ev-charging-infrastructure-costs 

Nicholas, M. (2019). (rep.). Estimating electric vehicle charging infrastructure costs across major U.S. metropolitan areas (Working Paper). The International Council on Clean Transportation. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://theicct.org/publication/estimating-electric-vehicle-charging-infrastructure-costs-across-major-u-s-metropolitan-areas/ 

Salcido, V. R., Tillou, M., & Franconi, E. (2021). (rep.). Electric Vehicle Charging for Residential and Commercial Energy Codes. U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved January 24, 2023, from https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/2021-07/TechBrief_EV_Charging_July2021.pdf 

Smith, M., & Castellano, J. (2015). (rep.). Costs Associated With Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment: Factors to consider in the implementation of electric vehicle charging stations. U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/evse_cost_report_2015.pdf 

The United States Government (US). (2022, September 14). Fact sheet: President Biden's economic plan drives america's Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Boom. The White House. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/09/14/fact-sheet-president-bidens-economic-plan-drives-americas-electric-vehicle-manufacturing-boom/  

United States Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (DOE). (2021). (rep.). At a Glance: Electric Vehicles. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/electric-drive_vehicles.pdf 

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE 1). (n.d.). Alternative fueling station locator. Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://afdc.energy.gov/stations/#/analyze?country=US&fuel=ELEC&ev_levels=all&access=public&access=private    

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE 2). (n.d.). Charging infrastructure operation and maintenance. Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from 5 https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_infrastructure_maintenance_and_operation.html  

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). (2022, February 2). Site hosts for EV charging stations. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.transportation.gov/rural/ev/toolkit/ev-partnership-opportunities/site-hosts  

Wood, E., Rames, C., Muratori, M., Raghavan, S., & Melaina, M. (2017). (rep.). National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/national-plug-electric-vehicle-infrastructure-analysis 


**This Note has been updated since its original publication. Previous versions are not up-to-date, but can be accessed here: Version 1 (April 2022).

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