USA – 68,800 EV chargers; CA – 22,620 EV chargers; LA – 1,959 EV chargers
California has 22,620 electric vehicle chargers, more than any other state. Counts include both public and non-residential private charging units. A charging unit refers to a single charge point. An EV charging station may have multiple units. With the United States having 68,800 EV charging units in total, the Golden State’s massive family of EV chargers represents just under one third of the nation’s amount, according to Green Car Congress (greencarcongress.com).
By John Coulter, CMO, Current EV, July 2019
Los Angeles boasts 1,959 charging stations, according to the website ChargeHub (chargehub.com), making it one of the best urban areas to own an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid.
As of May 2019, there were more than 68,800 Level 2 and DC fast charging units throughout the United States. Of that total, 16%, or approximately 10,860 units, were DC fast chargers that make long-distance travel more practical for electric vehicles (EV).
A DC fast charger adds 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging, while a Level 2 charger adds 10 to 20 miles of range per one hour of charging.
California, New York and New Jersey are spending $1.3 billion to build more EV charging units. The 3 US states are making major investments in charging infrastructure for electric cars. In the next 5 years, they will spend $1.3 billion to dismantle one of the biggest barriers standing in the way of widespread EV adoption.
California’s Public Utilities Commission has approved up to $738 million worth of EV charging-related projects over the next five years. Southern California Edison and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will spend up to $343 million and $236 million, respectively, to build charging infrastructure to support thousands of medium or heavy-duty vehicles at around 1,500 locations throughout the state. PG&E will spend another $22 million building 234 DC fast-charging stations at around 50 different sites throughout the state.
Most EVs and plug-in hybrids contain a charging location function in their navigation systems which displays nearby chargers. Many drivers are using Google Maps nowadays to find their charging locations. The app began showing users the location of electric car charging stations in 2018, and an update released in April 2019 tells motorists in real time how many spots are free at a given location. It’s all part of the tech giant’s mission to make owning an electric car easy and convenient.
Digitaltrends.com says about Google Maps: “The app provides useful information such as the number and types of ports available at each location, their charging speeds, and notes about the business where a station is located. You’ll know whether it’s near a Starbucks, or five miles away from the exact middle of nowhere. You’ll also find reviews from drivers who’ve already used the station, giving you the opportunity to choose the best one in the area.”
US Department of Energy data indicates that more than 80% of EV charging currently happens at home, so some of the focus of California’s investment will be on helping support home charging as well. San Diego Gas and Electric will spend up to $137 million on its “Residential Charging Program,” allowing the utility to offer rebates for up to 60,000 customers who want to install Level 2 chargers in their homes.
When Los Angeles EV and plug-in hybrid drivers charge at home, they use Level 1 or 2 charging options. To take advantage of the fast speed of Level 2 charging, you can easily purchase and install a residential charging station. The equipment can cost between $500 and $1200 to install; the costs can be offset by taking advantage of rebates supplied by your local water and power provider.