EDF reports examines electric charging infrastructure, costs of EVs

Published on July 10, 2023 by Dave Kovaleski

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Two new reports from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and WSP detail how the network of chargers for electric vehicles (EVs) will expand and how much EVs will save consumers over the next decade.

“The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S. as well as a main source of other pollution, like particulate matter and smog-forming emissions, that puts people’s lives and health at risk,” Alice Henderson, director of transportation and clean air policy for EDF, said. “EPA’s proposed standards for new cars and passenger trucks are accelerating lower cost options and more choices for consumers while eliminating dangerous tailpipe pollution.”

One report, titled U.S. Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure Deployment, found a significant expansion of investment in publicly accessible electric vehicle chargers across the United States.

Specifically, it found that since 2021, almost $22 billion in investments in chargers have been announced and that funding will be used to deploy more than 800,000 new charging ports by 2030. Further, investments announced since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will result in the deployment of almost five times as many chargers as there are now.

From just the existing and already-announced deployment, the United States will have 70 percent of all the public chargers it needs by 2030. When including unawarded grants and other less specific commitments, the nation will have more than 100 percent of what it needs.

Plans to deploy electric vehicle charging stations have already been announced by federal and state governments, retailers like Walmart and 7-11, auto manufacturers, toll road operators, utilities, truck stop operators, service station operators and fleet owners. Specifically, Walmart and General Motors have announced they will install charges at all of their U.S. retail locations – and about 90 percent of all Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart or a GM dealership. Further, companies including Cumberland Farms, Kohl’s Kroger, Shell, Subway, Target, and Wawa have also announced major electric charger deployments. However, these deployments were not included in the report because the details have not yet been announced.

The other report, called Electric Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership Analysis July 2023, examined lifetime costs of owning and operating EVs and gas cars over the next decade. The analysis included the purchase costs of the cars and home chargers, as well as registration, maintenance, insurance, and fuel costs.

The report found that these newly purchased EVs will be less expensive to own and operate over their lifetime than the comparison gasoline vehicles. It stated that EVs will provide lifetime cost savings of up to $18,440 – and those savings will increase over time as battery prices continue to fall and production increases.

While EVs currently have higher upfront purchase costs and insurance costs, they are offset by fuel and maintenance cost savings. The report also noted that the upfront costs of new electric vehicles are rapidly falling as battery costs fall, innovations advance, and more models are introduced. The analysis also includes federal tax credits for electric vehicles.