The steady growth in sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles, along with public and private investment, is expected to drive a sharp rise in the number of charging stations worldwide by 2020, a new study says.
The study, released today by IHS Automotive, estimates that the gradual shift to EVs and plug-in hybrids will lead to the installation of 10.7 million charging stations globally by the end of the decade, a tenfold increase.
The study was compiled by IMS Research, a unit of IHS.
There were 135,000 electric vehicle charging stations worldwide in 2011, IMS said.
"While volumes may not reach the levels imagined in the hype of 2009, it is clear that there needs to be charging infrastructure in place to support this change in mobility," Alastair Hayfield, associate director at IMS, said in a statement.
The study found that the largest concentration of EV charging stations would be in the United States, China, Japan and Germany. "These countries have strong domestic carmakers that are pursuing electric vehicles, public and private investment in charging infrastructure, and comparatively strong government leadership with regard to e-mobility," the report said.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the market for supply and installation of residential charging points will reach almost $1 billion by 2020.
The United States now has over 5,800 public charging stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, though the number of EVs and plug-in hybrids on the market remains small.
The rise in the number of charging stations should also help alleviate consumer concerns about range anxiety, which along with vehicle prices, is one of the major factors influencing consumer sentiment about EVs, the report said.