Working Paper

Charging infrastructure in cities: Metrics for evaluating future needs

Increasingly, governments around the world are working to address one of the key barriers preventing widespread electric vehicle uptake: charging infrastructure. Governments at the local, regional, and national levels have provided financial support to homeowners and companies, instituted supportive building codes, and convened multi-stakeholder initiatives to coordinate investments. Despite this progress, the evaluation and comparison of charging networks are inexact and complicated, making it challenging to plan for future growth. There are no simple one-size-fits-all targets that define the ideal amount of charging infrastructure. Nonetheless, comparisons of charging infrastructure growth rates, ratios, and densities in leading markets (as shown in the Figure below) allow for quantitative tracking of progress in the availability and coverage in metropolitan regions.

Figure 1

This working paper identifies metrics that cities can use to track charging infrastructure policies and deployment to support electrification goals in cities. Using the most recent available electric vehicle and charging infrastructure data, this paper analyzes how electric vehicle per charger ratios are evolving. Two key issues investigated are the relationship between public charging and housing type and the contrasting needs for public charging networks in the early versus mature markets. The paper also identifies best practice policies from leading European cities to grow the charging infrastructure network, outlining a toolkit to help cities meet future charging targets.