I want an EV but where can I charge it?

I want an EV but where can I charge it?

The range of EVs available has risen sharply in recent years. This is becoming less and less of an issue for car buyers. But what else might be stopping most people from purchasing EVs? The main reasons used to be the design and the limited range. Now, however, it is mainly the poor charging infrastructure, or the lack of such infrastructure, that has become the number one obstacle.

Recognising the gap in the charging capacity

According to McKinsey, there will be about 120 million EVs in the EU, China and the US by 2030. This figure can be doubled in the most aggressive scenario(see exhibit 1). This will require more and better charging facilities. The demand will be strongly localised. For example, a village with many single-family homes will require a different charging infrastructure to a city centre that mainly has multi-unit apartments.

The total energy demand for the entire EV population in the EU, the US and China will increase between 2020 and 2030.
More information can be found in ‘The influence of the increase in the number of EVs on energy demand.’

ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles usually refuel at a filling station. However, EVs can ‘refuel’ in different ways and in different places. We can distinguish between 4 different charging options, all of which involve cables and plug-in chargers.


The amount of energy consumed at home depends on the number of charge points installed and the volume of energy supplied per charge point. The proportion of people who charge at home depends on whether homeowners have a garage and also on certain demographic factors such as income per household.


  • The charge points on company premises tend to be open to the public as well as to employees.
  • The number of charge points at work depends on the choice made by the employer and on regulatory requirements.


These are the charge points available near shops, public places, along public roads, etc.

Motorway (for long distances)

People do not just use their cars to commute to and from work. Approximately 3 to 6% of the total number of kilometres driven involve long-distance journeys of more than 100 km. If the battery of a fully charged car starts to run down, it can be charged on the motorway at a ‘long-distance charger’.

Other charging options and technologies are being developed.

For example, there is wireless charging or street light charging. These methods are potentially very cost-effective but are not highlighted in this study.

Home, work and long-distance charging combined should cover the entire energy demand of an EV driver. Drivers who are unable to charge at home or at work can use public charge points. Drivers whose battery is almost flat will have to use a fast charger.

High demand for energy, but where can we charge?


The majority of EV drivers follow a charging hierarchy that starts at home. Individual passenger cars are parked at home at night for a period of 8 to 12 hours. For EVs used from a home base, around 75-80% of EV drivers in the EU and US have access to a charge point at home. This covered 75% of their energy needs in 2020 (see exhibit 3).

From home charging to public charging

Especially in the European Union where EVs are currently going mainstream, charging is most likely to shift from home charging to public charging. The proportion of people who charge at home will fall from about 75% in 2020 to 40% in 2030. This is because more and more lower and middle-income households will be buying EVs from 2020 onwards and will not have charging facilities installed at home in order to avoid unnecessary costs.

In the short term, however, the low availability of public charging facilities should not necessarily form a significant obstacle to the adoption of EVs in the EU and the US. The situation is different in countries such as China, where half of the energy will have to come from public charging. In addition, the importance of public charging will grow even further after 2030, further increasing the need for a strategic approach to meet the requirements of the target market.

Choice of ‘slow’, ‘fast’ or ‘ultrafast’ charging

The question ‘Where will people charge?’ is followed by another question, namely: ‘Which technology will people use to charge?’. The following types of EV charging currently exist:

  • AC charging (alternating-current)
  • DC charging (direct-current or direct-current fast charging = DCFC)
  • Wireless

More information on the various types of EV charging technologies can be found in the article ‘Modes 1, 2, 3 and 4’.

Financial impact of the charge points

If we examine the charging profiles of EV drivers and the available technologies, we can assume that we will need roughly 40 million charge points in the EU, the US and China combined. This represents approximately €44 billion of capital to be invested by 2030. Of this number, the EU will need 25 million charge points (corresponding to around €13 billion in investment capital) by 2030 (see exhibit 5).

While most charge points (more than 95%) will be at home or at work, they only account for 70% of the total capital investment. This is due to the considerable cost of fast chargers.

On average, a Mode 3 charge point (installed at home) costs €1500, whereas a charge point installed at work or in a public place costs between €2,600 and €4,400. A fast charger or DCDF costs a minimum of €22,000, but – depending on the charging capacity – it may cost up to €175,000 per unit.

Lack of efficient charging infrastructures: what is the solution?

As demand for EVs appears to be growing and the EV is now emerging as a viable alternative to ICE cars, there is a need for cooperation between different parties to close the gap in charging infrastructures and to work collaboratively to provide solutions. This issue should be right at the top of the agenda for all stakeholders within the EV ecosystem, especially if access to an efficient charging infrastructure will form the biggest obstacle to EV penetration.

However, this can already take place at local level. The solution is to join forces and draw up a plan to tackle the charging issue. MobilityPlus has the in-house knowledge and resources required to take on the management of charging infrastructures, in line with local requirements. Property managers and members of co-owners’ associations, owners of large and small companies, fleet managers or even individuals: anyone who wants an EV charging solution or wants to prepare for one in future can call on MobilityPlus. After all, we all want the same thing in the end: stress-free charging.Charging anywhere, anytime.

Are you interested in our solutions to the demand for charging infrastructures, or can we help you to find a charging solution for your specific situation? Contact us at hello@mobilityplus.be or call 09 312 30 01.

Bron: McKinsey&Company “Charging ahead: Electric-vehicle infrastructure demand” Augustus 2018, Cijfers geüpdatet in Oktober 2018 - MobilityPlus