Stat of the Week: Comparing the Ratio of EV Charging Stations Versus Gas Stations – EVs Win

Almost every article in the mainstream American press about the state of electric vehicle (EV) adoption will include a comparison of the number of gas stations to the number of EV charging stations. The numbers used are usually something like 150,000 gas stations compared to less than 50,000 charging stations.

The comparison is idiotic which I will go into in detail in an upcoming CleanTechnica article. I wish the comparison would stop.

EVs comprise only 0.29% of the number of autos on the roads in the US today. Why should the number of EV charging stations be compared to this much larger stock of vehicles which is 340 times larger than the number of EVs? Rather, assessing the current stock of EV charging stations should be similarly based on the number of existing EVs.

Which is what I’ve analyzed.

Ratio of EVs to EV Charging Stations is 14 Times Better Than Auto to Gas Station Ratio

In the US today there are approximately 270 million automobiles and an estimated 150,000 gas stations. While I could not find any reliable numbers to support this, I’m using an estimate that an average of 8 pumps are available at any given time for concurrent refueling at a typical modern gas station. Dividing 270 million autos by 1,200,000 pumps = a ratio of 225 autos per available pump.

Number - ratios of US Gas Stations Versus EV Charging Stations -3.4.18

There are roughly 794,000 EVs in the US as of this writing and 48,472 public charging stations (individual connections) by my analysis. This does not include residential or private charging stations.

Public Charging Stations by Charging Network-V4- 12.31.17

Doing the math, this means that there is a ratio of 16 EVs to 1 charging station. This means that with the current stock of EVs in the US, there are actually 14 times more charging stations per EV than available gas pumps per auto.

Number - ratios of US Gas Stations Versus EV Charging Stations -3.3.18

If we assume that 75% of current EV owners have a charging station at home, then there are another 595,500 charging stations in the US, for a total of roughly 644,500 charging stations. At that level the ratio of EVs to charging stations would be 1.23 to 1.

Gas stations simply don’t come close to matching the ratio of EVs to EV charging stations.

2 thoughts on “Stat of the Week: Comparing the Ratio of EV Charging Stations Versus Gas Stations – EVs Win

  • June 27, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Try to get from Budd Lake, NJ to Akron, OH in an EV in less than 2 or 3 days along Route 80, only the most major highway in the US.

  • December 27, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    The article on relative numbers of stations (refueling versus charging) completely leaves out the fact that with a portable EVSE (and just about every EV comes with at least a Level 1 EVSE, sometimes called a “trickle charger”), an EV can charge just about anywhere because electricity is everywhere. This is called “informal charging”. I do this every day at home (although I put in a NEMA 14-30 outlet so I can use a Level 2 EVSE). With a good extension cord, and the permission of the property owner, EV owners can charge at just about every home or business or RV park. This means that there are likely thousands of places capable of informal charging for every EV currently on the road in America. Realizing this, the lack of formal charging stations is likely only an issue for long distance travelers who would like a quick charge, which is a minority of drivers.


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