Current status of charging infrastructure and Norwegian experience

As a green and efficient means of transportation, electric vehicles (EVs) are more and more favored. In China, the share of EV ownership increased from less than 0.3% in 2016 to about 5% in 2022 and is expected to rise to nearly 20% in 2030.

The rapid growth of EVs puts higher requirements on the construction and operation of charging infrastructure,

but the development of charging infrastructure is facing multiple challenges.

On the one hand, the difficulty of construction, parking Spaces, land resources, and distribution network capacity restrict the construction of charging infrastructure.

On the other hand, the operation is difficult, the market investment willingness is weakened,

the operator’s ability to identify market opportunities is insufficient, and the profit space is limited.

Overview Development in China

China’s electric vehicle market has continued to grow rapidly, maintaining the world’s largest sales volume for eight consecutive years.

In 2022, the sales volume of EVs was 6.887 million, 25.6% of the total automobile sales in China. By the end of the year, the number of EVs reached 13.1 million, 4.1% of the total number.

According to the China Charging Alliance statistics, the number of EV chargers in China has increase by 99.1% by the end of 2022.

Among them, about 1.8 million public piles and 3.41 million private piles were built with vehicles.

By 2022, 2.593 million charging piles and 675 power stations will be added nationwide. The growth rate of private chargers far exceeded that of public chargers.

1.945 million private chargers were added, up 225.5% year-on-year. About 648,000 public chargers were added, an increase of 91.6% year-on-year.

Change trend of the number of charging piles in China (10,000 units)
Change trend of the number of charging piles in China (10,000 units)

As shown in the figure, the ratio of public piles to private piles in 2022 is 0.53, which is approximately 1:2.

In the field of public charging, according to the data at the end of 2022, the public DC charger is 76100 units,

and the public AC charger is 1,036,000. The ratio of the number of DC to AC is 0.73:1.

Because of the low cost and easy laying of AC piles, they are in a leading position in terms of number.

Proportion of different types of charging piles in China
Proportion of different types of charging piles in China

The situation abroad

In 2022, the sales of EVs in the United States, Europe, and China are 920,000, 2.59 million, and 6.88 million, respectively, accounting for 8%,

24%, and 64% of the global share, and the three regions account for 96% of the global total. China’s EV market is in an absolute leading position in the world.

In 2022, the penetration rate of EVs in China has reached 25.6 percent, while it is only 6.7% in the United States.

EV sales(10,000 units) and global share in major countries and regions in 2022
EV sales(10,000 units) and global share in major countries and regions in 2022

The construction and operation of EV charging infrastructure is a challenge on a global scale. While many countries are accelerating the construction of charging infrastructure, there are differences.

Norwegian experience: How does the high pile ratio support the high penetration rate of EVs?

Norway has a total population of 5.5 million and about 2.8 million passenger cars.

In winter, the average temperature in Norway is -6.8 degrees Celsius, and inland temperatures can reach -10-20 degrees Celsius and even -40 degrees Celsius in some places.

Although natural conditions are not suitable for the development of EVs, Norway’s electric vehicle penetration rate reached 65% in 2021,

and reached 80% in 2022, basically achieving full electrification, becoming the world’s highest penetration rate of EVs.

netration rate of EVs in Norway
penetration rate of EVs in Norway

The reason for this is that electricity is cheap in Norway and oil is high. Norway gets 88% of its electricity from hydropower, which is abundant and cheap. According to December 2022 data, Norway only costs 0.8 yuan per kWh.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices in Norway are higher, at 19 yuan per liter, more than double those in the United States and China.

Energy prices in typical countries
Energy prices in typical countries

Therefore, compared with traditional fuel vehicles, electric vehicles have more economic advantages.

In addition, the Norwegian government has introduced several tax incentives for the purchase and use of electric vehicles, including exemptions from sales tax and road tolls.

Unlike the rapid development of EVs, the construction of EV infrastructure in Norway has been relatively slow.

From the point of view of charging infrastructure, the ratio of car piles (public piles) in Norway is as high as 33.6, 1.8 times that of the United States and 4.6 times that of China.

Vehicle-Piles(public) in 2022 in typical countries
Vehicle-Piles(public) in 2022 in typical countries

Despite such a high pile ratio, Norway has achieved a high penetration rate of electric vehicles,

mainly for the following reasons:

1) Private charging facilities are convenient. 82% of Norway’s charging stations are located in private homes.

It is higher than the European average, and only about 30% of EVs in China have private charging piles.

This means that Norwegians can easily charge at home, making up for the lack of public chargers,

which 70% of EV users in China need to supplement their electric energy.

2) Policies guide users to buy electric vehicles. In terms of the travel, parking, charging, and purchase of EVs, Norway has carried out a policy tilt, and cultivated users’ acceptance of EVs.

3) Norway has developed a high national awareness of environmental protection and embracing new energy technologies. People are more active in receiving new energy products.

Electric vehicles are booming in various countries, and the construction and operation of charging infrastructure are facing new challenges and opportunities.

By referring to the development status of new energy vehicles in relevant international countries,

we can understand that the construction of charging infrastructure needs to fully consider user needs, technological development, and policy support.

Although the ratio of vehicles to piles does not have a leading advantage, Norway can still achieve such a high penetration rate of EVs.

This is closely related to Norway’s construction and policy support in terms of charging infrastructure, which is worth learning from.

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