How much charging infrastructure do electric vehicles need? A review of the evidence and international comparison
Journal article, 2019

Plug-In electric vehicles (PEV) are in an early market phase in almost all markets. Still, the lack of public charging infrastructure is a barrier to PEV adoption. The assessment of future charging infrastructure needs is often based on key figures, mainly the ratio of PEV to public charging points. However, countries differ regarding their framework conditions, e.g. the availability of home charging, and the question of how much public charging infrastructure is needed cannot be answered equally for all countries. Yet, studies analyzing the framework conditions for the medium- to long-term demand for charging infrastructure are rare. Here, we review the existing literature and summarize the evidence for the importance of framework conditions on charging infrastructure needs. Furthermore, we illustrate the literature evidence by comparing the framework conditions for charging infrastructure in different countries based on a comprehensive dataset of framework parameters. We find public charging infrastructure as alternative to home charging is only needed in some densely populated areas. However, framework conditions vary largely among countries. Accordingly, findings from literature for specific countries can only be transferred to other countries to a limited extent.

International comparison

Fast charging

Public charging

Electric vehicles


Simon Funke

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Frances Sprei

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

T. Gnann

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Patrick Plötz

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

1361-9209 (ISSN)

Vol. 77 224-242

Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Economic Geography

Public Administration Studies



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