During the past few years, the global electric vehicle (EV) industry has experienced tremendous growth. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, total global electric vehicle sales went from approximately 3.2 million in 2020 to 10.3 million in 2022. The firm predicts more than 13 million EV sales in 2023 and exponential growth in the coming years—as many as 20 million EV sales in 2025. Global sales of commercial EVs also more than doubled in 2021 and Bloomberg reports that large global truck makers expect 35 to 60 percent of their annual sales to be electric trucks by 2025. 

EV charging infrastructure is growing as well. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), there were nearly 1.8 million public charging points worldwide in 2021. Nearly 500k chargers were installed globally just in that same year. According to the IEA, the average annual fast charger deployment growth rate in 2021 was 48 percent. BloombergNEF estimates that between now and 2040 the growing global EV fleet will require between 340 and 490 million chargers to stay on the road. The firm also predicts that the cumulative global investment in global charging infrastructure will exceed $1 trillion between today and 2040. They estimate that fast chargers will deliver 50 percent of EV energy demand and will account for 60% of total charging investment.

There is undoubtedly a huge push to build global DC fast charging networks. The US government is providing more than $5 billion in funding and incentives to build a coast-to-coast fast charging network, and many countries in Europe are rolling out similar programs to spur EV charging infrastructure growth. 2023 will be a big year for EVs and EV charging, but there’s more to the story. In this article we’ll explore some trends and predictions for the EV and EV charging industry in 2023 and beyond.

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program

On February 15, 2023, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Biden Administration announced standards for chargers purchased and installed with NEVI funding. These include:

Chargers used in NEVI projects must also meet Buy America standards:

Tritium will soon announce the company’s NEVI solution, which is expected to meet all the requirements outlined by the FHWA and the Biden Administration, and will be built in our new Tennessee facility.

NEVI is accelerating EV charging infrastructure rollout in the US, but we’re just at the beginning of the exponential growth curve. Many states are just getting started with their NEVI programs and most won’t be ready to install chargers until later in 2023. We predict that NEVI chargers will start to be deployed en masse in 2024.

Faster High-Speed Charger Growth in Norway and Germany

Norway proudly proclaims that it’s the EV capital of the world—for good reason. In 2022, 73% of new cars sold in Norway were EVs and the country plans to transition its entire fleet to EVs by 2025. The country is fueling the transition with a combination of incentives and taxes on fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

Norway is expanding its DC fast charging network to keep up with its growing EV fleet. The country of 5.3 million people has more than 18k public charging stations total and more than 5k DC fast charging stations. That gives the country one of the highest ratios of EVs to charging stations in the world. Demand for DC fast chargers remains steady in Norway, and the country is installing the fastest-available chargers along highway corridors to facilitate longer trips with EVs and electric trucks. We anticipate that Norway will continue to build out its charging networks, upgrading low-speed chargers with high-speed DC fast chargers in 2023.

Germany also saw rapid growth in EV charging infrastructure in 2022. The number of public charging stations grew from around 25k to 30k over the course of the year. Most of those were DC fast charging stations. Germany has approximately 13,192 kilometres (8,197 mi) of Autobahn (highways), where DC fast charging is key to crossing the country in short timeframes. German automakers have been at the forefront of fast charging, producing some of the fastest-charging cars in the world. Volkswagen (VW), the world’s largest automaker in 2022, released a series of EVs under its brands VW and Audi in 2022 capable of DC fast charging. The flagship Audi e-tron GT is capable of charging at a maximum rate of 270kW and most VW EVs charge at a maximum 120kW rate. DC fast chargers will be key for German EV owners and many charging stations in Germany have already upgraded to ultra-fast 350kW-plus DC chargers.

Both countries will also be deploying more heavy freight electric trucks, which have large-capacity battery packs and can especially benefit from 350kW-plus charging. We anticipate Germany and Norway leading the charge to 350kW DC fast chargers in 2023.

Further Fleet Electrification

In 2022 many companies began electrifying their fleets. Walmart purchased 4,500 Canoo Electric Delivery Vehicles (EDVs) and reserved 5k GM BrightDrop electric vans for last-mile deliveries. The company also trialed Freightliner eCascadia and Nikola heavy electric trucks for larger deliveries. Amazon also recently rolled out a fleet of Rivian electric trucks to 100 cities across the US and plans to eventually deploy 100,000 electric trucks for deliveries. The United States Post Office is also going electric, promising to spend nearly $10 billion on a fleet of more than 60k EVs by 2028.

In Europe, Amazon is also planning to spend €1 billion to electrify its delivery fleet. Many other companies are already switching to electric delivery vehicles to reduce noise and air pollution in cities. In early 2023, Germany opened up its first electric truck corridor designed specifically for heavy freight vehicles. The 600-km (373-mile) stretch of the Rhine-Alpine corridor across Germany has six charging locations that feature ultra-fast 300kW charging specifically for heavy trucks. Swedish truck maker Volvo also started delivering their heavy freight EV, the VNR electric, across the world. The truck gets a range of 440km (275 miles) from its massive 565kWh battery and is capable of easily hauling heavy loads long distances.

Many rideshare fleets are also going electric or partially electric. US-based rideshare company Revel is fully electric and in Europe Uber has teamed up with Hertz to make 25k EVs available to rideshare drivers. Uber also says that nearly 50k drivers in the US have rented a Tesla through the program and have completed more that 24 million fully electric trips. Uber plans all of its trips to be “zero emissions” under its Green Program by the end of the decade. US rideshare company Lyft has also vowed to go 100% electric by 2030.

Tritium has received orders for DC fast chargers from fleet operators around the globe and we anticipate more fleets will continue to transition to electric in 2023.   

800v Batteries Mean Ultrafast Charging

Many EVs have relied on 400v battery architecture, but the future is 800v and beyond. Twice the voltage means significantly faster charging times for EVs. The Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, Lucid Air, Hyundai IONIQ 5 + 6, and Kia EV6 already use 800v architecture and they are capable of gaining about 200 miles of range in under 20 minutes. 800v battery systems can also be smaller than 400v systems. We believe that more auto manufacturers will make the move to 800v architectures in 2023 and beyond. Toyota/Lexus is already working on 800v systems and much of the industry is expected to shift to 800v systems by 2025. These faster-charging EVs can take full advantage of ultrafast 350kW+ chargers currently on the market or in development. Tritium is currently planning to release a 400kW charger in the near future to meet the needs of ultrafast charging EVs.

DC Wall Box Chargers

But not every EV needs to charge at blistering speeds. Many commercial and fleet EVs can charge up over an hour-long lunch break or slowly overnight. That means commercial EV fleet owners can be better served by multiple, smaller DC fast chargers. DC wall box chargers offer high-speed charging in a compact, affordable, and scalable package. Tritium is currently developing a DC fast charging wall box for our PKM system. These compact chargers will connect to our PKM power rectification units and provide DC fast charging at scale for commercial fleet EVs. We expect the market for wall box DC fast chargers to grow in pace with the growth of commercial fleet EVs.

Slower Public AC Charging Growth in 2023

Alternating current (AC) chargers were cheap and convenient in the early days of EV infrastructure. But they’re slow, capable of delivering a maximum power of just 22kW. Many public AC charging points are being replaced with DC chargers to improve turnaround. Even lower-power DC fast chargers (50kW) can charge EVs in half the time of the best AC chargers. DC chargers are becoming the standard for public charging. According to the IEA, the rate of DC charger adoption has grown faster than the rate for AC charger installations between 2015 and 2021.

In 2020, Europe installed far more DC fast chargers than AC chargers and in 2021 the number of fast charger installations were up 30% to about 50k units. The United States also saw rapid growth in DC fast charger installations during the same time. More than 15k DC fast chargers were installed in Korea in 2021, 50% more than 2020.

Tritium expects to see continued growth in DC fast charging, and slowing growth for AC charging. We still see a role for AC charging at home where one or two cars can charge overnight, but many public AC chargers simply won’t be feasible for many charge point operators or businesses.

Navigating 2023 and Beyond

The EV charging market is growing fast. It helps to have experts by your side who can keep up with the changes and developments in EV charging. Our experts monitor and analyze the EV charging industry, its developments and regulations, and the latest trends and developments. Contact us today to learn how EV charging could help your business be more sustainable, efficient, and profitable.