US Geographic Distribution of DC Fast Chargers Compared

SAE Combo, CHAdeMO & Tesla Supercharger network comparison. Maps: US Dept. of Energy, Alternative Fuel Data Center. Dec 15, 2016

With the recent news that the first Chevy Bolts have been delivered to some customers in California, I wondered if it was possible yet to drive coast to coast with a Bolt using a series of SAE Combined Charging Standard (CCS) fast charging stations. To find out the current state of the distribution of CCS chargers in the US, I visited the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) website and this is what I found as of December 15, 2016.

Tesla Superchargers: 327 stations
SAE Combo: 884 stations
CHAdeMO: 1,464 stations (1,956 according to CHAdeMO.com)

Even though there are many more locations for CHAdeMO and SAE Combo stations, the Tesla Supercharger stations are more evenly dispersed, strategically spaced along major Interstate Highways.

The lessons that I learned from attending the recent White House Electric Vehicle Datathon helped me gain insights by looking at the data from both a numerical and geospacial perspective. The Datathon brought stakeholders together to develop best practices for using data to help grow EV adoption and inform the deployment of charging stations.

Looking at the maps, we can only conclude that there needs to be more effort applied to installing SAE Combo and CHAdeMO stations along the Interstates in the middle of the US. The Chevy Bolt and other long-range electric cars cannot fully take advantage of the benefit of 200+ miles of charge until there is a reliable, smartly spaced network of high-speed charging stations. Perhaps the Federal EV Charging Corridors initiative will help bring attention to the needed distribution of DC fast charging infrastructure.

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