Electric car sales are rocketing, but these big challenges remain

The global number of EV chargers will also increase in 2022.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer on

Electric vehicle shipments will significantly increase this year as their popularity and worldwide adaptation grow.

According to a recent forecast from Gartner, six million electric vehicles (which includes battery and plug-in hybrid models) are expected to ship this year. This is a two million unit increase from 2021's four million shipped EVs. 

In addition, Gartner said that due to the increase in EVs, the number of global public EV chargers would reach a total of 2.1 million units this year -- up from 1.6 million in 2021.

"EVs are an important powertrain technology to help reduce CO2 emissions from the transportation sector," said Jonathan Davenport, research director at Gartner, in a statement. "The ongoing shortage of chips will impact the production of EVs in 2022, and while shipments of vans and trucks are currently small, their shipments will grow rapidly as commercial owners see the financial and environmental benefit of electrifying their fleets."

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However, Gartner also detailed challenges that lie ahead for the EV industry, including the need for lower prices for both EVs and batteries, better driving ranges, and perhaps most importantly, improving EV charging infrastructure

"Additionally, a major issue that must be addressed is lack of fast-charging availability for home and public charging," Davenport added. "Utility providers will need to increase their investments in smart grid infrastructure to cope with the growing consumption of electricity."

These challenges are slowly starting to be addressed. For example, General Motors announced in October a new effort to install around 40,000 Level 2 EV chargers across the US and Canada this year. The charging stations would be placed at workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, sports and entertainment venues, and colleges and universities. 

In addition, the Biden Administration revealed a plan last month, known as the Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan, to develop and improve EV charging infrastructure across the US. The plan sets aside $5 billion for EV charger investment in the manufacturing of EV batteries. 

This plan would be essential for the US since Gartner expects North America to be the third-highest region in EV shipments in 2022 at 855,300 units. China is predicted to account for 46% of global EV shipments this year at 2.9 million, while Western Europe is second at shipping 1.9 million units. 

This growing trend in EVs globally will continue over the coming years, as Gartner also predicts that by 2030, shipments of EVs will increase by 32%, reaching 36 million units. 

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