Charging E-Cars Worldwide

Electromobility is gaining momentum. The number of registrations is exploding on all continents as more charging options continue to emerge. As expected, China and the USA have the greatest number of electric vehicles cruising their roads. Only a closer look at the number of e-cars per million inhabitants reveals the true e-champion: Norway.

Electromobility is gaining momentum. The number of registrations are exploding on all continents as more charging options continue to emerge. As expected, China and the USA have the greatest number of electric vehicles cruising their roads. Only a closer look at the number of e-cars per million inhabitants reveals the true e-champion: Norway.
E-cars are on the rise. Photo: Shutterstock/ Reda G.

Driving electric cars comes with no restrictions in many cities and regions. After all, electric vehicles are generally exempt from driving bans, since they have zero local emissions. So far, so good. But more and more people want to know where the electricity flowing into the batteries actually comes from. Is the electricity generated by the conversion of oil or natural gas? Or is it generated by wind and sun? Alternatively, there’s also the energy produced in nuclear power plants. Let’s take a look at the seven largest e-car markets at present: How is the electricity generated there?

Electricity mix in country comparison. Research: ETM; Illustration: Michael Stach

Some of the results (see chart) were to be expected. Take the USA, for example, where the majority of electricity comes from fossil fuels oil and coal. These classic energy sources also dominate in Japan, China, and the Netherlands. By contrast, Japan relied entirely on nuclear power until the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But that maximum credible accident led to the immediate shutdown of all 54 nuclear reactors. Since then, only nine reactors have been reconnected to the grid. The events in Fukushima caused a rethink in Germany, too. Renewable energy sources have been on the rise since then. More than half the country’s electricity now comes from renewable sources. Norway, however, tops all other countries with an outstanding share of renewable sources of 97.5 percent.

The most common plugs. Research: ETM; Illustration: Michael Stach

The most common plugs in the world: There’s the European Schuko plug, though it’s not designed for continuous load, which is where the Type 1 plug, mainly used in North America and Japan, differs. The Type 2 plug dominates the European market; no alternating current (AC) charging station can do without it. The CCS plug is the DC fast charging standard in Europe and America, while the CHAdeMO dominates in Japan.

Number of charging points and e-cars. Research: ETM; Illustration: Michael Stach

It isn’t always possible to charge your electric car at a charging station at home. In that case, apps can help search for a suitable charging station. As this chart shows, drivers of electric cars are most likely to find one in the Netherlands and Norway. The Netherlands has 3,816 charging points per million inhabitants, while Norway has 3,425. In the USA and Japan, on the other hand, there are far fewer charging points per million inhabitants, at 133 and 172 respectively. This graph shows that it’s also worth taking a look at the number of e-cars per million inhabitants. It’s true that China has the most e-cars with 2.58 million units. But if you put these in relation to the number of inhabitants, the resulting figures show the true market penetration. In China, there are 1,791 e-cars per million inhabitants. By comparison, only around 450,000 e-units are registered in Norway. But if you put this supposedly low number in relation to Norway’s population, you get a very different perspective: 83,300 e-cars per million inhabitants – the highest number worldwide!

Grüner Trenner Infokasten Box Kasten
Sources

Electricity mix and plug: 2019: IEA (NED+USA); 2020: DFBEW (FRA), Fraunhofer ISE (GER), ChinaEnergyPortal (CHN), IEA (JPN); 2021: Statistics Norway (NOR)

Number of charging points: CHN: Worldpopulationreview 2021, Ministry of Transport 2020, IEA 2020, Businesswire/Canalyst Estimate 2020; GER: KBA 2021, Fraunhofer ISE 2020,Federal Network Agency 2021; FRA: Avere 2021, Eurostat 2020, CCFA 2020; JPN: Toyota 2021, Jama 2019, ZSW-BW 2020; NED: Eurostat 2020, ACEA 2021

THIS INFOGRAPHIC TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE MOST CURRENT AND RESPECTIVELY
AVAILABLE DATA/STATISTICS AS OF THE CUT-OFF DATE 07/30/2021 (EDITORIAL DEADLINE).

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