The electric vehicle industry has quietly hit one of its biggest milestones to date, as the number of public charging plugs around the world ticks above the 1 million mark.
The options for juicing up a car that runs on electrons crossed the seven-figure threshold sometime in May, having doubled in just three years, according to the recent tally by BloombergNEF. Most of the new infrastructure has been built in China and Europe. North America, with far less robust public subsidy and support, remains a distant third in the charging race, though there is some hope that a pandemic stimulus will catalyze a new wave of construction.
A parade of new battery-powered pickups — from the likes of Ford, Rivian and Tesla — may also speed up the pace of charger installations in the U.S. when those models start rolling off assembly lines next year. And General Motors has finally decided to invest in charging stations, 24 years after making its first electric vehicle.