The number of charging stations available for electric vehicles surged up in 2019.

In its annual Global EV Outlook report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that the number of publicly accessible charging stations for electric vehicles rose 60% last year. That’s the biggest increase in three years. It also outpaced sales of battery-powered cars.

The IEA said the number of public charging stations reached 862,118 globally. China, the world’s largest car market, accounting for roughly 60% of those stations. Fast chargers accounted for 31% of the total number of EV stations.

The IEA defines “slow charging” as providing power of up to 22 kilowatts and taking hours to charge an EV battery. Fast chargers, including Tesla supercharger network, can take mere minutes to fully replenish a car battery.

The increase in charging stations reflects the effort to build infrastructure ahead of an expected boom in EV sales. They only accounted for about 1% of global automobile sales in 2019, according to the IEA. However, every major automaker is investing heavily in EV technology.

While most EV charging takes place at home or at work, the installation of public infrastructure is key to convincing prospective buyers. Many drivers are still concerned that they might end up stranded with a depleted battery. More charging stations will reduce (and eventually eliminate) that anxiety.

Along with Tesla, battery charging providers include Anglo-Dutch Group Shell, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler-Chrysler and Siemens, among others.


Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.