The infrastructure necessary to support a fleet of electric-powered vehicles is small, but growing. As of March 2011 there were 722 electric charging stations in the U.S. The distribution of fueling stations that have electric charging stations is far from uniform throughout the United States. In fact, over 85% of fueling stations that have electric charging stations are located in the California.
Fortunately, an ABI Research market study found global investment for electric charging stations alone will reach $11.75 billion by 2015. The number of charging stations will grow from 20,000 worldwide today to more than 3 million in five years. The study shows that the U.S. will account for 54 percent of all chargers in 2015, followed by China at 23 percent.
Electric-powered vehicles are more expensive in comparison to gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Without government incentives, it is difficult to offset the higher initial purchase price with the savings realized from cheaper maintenance and fueling costs of electric vehicles. Until production volume and battery efficiency increase, government incentives will be needed to spur the growth of electric-powered vehicles for fleet owners and operators.
Fleet managers that want more information on the availability and costs of electric power on a more local level should visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. There fleet managers can find the DOE Alternative Fueling Station Locator and the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report. Additionally, the Alternative fuel’s Data Center allows fleet managers to view their state's incentives and laws related to alternative fuel and advanced vehicle use.