Market Sizing - EV Charging Stations

Market sizing
New answer on Jul 24, 2021
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jul 24, 2021

I was recently asked in one of the interviews to do sizing for number of EV Charging stations required in the next 10 years. Can somebody suggest me ways in which I can go about it?

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 24, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Ultimately, you should try this yourself before asking - you'll learn a lot more! That said, see below for a related market sizing that should give you guidance on how to solve this one.


Question: Number of electronic charging station (For electric car vehicle) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in the next 10 years? 

This one could be answered top-down (as I did) by estimating population of the city, # of drivers/ cars, etc. etc.

OR, it could be answered bottom-up by estimating # of stations you see per block (or # of gas/petrol tanks), % increase this might be over time (or # of EV stations that would be needed per gas tank given EV stations take 10 times as long), and # of blocks you'd estimate the city to have.

By # of Electric Cars

  1. Population of Ho Chi Minh - Around 8 million?
  2. # of adults - Around 5-6 million
  3. # of cars per person - around .5 (probably 1 per household)
  4. % of electric vehicles expected in 10 years -
    1. highly variable based on country.
    2. While Vietnam is a developing country (points against), they are also command-and-control communist and are capable of big change (points for).
    3. The global rate of EV uptake will probably equate to 1% of the global fleet each year (obviously less now, more later). So, perhaps 10% globally? Let's place vietnam around there
  5. ​Big consideration: Charging stations are a leading investment to electric cars. So, you need capacity there before demand hits. We will probably need around 1 charging station per vehicle (docking at night). And this would need to lead by a few years. So, we might need charging stations for 15% of the Vietnamese car fleet (instead of 10%)
  6. Answer = 375,000 - 450,000 charging stations:
    1. (5 - 6 million people) X (.5 cars per person) X (15%)

Market Sizing Explanation 1

Remember that there's rarely a "best" answer with market sizing. What's important is that you break down the problem the way it makes sense to you. Importantly, break it down so that the assumptions you make are the ones you're most comfortable in.

For example, do you know all the major brands? Great go with that. Do you understand all the segments of that country's population (either age or wealth or job breakdown)? Go with that. Do you know the total market size of the tourism (or hotel) industry? Then break it down that way.

Market Sizing Explanation 2

Do the approach the is the easiest for you given the question.

Are they asking you to estimate something where you don't even know where to begin from the top (maybe you have 0 clue as to the market size of the industry, the GDP of that country, etc. etc.)? Then do bottom-up!

Alternatively, does it seem impossible to do a realistic from-the-ground-up estimation of something (perhaps it requires just far too many steps and assumptions)? Then do top-down!

Fundamentally, you need to take the approach that just makes the most sense in that circumstance. Quickly think about the key assumptions / numbers required and whether you 1) Know them or 2) Can reasonably estimate them. If you can, go ahead!


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CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jul 24, 2021
ex-BCG Dubai PL | 100% Personalised Coaching | 2021 Real Cases only | 6+ years in Consulting

Hi Anon,

This question seems to be doing the rounds lately.

Assuming that this question was the entire interview and not a small sizing part within an overall case - I would suggest approaching such market sizing questions by breaking them down into the smallest possible elements where you can take some asumptions. These elements can then be built up in a bottom-up manner mathematically. This approach will always help you to think in a more structured manner and demonstrate very strong problem solving skills. It will also help you arrive at the final answer with the right level of granularity.

I have customized one of my market sizing templates for your question in this case. Attaching the image below for your reference. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this helps!

Market sizing structure

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 24, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, in addition to the great solution proposed in the discussion, I would like to suggest similar cases in the platform to practice with:

Hope it helps,

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Anonymous C replied on Jul 24, 2021

Just curious if this was for a MBB interview?

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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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