Factors Affecting Demand for Plug-in Charging Infrastructure: An Analysis of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Commuters

Research Team: Gil Tal (lead), Debapriya Chakraborty, Alan Jenn, Jae Hyun Lee, and David Bunch

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: Stringent vehicle fuel emission standards and various government incentive programs have supported the escalating adoption of electric vehicles (EV), both battery (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV), by households as an alternative to conventional gasoline vehicles. Charging infrastructure is an essential component of the policy design required to support EV adoption. The public sector and the private sector, which includes automakers and charging network companies, are increasingly investing in building charging infrastructure to encourage the adoption and use of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and to ensure that current facilities are not congested. However, building infrastructure is costly and, as with road congestion, when there is significant uptake of PEVs, we may not be able to “build out of congestion.”

Project Description: This project modelled the choice of charging location that more than 3000 PEV drivers make when given the options of home, work, and public locations. The study focused on understanding the importance of factors driving demand such as: the cost of charging, driver characteristics, access to charging infrastructure, and vehicle characteristics. The researchers found that differences in the cost of charging play an important role in the demand for charging location. PEV drivers tend to substitute workplace charging for home charging when they pay a higher electricity rate at home, more so when the former is free. Additionally, socio-demographic factors like dwelling type and gender, as well as vehicle technology factors like electric range, influence the choice of charging location.

Status: Completed

Budget: $37,845

Project Partner(s): California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board, and City of Sacramento

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