Principles and Guiding Factors for Determining the Demand for EV Charging in Order to Maximize Usefulness and Impact in a Rural California- Part 1

Research Team: Gil Tal (lead) and Scott Hardman

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: Electrifying light-duty transportation is a key component of California’s goal of decarbonizing the transportation sector. The California Air Resources Board’s forthcoming Advanced Clean Cars 2 rule Executive Order N-79-20 set a target of 100% ZEV sales by 2035 as part of a general goal of replacing all light-duty internal combustion engine vehicles with zero-emission vehicles, particularly plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). In order to support these vehicles, California will make substantial investments in shared charging infrastructure throughout the state. EV adoption so far has been heavily concentrated in urban areas and suburbs, but reaching California’s electrification targets will require supporting adoption in all parts of the state. While charging networks have begun to expand in higher-adoption areas, rural areas present a new set of challenges for charging network planning in terms of population density, grid infrastructure, travel behavior, vehicle type and power needs. In order to maximize the usefulness and impact of a shared EV charging network, it is vital to develop a better understanding of how EVs will be used in rural areas.

Project Description: This project will focus on identifying differences and challenges in rural areas and accounting for these differences in statewide models for EV adoption and charging demand. This analysis will focus on factors that directly affect EV adoption, usage, and charging, including commuting, non-commute vehicle usage, home charging potential, and household fleet composition. The researchers will investigate household vehicle ownership patterns and commute and driving patterns to identify the types of households and uses where EVs will be adopted soonest, as well as the differences in at home charging capabilities in rural areas, demand for DC Fast Charging and public charging, and the scope of the need for charging infrastructure in rural areas for tourists. The first part of this analysis will use existing survey data to build a baseline for EV adoption and charging needs in rural areas of California, and the second part of this analysis will be to incorporate the findings of the initial investigations into the PHEV Center interactive EV scenario tool in the form of updated scenarios for charging events at home, commute destinations, and public Level 2 charging locations throughout the state and estimates for the total demand for electricity from these charging events.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $50,000