Assessing the Demand for and Supply of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Evaluating Strategies for Smart Charging

Research Team: Alex Kurzhanskiy (lead), Murat Arcak, and Can Kizilkale

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: There are now about 60,000 public electric vehicle (EV) chargers in California. By 2025, the state expects to have 250,000 chargers, including 10,000 so-called fast chargers (Level 3+) that can refuel a battery electric vehicle to 80% full in 25 minutes. That is enough to support 1.5 million zero emissions vehicles. Meanwhile, the Governor's executive order requiring all passenger vehicle sales be zero emission by 2035 could result in 15 million zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by then. This calls for a tenfold increase in charging infrastructure, necessitating answers to the following questions: (1) Where are the areas of high demand for EV charging and areas with a shortage of EV chargers in California? (2) What are the usage patterns of EV charging infrastructure together with the cost of charging, and how do they compare across communities in various regions of California, particularly in disadvantaged area? and (3) What practical strategies are there for smart charging in areas of high EV charger use?

Project Description: This research project will study EV charging infrastructure on three levels: (1) state and regional; (2) community; and (3) individual users. First, to monitor the state and regional demand for and supply of charging infrastructure the researchers will collect data about Blink, Evgo, Tesla and similar charger locations and continuously survey them for cost and usage. This data will then be aggregated to show EV charger use and charging prices by region, urban form, population, traffic volumes and mobility modes across California, with special attention to rural areas that already have EV charging. Second, to ensure an equitable deployment of EV infrastructure the federal Justice40 Initiative requires at least 40% of the overall benefits of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds must serve disadvantaged communities identified by the federal government. The project will estimate mobility activity by mode and destinations (e.g., work locations) in disadvantaged communities and identify current EV charging infrastructure in these communities as well as those that are not yet served. Third, smart charging is a system where EVs, charging stations and operators share data to achieve certain objectives, such as minimizing cost for the end user, maximizing revenue for the provider, maximizing the number of charged vehicles, and reducing peak electricity use. Using a test charging station at the UC Berkeley campus, the researchers will evaluate different pricing strategies for user-managed charging.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000