Developing an Equity-Focused, City-Scale Framework for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Siting and Investment

Research Team: Kenneth Paul Alex (lead), Daniel Kammen, Ted Lamm, Ari Ball-Burack, and Ankita Suresh Shanbang

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: California policymakers have set ambitious goals for the transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). These goals include phasing out new fossil fuel vehicles by the mid-2030s and adding over 85,000 megawatts of new electrical grid capacity to support EVs. However, low-income communities face challenges in accessing vehicle charging infrastructure due to the high costs of chargers, limited parking spaces at multi-family housing developments, and insufficient local electrical grid infrastructure. To ensure that these communities are not left behind, city governments must develop deliberate and strategic plans for equitable vehicle charging infrastructure using both private and public resources.

Project Description: This project will create an open-source data analysis and mapping framework for the targeted development of EV infrastructure, with a focus on equity, for California cities of all sizes. The project will identify, prioritize, and map criteria for potential infrastructure locations, considering factors such as socioeconomic indicators, community demographics, pollution levels, transportation access, employment opportunities, housing types, and more. The end result will be a prioritization framework that complements CalEnviroScreen–an existing and widely-used mapping tool that helps identify California communities that are most affected by many sources of pollution, and where people are often especially vulnerable to pollution’s effects. The project will also produce a set of new mapping tools that local governments and the state can use to engage with the private sector and communities to make informed policy decisions.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000