Exploring the Role of Charging-as-as-Service in Overcoming Barriers to Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption

Research Lead: Matthew D. Dean

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: To support Governor Newsom’s goal of 8 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030, nearly 1.2 million chargers will be needed for light-duty ZEVs. Currently, 80% of electric vehicle charging occurs at home, however, less than 5% of this charging occurs at multi-unit dwellings (MUDs), where 30-40% of low-income households reside. Charging-as-a-service (CaaS) offers complete charging coverage through a monthly subscription, making it possible for MUD property owners to install chargers for renters and guests at minimal upfront costs. Other users, such as small businesses, school districts, and transit agencies, could also benefit from CaaS. Thus, CaaS shows promise as a means to help overcome ZEV adoption barriers in all of these segments, but to date there is little known about CaaS users’ and stakeholders’ experiences.

Project Description: This project aims to investigate the concept of CaaS and identify the various services and user groups that could benefit from this model. The researchers will collect first-of-its-kind data from CaaS participants (i.e., providers, end users, and utilities) through semi-structured interviews. The team will then code participant responses according to key themes, shedding light on perceptions, values, challenges, opportunities associated with the CaaS business model and its role in addressing the issue of charging infrastructure accessibility. In addition to the interviews, the project will collect data on the economic and non-economic value of CaaS to different end users. Economic indicators, such as net present value, will help determine when CaaS charging offers benefits to various user segments. The combination of qualitative and quantitative data will inform the development of policies and incentives aimed at accelerating the installation of charging infrastructure, particularly for vehicle segments that are challenging to electrify.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $82,858