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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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

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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.” We modelled the choice of charging location that more than 3000 PEV drivers make when given the options of home, work, and public locations. Our 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. We 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.

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