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Open Access Publications from the University of California

What Factors Drive Commuters’ Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure?

  • Author(s): Chakraborty, Debapriya
  • Bunch, David S.
  • Lee, Jae Hyun
  • Tal, Gil
  • et al.

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Government agencies, utilities, automakers, and charging network companies are increasingly investing in charging infrastructure to encourage the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which include both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Public infrastructure is particularly important for those without access to home charging and for vehicles with driving range limitations. However, it is difficult to quantify the optimal number and location of public chargers needed for a growing number of PEVs. Finding the answer will depend on a mix of behavioral and economic factors that drive charging demand. Much is at stake. Too little infrastructure could cause congestion at the chargers and inhibit the adoption and use of PEVs, while developing more infrastructure than is needed would create unnecessary costs. For example, Level 2 public chargers can cost up to 15 times more than Level 2 at-home chargers. Researchers at UC Davis analyzed the choice of charging infrastructure of more than 3,000 PEV commuters who had access to home, work, and public locations to understand the importance of various factors driving demand for charging infrastructure at the three locations. Key factors include the cost of charging, driver characteristics, accessibility of charging infrastructure, and vehicle characteristics.

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