The Future of the Nation's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

People won't drive electric vehicles much differently than they drive gas powered vehicles. That means charging infrastructure will be needed in communities to supply electricity for many short drives.
October 26, 2017, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy this month released an analysis of the nation's electric vehicle infrastructure, designed to establish expectations for the amount of infrastructure necessary to support both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The analysis is organized into four geographic areas: cities, towns, rural areas, and Interstate Highway System corridors.

Among the concerns addressed in each category of geographic area is the amount of non-residential direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations necessary to assuage the "range anxiety" of electric vehicle owners. "To ensure that BEV drivers in cities are never more than 3 miles from a DCFC station, approximately 4,900 DCFC stations are required across the United States," explains the Executive Summary of the report. "Providing the same level of coverage for towns would require approximately an additional 3,200 DCFC stations."

Comparatively, "[t]he analysis finds that approximately 400 corridor DCFC stations (spaced 70 miles apart on average) are required to provide convenient access to BEV drivers across the U.S. Interstate System." It doesn't require a calculator to figure out that community-based electric vehicle infrastructure will ne needed in much larger supply than infrastructure on the highways that connect communities. 

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Published on Monday, October 16, 2017 in Infrastructure USA
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