Planning EVs

Planning EVs in Bay Area

Given the increasing ubiquity of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the Bay Area, my research aims to assist planning decisions by providing timing recommendations and assigning monetary values to modulations of PEV start and end charging times. 

Using cell phone activity of a large sample of Bay Area residents, charging session data from electric vehicles, surveys, and census data, we observed that PEV charging times peak between 8 and 10 a.m. following morning commutes. Because many tech employers in the Bay Area Peninsula provide free vehicle charging a concentrated charging density was observed in Cupertino and surrounding neighborhoods.

The research recommends altering the PEV charging start and end times to limit the energy drain and potential power grid instability following commutes. The paper calculates the monetary gains achieved by slight shifts in charging start times. We believe monetary incentivizes could be offered to increase the adoption of charging PEVs at slightly off-peak times. I hope these results can inform planning decisions in the Bay Area and serve as a model to other cities by accommodating mobility needs while decreasing energy costs and minimizing the impact on commute duration.

Xu, Yanyan, Serdar Çolak, Emre C. Kara, Scott J. Moura, and Marta C. González. “Planning for electric vehicle needs by coupling charging profiles with urban mobility.” Nature Energy 3, no. 6 (2018): 484-493. [PDF]

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