January 2020 - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed a research agenda to examine the charging infrastructure needs of human-driven and automated EVs providing ride-hailing, car-sharing, and freight-delivery services and automated shuttles. This effort was coordinated through the Advanced Fueling Infrastructure (AFI) Pillar, one of five research pillars in the U.S. DOE’s SMART Mobility Consortium, a multi-year, multi-laboratory collaborative dedicated to further understanding the energy implications and opportunities of advanced mobility technologies and services. Between 2016 and 2019, researchers in the AFI Pillar used sophisticated modeling, simulation, and data analysis tools to investigate tradeoffs in different charging infrastructure network designs for human-driven and fully automated ride-hailing EVs, electric car-sharing fleets, automated shuttle buses for fixed-route transit, and freight-delivery truck fleets. (An example of a present-day EV operating within a TNC fleet in Sacramento, California is shown in Figure ES-1.) The AFI Pillar also researched the impact of two potentially game-changing technologies: intelligent management for automated electric vehicle (AEV) fleets and dynamic wireless power transfer. Finally, the AFI Pillar assessed the potential of charging infrastructure installed to support ride hailing to influence mobility and energy-consumption trends on a national scale.
The AFI Pillar organized its activities around five primary research questions:
• What are the characteristics of potential transportation market segments employing human-driven and automated EVs that future charging infrastructure will need to serve?
• What are the cost/benefit tradeoffs inherent with different approaches to designing charging infrastructure to serve light-duty human-driven and automated electric ride-hailing vehicles?
• What are the tradeoffs inherent with different approaches to designing charging infrastructure for Class 7/8 electric trucks for freight transport?
• What is the potential for automated-vehicle charging to create new charging paradigms that improve automated electric ride-hailing vehicles and transit?
• What is the benefit to the nation of charging infrastructure deployed to serve ride-hailing EVs?
This report provides key findings of the AFI Pillar's research. A recurring theme is that tradeoffs abound. There is no “right” amount of charging infrastructure because charging needs vary dramatically across and within increasingly diverse segments of the EV market. Circumstances, interests, and behaviors of individual EV drivers vary dramatically, rendering a single, ideal charging infrastructure design impossible. For operators of human-driven and automated EV fleets, decisions related to charging are closely coupled with many other investment and operations decisions, including the number and type of vehicles they place in their fleet and how vehicles are dispatched. This report summarizes many of the tradeoffs that must be managed and the cost/benefit relationships that emerge in different approaches to charging infrastructure network design for future electric mobility.