DOE Study: Focus Charging Around Homes, Workplaces, ‘Hot Spots’

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Fiat 500e at Volta Industries charging station

Fiat 500e at Volta Industries charging station

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Public charging infrastructure isn’t actually needed everywhere to accomplish wider electric-vehicle adoption.

That’s one potentially surprising conclusion resulting from a new analysis of charging habits, released by the Idaho National Laboratory this week.

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The results from the U.S. Department of Energy lab are based around the world’s largest electric-vehicle charging data set, collected over three years and includes about 130 million miles of driving and six million charging events, from about 8,700 electric vehicles in all.

What is necessary, the INL study emphasizes, is more charging infrastructure focused at homes, workplaces, and public ‘hot spots.’

The analysis found that on work days, EV owners either charged at work or at home 98 percent of the time.

In one of the most pronounced examples, owners of the Chevrolet Volt who also have workplace charging, for instance, drive about 25 percent more on electricity alone versus the pool of owners as a whole.

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The study emphasizes that more charging stations are needed at home. The average cost of a Level 2 home charger installation was $1,354, while a typical public Level 2 charger cost $3,108. Meanwhile, Blink DC fast charger installation cost $22,626 per unit.

The most highly utilized Level 3 (DC fast charging) units were located near Interstate highway exits. And it’s interesting to see that the most-utilized fast chargers—those hot spots—were used by local vehicles as frequently as they were by vehicles traveling along the Interstate.

You can find the entire 24-page report here.

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