January 25, 2013
In order for public institutions and private sector organizations to work toward an EV-friendly environment, it is important to understand where the greatest opportunities are for enhancing the EVSE network. This report takes a rigorous approach to identifying what types of places make sense for EVSE deployment in order to encourage EV ownership and usage. As both the public and private sectors consider investing in EVSE, infrastructure developers will need to determine how to most efficiently invest limited resources to provide battery charging infrastructure. The EV charging paradigm, which allows for recharging in existing parking areas and facilities, is very different from the conditions for conventional gasoline and diesel automobiles, which requires single-purpose refueling stations. As a result, identifying “sweet spot” locations—places where EV users will want and need to charge their cars—will be an important part of prioritizing the selection of EVSE locations that provide multiple public and private benefits.
Infrastructure developers in the public and private sectors can identify these types of places through a combination of market characteristics. Important factors include, but are not limited to: patterns of travel in an area; an area’s demographics, which may be correlated with characteristics typical of EV owners; and the nature of a potential EVSE location, whether it is public property, private businesses such as retail companies, multi-family housing or other institutions. For the purpose of this report, the term “cluster” will be used to represent typologies where these characteristics interrelate to create a place of likely EV usage with a demand for EVSE. This report explores the key factors that make up an ideal EVSE cluster, identifies the types of locations that are a part of that cluster and provides commentary on issues such as which clusters can best motivate EV ownership and which clusters are more oriented toward public sector funding or private sector investment.