Webinar: Infrastructure Use by Electric Vehicles and Emission Impacts of Electric Vehicles in Transportation Network Companies

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Emissions Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Uber and Lyft

Alan Jenn, Professional Researcher, Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Center

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in ride-hailing services have grown rapidly over the last few years. This coupling has enormous potential to mitigate greenhouse gases for future mobility from transportation network companies (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft. This work employs high-resolution data from both charging service providers and TNCs to provide novel insights into the use of PEVs in ride-hailing. Growth of electric vehicle use has been rapid in the last two years, a proportionally small number of PEVs are already using a large share of electricity provided by public charging infrastructure. Concerns on the ability of electric vehicles to provide the same level of service as gasoline vehicles has been overstated: no statistical difference was found between the two technologies for services provided to ride-hailing companies. Lastly, the potential environmental benefits for TNC electrification is tremendously large. The researchers found that emissions benefits are approximately three times higher for electric vehicles being used in ride-hailing compared to regular usage in California.

View Dr. Jenn's recent research report, "Emissions Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Uber and Lyft Services" click here.  

Infrastructure Use and Impacts: Balancing Home, Workplace, Public and TNC Charging

Debapriya Chakraborty, Postdoctoral Researcher, Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Center

The public as well as the private sector that includes automakers and charging network companies are increasingly investing in building charging infrastructure to encourage the adoption and use of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as well as to ensure that current facilities are not congested. However, building infrastructure is costly and, like road congestion, when there is significant uptake of PEVs we may not be able to “build out of congestion.” Modeling the choice of charging infrastructure of more than 3,000 PEV drivers who had the opportunity to select among home, work, and public locations, the researchers focus on understanding the importance of factors driving demand such as: the cost of charging, driver characteristics, access to charging infrastructure, and vehicle characteristics.

The findings that will be discussed during the webinar include (1) the role of residential electricity pricing and the substitution between home and workplace charging observed particularly when the latter is free, and (2) how improvements in vehicle technology will impact charging behavior and thereby demand for infrastructure. If electric range of the plug-in electric vehicle is high (more than 200 miles for most vehicles), demand for workplace and public infrastructure would be different compared to what we observe now.

To find out more about Dr. Chakraborty's current research project, click here.

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