Infrastructure Use by EVs and Emission Impacts of EVs in TNCs


Alan Jenn - Professional Researcher, Transportation and Energy Economics and Policies, Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Debapriya Chakraborty – Postdoctoral Researcher, Economics Emphasis, Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center


October 28, 2019 , 10:00am - 11:00am PDT


Emissions Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Uber and Lyft
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: we find no statistical difference between the two technologies for services provided to ride-hailing companies. Lastly, the potential environmental benefits for TNC electrification is tremendously large. We find that emissions benefits are approximately three times higher for electric vehicles being used in ride-hailing compared to regular usage in California.

Infrastructure Use and Impacts: Balancing Home, Workplace, Public and TNC charging
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.” Modelling the choice of charging infrastructure of more than 3000 PEV drivers who had the opportunity to select among home, work, and public locations, we focus on understanding the importance of factors driving demand such as: the cost of charging, driver characteristics, access to charging infrastructure, and vehicle characteristics.

Findings that will be discussed during the webinar:
1) The role of residential electricity pricing and the substitution between home and workplace charging observed particularly when the latter is free.
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.

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