Electric Vehicles

Report addresses charging stations needed to meet Calif. goal

California will need to have as many as 279,000 electric vehicle chargers in service by 2025 to meet the state goal of having 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025, including 1.3 million electric vehicles, according to a new report by the staff of the California Energy Commission.

The charging station estimate is the aggregate of the high end of a range of estimates of the number of stations at a variety of locations that would be needed to meet the goal in Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012 executive order calling for 1.5 million zero emission vehicles.

Zero emission vehicles, or ZEVs, also include hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. CEC staff estimates that 1.3 million of the ZEVs will be plug-in electric vehicles.

The CEC report calls for between 99,000 and 133,000 destination chargers at or near workplaces and in public locations, between 9,000 and 25,000 public direct current fast chargers, and 121,000 chargers at multi-unit dwellings.

At the end of 2017, there were nearly 14,000 public charging stations, including 1,500 DC fast chargers, in California to support about 350,000 plug-in electric vehicles.

In a January executive order, Brown raised the state target to 5 million ZEVs on the road by 2030 and called for the construction and installation of 250,000 chargers, including 10,000 DC fast chargers. CEC staff noted that state agencies and the private sector will need to exceed those targets for chargers in order to meet the 5 million ZEV goal.

The CEC report also analyzed the effect the expected growth in electric vehicle use will add to the state’s grid. It found that by 2025 demand from workplace charges would peak at around 200 MW at 9 a.m. on weekday mornings while demand from residential charges would peak at 900 MW at 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Demand from public and fast charging stations peaks at 120 MW on weekends, with fast chargers peaking before 11 a.m., and public chargers peaking after 1 p.m.

The report estimates that by 2025 the aggregate demand from all types of charging stations will represent an increase of about 500 MW between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. with a maximum demand of nearly 1,000 MW before 8 p.m.

The report noted that the sub-hourly load shape for DC fast chargers is more volatile than other charging types, and the report also noted all types of charging loads will need to be integrated efficiently with the grid to minimize the need to ramp generating plants and to put less stress on distribution resources.

The estimated need for charging stations in the report aimed at two primary objectives: enabling travel for battery electric vehicles and maximizing the electric vehicle-miles traveled for plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

In the report, CEC staff noted network technologies will be critical to improving the efficiency of charger installations by enabling their shared use. Sharing chargers has the potential to increase use and reduce the size of the network needed to support a growing fleet of plug-in electric vehicles, the report found.

In the report, CEC staff noted that the shift to ZEVs is critical to reducing the impacts of climate change and meeting federal requirements to improve air quality. According to the report, the transportation sector represents the largest source of air pollution in California, accounting for nearly 80% of the nitrogen oxide emissions and 90% of diesel particulate matter emissions. And as of 2015, transportation, including indirect emissions from fossil fuel production and refining, accounted for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions in California.

CEC staff worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projection (EVI-Pro) computer simulation tool.

The EVI-Pro quantifies the types of charging infrastructure needed to ensure that plug-in electric vehicle drivers can meet their transportation needs.