3d rendering group of EV charging stations or electric vehicle recharging stations
As the ground transportation industry in New York City continues to undergo a seismic shift thanks to an ever-changing market, some service providers and drivers are considering a transition to cleaner, quieter electric vehicles (EVs), according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The agency recently published a study focusing on For-Hire Vehicles (FHVs) and the necessity of building out the city’s EV charging network, even as the shift to EVs has slowed due to vehicle availability.
“While automotive technology has advanced, there’s still some ground to cover before we have the infrastructure in place to support all of those EVs,” said lead author and NREL Research Engineer Matthew Moniot. “Industry and government decision makers have to figure out the ideal number, types, and locations of charging stations… before making those determinations.”
Moniot and his team of researchers performed simulations using real-world trip data, driver shift schedules, overnight charging access rates, and even weather to explore public fast-charging station locations. The findings reveal economic and operational insights that could prove valuable to transportation services, as well as utility companies and suppliers of chargers.
The project gathered detailed data from industry stakeholders, including the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission and utility operator Con Edison. The platform was used to model ride-for-hire demand for charging in space and time, citing networks that met performance metrics at the fleet and vehicle level. They found that any shift to a larger EV-hailing fleet would not only require the purchase of more EVs but also convenient access to public fast-charging stations or at-home charging.
Public fast-charging stations are seen as particularly crucial for making the switch. Fast charging only takes about 30 minutes, while overnight charging can take up to seven hours, or more. The high volume of hired rides in NYC, along with traffic congestion, make more frequent recharging necessary, according to the study. Cold winter weather can further limit battery range. Even if EVs made up only 30% of the city’s fleet, the study findings indicate the city would need to increase the current count of 68 fast-charging ports to over 1,000 to meet demand. The study’s findings on appropriate locations and times when demand spikes can help charging network operators develop strategies to accommodate drivers.
“Unsurprisingly, the highest demand for EV charging appeared to be where most pickups occur in midtown Manhattan,” said article co-author and NREL Integrated Transportation and Energy Systems Analyst Brennan Borlaug. “However, we also saw considerable demand for charging near driver residences.”
The research team found that providing convenient overnight charging options in neighborhoods across the five boroughs could reduce the need for public fast charging stations by as much as 65%. Overnight charging was found to be dispersed more widely across the city, and neighborhood charging stations were used more consistently around the clock than fast-charging stations in busy midtown locations.
Source: Tech Xplore