Public charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles: What is it worth?

David L. Greene, Eleftheria Kontou, Brennan Borlaug, Aaron Brooker, Matteo Muratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Lack of charging infrastructure is an important barrier to the growth of the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market. Public charging infrastructure has tangible and intangible value, such as reducing range anxiety or building confidence in the future of the PEV market. Quantifying the value of public charging infrastructure can inform analysis of investment decisions and can help predict the impact of charging infrastructure on future PEV sales. Estimates of willingness to pay (WTP) based on stated preference surveys are limited by consumers’ lack of familiarity with PEVs. As an alternative, we focus on quantifying the tangible value of public PEV chargers in terms of their ability to displace gasoline use for PHEVs and to enable additional electric (e−) vehicle miles for BEVs, thereby mitigating the limitations of shorter range and longer recharging time. Simulation studies provide data that can be used to quantify e-miles enabled by public chargers and the value of additional e-miles can be inferred from econometric estimates of WTP for increased vehicle range. Functions are synthesized that estimate the WTP for public charging infrastructure by plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, conditional on vehicle range, annual vehicle travel, pre-existing charging infrastructure, energy prices, vehicle efficiency, and household income. A case study based on California's public charging network in 2017 indicates that, to the purchaser of a new BEV with a 100-mile range and home recharging, existing public fast chargers are worth about $1500 for intraregional travel, and fast chargers along intercity routes are valued at over $6500.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102182
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume78
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

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