Fall 2018 - 60550 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2018 - 60550 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Publicly Funded Necessity or Commercially Funded Convenience?

Battery and power electronics technologies have progressed significantly over the last few decades.  This technological progress has made mass-market-viable electric vehicles now possible.  Over the next decade as battery and power electronics costs continue to improve, purchase price parity (or near parity) with convention vehicles may be achieved.  These Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) can offer advantages in emissions, energy security, transportation fuel diversity as well as performance, total cost of ownership (TCO), and maintenance benefits to drivers.

A pervasive, convenient, and price competitive charging infrastructure that is on par or superior to the refueling infrastructure for conventional vehicles is essential for large scale adoption of electric vehicles.  There are many locations (or “use cases”) where PEVs can be charged.  They include:

Single family residential LDV charging

Multifamily residential LDV charging

Workplace LDV Charging

Urban LDV DCFC (DC-Fast Charging)

Intercity LDV DCFC

For each of these use cases and perhaps regional circumstances, different policy directions can be made whether the charging infrastructure should be publicly funded or left to the private sector to develop in the normal course of commercial enterprise investment decisions. 

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