Questions remain on the effectiveness of different proposals for battery electric vehicle (BEV) charging and other supporting infrastructure. Here we investigate options for charging BEVs and supplementing them with long-range vehicles, including on the infrequent high-energy days that can otherwise impede personal vehicle electrification. We examine travel activities and their energy requirements—in Seattle and US-wide—to identify strategies that fit existing lifestyles. We find that home charging on- or off-street is pivotal in all strategies and that highway fast charging and/or supplementary vehicles can be impactful additions. For example, home charging can support the year-round energy requirements of approximately 10% of Seattle vehicles, assuming a lower-cost BEV, but adding occasional highway fast charging or supplementary vehicles on four days per year raises this value to nearly 40%. Infrequent supplementary vehicles may be needed even as battery technology improves. Our results outline potential solutions for nations, cities, companies and communities seeking to support widespread vehicle electrification despite the challenge of high-energy days.
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This research was funded (under the MIT Portugal Program project title: Climate-Driven Technologies for Low-Carbon Cities (C-Tech), reference 45919) by the European Regional Development Fund’s Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (COMPETE 2020), the Lisbon Portugal Regional Operational Program (LISBOA 2020), and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This research was also funded by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) TRANSNET Program (award no. DE-AR0000611).
The patent of TripEnergy model used for trip energy estimation is pending. The patent applicant is Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The inventors are J. E. Trancik, Z. A. Needell and J. McNerney. The application no. is US20180045526A1.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
The first column is the range of battery capacities plotted in kilowatt-hours, the second to eighth column each corresponds to VEP with (2) work charging; (3) home charging; (4) home and work charging; (5) home, work and overnight public charging; (6) home, work and ubiquitous public charging, (7) home, work and fast charging on the longest highway trip per day; and (8) home, work and fast charging on all highway trips.
The first column is the range of battery capacities plotted in kilowatt-hours. The second to fifth column each corresponds to VEPFlex with supplementary vehicles on 105 days, 10 days, 4 days and VEP in Fig. 5a. The sixth to ninth column each corresponds to VEPFlex with supplementary vehicles on 105 days, 10 days, 4 days and VEP in Fig. 5b.
The first column is the fraction of unelectrified Seattle vehicle-days for each date in Fig. 6a. The second column is the fraction of unelectrified Seattle vehicle-days for each holiday period in Fig. 6b. The third column is the fraction of unelectrified Seattle vehicle-days for each duration in Fig. 6c.
The first column is the range of battery capacities plotted in kilowatt-hours. The second to fourth column correspond to DAP when home, work and fast charging are available on all highway trips; home and work charging are available; and home charging is available in Fig. 7a. The fifth column is raw data of US vehicle-day energy requirements used to plot the US distribution in Fig. 7b. The sixth column is raw data of Seattle vehicle-day energy requirements used to plot the Seattle distribution in Fig. 7b.
The first, third, fifth, seventh column are VEP(Flex) with supplementary vehicles on 105 days, 10 days, 1 day and 0 days with a 40 kWh BEV under the four charging availability scenarios from top to bottom in the figure. The other columns are VEP(Flex) with a 100 kWh BEV.
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Wei, W., Ramakrishnan, S., Needell, Z.A. et al. Personal vehicle electrification and charging solutions for high-energy days. Nat Energy 6, 105–114 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-020-00752-y