Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Electric vehicle notes from TRB

Electric vehicles (and lots of other new technology) continued to draw a lot of interest at TRB this year (for the uninitiated, the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC is a big deal in the transportation world, bringing thousands of academics and practitioners together to learn about cutting edge research).
Some of my (very simplified) notes from EV session.
·      Based on studying driving habits of battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), if you want to encourage more electric vehicle miles traveled, support PHEVs, because those drivers use their vehicles for longer trips and generate more electrified miles than BEVs. (Dawn Manley, Sandia National Laboratories)
·      EV drivers in cold and hot climates experience a significant loss in range – as much as 40%.  They also use more energy.  Emissions, however, are more related to the source of electricity (e.g., coal vs. renewables).  (Tugce Yuksel, Carnegie Mellon University)
·      Perceived abundance of public charging infrastructure promotes interest in buying EVs, but readily available home charging is more important.  (John Axsen, Simon Fraser University)
·      Most EV owners charge up at home, but owners who have access to workplace charging will take advantage of it for about a third of their charging.  (John Smart, Idaho National Laboratory)
·      Accessories (mainly HVAC) account for about 25% of EV energy use overall, and especially at low speeds and in cold climates (heat pumps help).  (Steve Zoepf, MIT)
·      EV owners and non-owners have very different perceptions of the prevalence of EVs.  EV owners see EVs and EV infrastructure everywhere.  Many non EV owners don’t think they have ever seen one.  (Jamie Davis, UC Davis)
·      Washington State DOT continues to promote DC fast chargers.  The three west coast states have more than 40% of the fast chargers in the US.  Washington’s governor is expanding the network.  WsDOT believes that fast chargers on the interstate (every 25 to 50 miles between Seattle and Portland) give range confidence to EV buyers.  There are more than 10,000 EVs in the state.  (Tonia Buell WsDOT)
·      The Pennsylvania Turnpike has begun the long awaited installation of chargers (fast chargers and level 2s) at all 17 Turnpike rest areas.

No real common theme here, just continued learning from experience of EVs on the road.

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