The Luskin Center for Innovation, a UCLA based firm, released two reports, one last week and the other last month,that concentrates on how to reconfigure the current charging grid for EVs so that range anxiety is less relevant to EV drivers and owners. Previous studies from the Luskin Center for Innovation included high estimated sales for plug-in vehicles used by private individuals, but these two reports offer a broader picture of the complexity of EV driving practices.
The studies from Luskin Center are intended to help the growth of EVs throughout the greater LA area
According to the article from KCET.org, range anxiety has been prevalent in EV drivers since a study by Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in 2009. TEPCO found out that their fleet of electric cars usually had at least a 50% charge remaining when an employee returned the vehicle, showing that individuals were constantly worried about the exact range left. Since the main charger was just located at their central fleet station, TEPCO decided to install charging points throughout the city. What happened next, almost immediately, drivers would return the vehicles with less power reserved since they knew an electrical source was available at multiple locations along the way to work.
Here is a picture depicting the building permits for installing charges in residential dwellings throughout LA from 2010-11. This picture was taken from one of the studies performed.
The first study from the Luskin Center for Innovation is named "Financial Viability Of Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Stations." According to the study, the main purpose of this report is to assess the financial viability of non-residential EV charging stations in the LosAngeles metro area. The report will also take a look at important cost and revenue factors that impact cost recovery specifically for commercial site owners. Taking the site owner’s perspective, the report will account for the key variables informing the decision making process. Ultimately, the goal of the study is to provide site owners with a Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model that highlights the conditions that must be met in order for an EVSE investment and installation to be profitable.
Scenario A: Grocery store with parking duration of 0-2 hours
Scenario B: Mall with parking duration of 2-4 hours
Scenario C: Workplace with parking duration of 4-8 hours
According to the article from KCET, the study's author calls for continued subsidies for businesses that install chargers, while encouraging retail outlets to consider the promotional benefits of charger availability. KCET also states the author uses caution that as improved battery technology increases electric vehicle range, the need for chargers per car will drop -- though that seems a less crucial concern given electrics' very low percentage of private autos currently on the road today in the greater LA area.
The second second study from Luskin Center that was released last month discusses the non-homeowner side of residential charging units, or the use of chargers in multi-unit dwellings like apartments and condos. Since the majority of these locations has to deal with tenant-landlord relations, the study has emphasis on ways to trying to figure out ways to either just viably ask to swap parking spaces to even reworking exchanging building codes to encourage charging stations. This study is named "Increasing Electric Vehicle Charging Access in Multi-Unit Dwellings in Los Angeles."
To learn more about the study, the Luskin Center, and issues facing EVs in the greater Los Angeles area, take a look at the article from KCET or click on the titles above for individual links to the specific studies.
Here is a video from a study released last year by Luskin Center that discusses how L.A. will be a US leader in EV sales: