Carnegie Mellon researchers say that limited residential parking may be what ultimately hinders the adoption of electric vehicles.
Don't Even Think of Parking to Charge Here
Elizabeth Traut, a mechanical engineering doctoral student, Jeremy Michalek, a professor of mechanical engineering and public policy, and Chris Hendrickson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon put their collective heads together to analyze the overall parking and charging picture for electric vehicles in the US.
Their findings suggest that "most car-buyers will expect to have reliable daily access to a charger before investing in an EV," but that it's not actually possible for roughly 60% of the US population to gain easy daily access to a residential charger.
"About 40 percent of U.S. households have an existing electrical outlet near a parking space suitable for charging a low-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicle overnight, but many households own multiple vehicles — often without enough garage or off-street parking for all of their vehicles."
Here's a Solution
"On the whole, less than half of U.S. vehicles have dedicated off-street parking at an owned residence in a location suitable for installing a charger. That means if we want more than half of the vehicles on the road to be electric, we're going to need major changes in residential parking — and that doesn't happen quickly."
Meanwhile, Traut says this:
"Analysts have ignored the barrier that parking may present to electric vehicle adoption. We've seen studies that predict EV adoption as high as 80 percent by 2030. But to sell that many EVs we would not only need to make them less costly and more attractive to consumers — we would also need to address parking.
"Even if everyone wanted and was willing to pay for EVs, we couldn't convert the whole fleet without major infrastructure changes. Landlords have little incentive to invest in chargers that only some of their tenants may use, and homeowners simply don't have enough dedicated parking spaces to charge all of their vehicles."
Hendrickson joins the conversation with this statement:
"The bottom line, is that we are ready for many households to adopt some EVs now, but we should not expect EVs to dominate the market any time soon. They will more likely be part of a diverse transportation strategy in the future. If we want EVs to be a larger part of our future transportation solution, we need to be thinking now about parking and charging availability. Incentivizing landlords, where appropriate, and designing adequate parking and charging capability in new construction would be a start."
We get the point and, on several of the topics discussed, we actually agree. We've heard countless stories now where those who reside in multi-unit dwellings can't get access to a charger and this is certainly a problem. So, yeah, we should start thinking about how to address this issue. Some have stated that we need to band together and push for change at the grassroots level. Others think the state and federal governments need to step in. One thing is for certain, this limited parking/charging issue will eventually need to be addressed.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University