Research Study: Where To Install Public EV Charging Stations

JAN 7 2019 BY EVANNEX 20


In the early days of EVs, much money was wasted by companies and local governments to install public charging stations in impractical locations – we’ve all driven by chargers at the local town hall or city park that never seem to be in use.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Electric vehicles getting charged (Image: Microgrod Knowledge)

However, let’s not judge the well-meaning officials who approved these white elephants too harshly. At the time, nobody outside the industry knew much about EVs, and there were no studies to guide policymakers as to where installing chargers made the most sense (Tesla, on the other hand, understood from the beginning that enabling long-distance travel by installing fast chargers at highway locations was the top priority).

Since those bad old days, a science of finding the best locations for chargers has developed, and there’s a growing body of research to support siting decisions. The Michigan Energy Office (MEO) recently commissioned a study that aims to determine the ideal locations and number of public chargers to facilitate highway travel for Michigan EV drivers.

Conducted by researchers at Michigan State University, the soon-to-be-released study looks at the feasibility of a road trip, the distance between charging stations, charging speed, time needed for charging, wait time for chargers, and detour times added to a trip.

Above: A Tesla owner charges at a public charger (Youtube: Tesla)

The study looked at three scenarios. A low-tech model would have 598 charging outlets with an investment of roughly $28 million. The high-tech model calls for 128 charging outlets with an investment of just over $14 million. A mixed scenario, which assumes a battery pack capacity of 70 kWh and charging power of 150 kW, while recognizing that vehicles with smaller batteries will also be on the road, foresees 193 charger outlets, with an investment of about $21.5 million.

The MEO will use the results of the study to allocate $9.9 million over the next three years to create a public charging network across the state, said MEO Director Robert Jackson. Funding comes from the 2016 Volkswagen diesel settlement, and additional resources are expected to become available from other stakeholders, including utilities. Private entities are also expected to invest in EV chargers.

The preliminary findings of the first phase of the study examine the optimal locations of EV chargers for cross-state highway driving. The second phase of the study will focus on the placement of urban EV chargers.

Above: Public chargers in a parking garage (Image: Built by Michigan)

“The uniqueness of this study will put Michigan on the map when it comes to locating a public network of charging stations,” said Anne Armstrong Cusack, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, which oversees the MEO.


Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged; Source: Michigan Agency for Energy

Categories: Charging

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20 Comments on "Research Study: Where To Install Public EV Charging Stations"

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While some locations are obvious, there are many which are not. For sensing the charging demand mobile chargers could be used (see these mobile chargers with batteries by VW, but it is not only them, there are others). Then conclusions could be easier to draw, that is how much transmission capacity, batteries if any, land usage, snacks, you name it, etc shall be entrenched… there are also highly dynamic locations where mobile, easy to relocate, units only make sense (events, rest stops during holiday spikes, etc).

I would like to have a better definition of what is meant by low-tech or hi-tech. 598 chargers for the state of Michigan seems like a lot. That sounds like they are still incorporating the old urban model of charging.
On a side note, I would like to know the Michigan trip miles driven in excess of 100 miles. That would not only help define the number chargers but help justify the 21 million. Napkin math could compare it to average MPG in the state to see cost savings.

Put them where people stop on road trips. Restaurants! Fast food and casual dining (McDonald’s, Chipotle, Applebee’s). 98% chance that you will make a purchase while charging.


Electric car charring is becoming the next workplace perk. Companies that provide free or low cost charging for their employees!

Very true.

Oh yes, burnt EV’s is a real perk 🙂 :rofl:

My company is building a new office next year and took a poll to see what the employees wanted. With pressure from the local government and responses from the employees they are providing 10% EV charging stations.

What is 10% EV charging stations?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

” 10% EV charging stations FREE”

That would be better.

It is the ability to use an economy-priced EV with a lower battery expense that is the source of financial benefit to the employee, not the paltry cost of charging the battery. Employers could rather be compensated for providing the opportunity to charge, rather than should they be implored to underwrite the employee’s charging expenses. The lowest expense and the highest benefit per expense dollar can often be parking spots with paid L1 outlets.

Also being able to change a plug in hybrid at work as well as home can double the number of EV miles.

Amtrak wake up. Put them at your stations 🚉

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They should put about 20 L1 EVSE’s. No need for L2 since they will be away for extended times.

There are quite a number of CP’s at UK Railway Station Car Parks(eg Three Bridges) but my local ones keep getting ICE’d…
These are A/C chargers which is perfect because of the use model for the car park.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Notice where all the EVSE’s are in the pics above, in the front of the cars.
This is why I always say Tesla should put the charge port closer to the front instead of the AzS of the car.

Unfortunately, speaking from experience, you’re more likely to hit something backing out of a parking spot than driving forward out of it. The Tesla location encourages safer parking. I nearly always back into spots for that reason.

Well, Glad to know charging stations are not that expensive to install, a few tens of million dollars. Good.

Hope it gets past all the NIMBYism BANANAism and the obstacle course set by stealerships, dino juice sellers and the assorted local legislators…

Here in the Seattle metro area we seem to have plenty of fast chargers in and near the city whereas the major highways around the state are still the edge of the earth for entry level or used electric cars.
Even to the main tourist areas, unless you have a Tesla, it doesn’t exist.

As much as people want convenient locations, they need to be placed in a manner so to not be too appealing to people who will ICE them