Where should future EV fast-chargers be? Mapping tool digs deep in data for answers

As charging networks fill in major road-trip routes across the United States, analysts have created an online mapping tool to help determine where the next wave of EV charging stations should be located.

Developed by M.J. Bradley & Associates, the Georgetown Climate Center, and nonprofit Ceres, the Evaluation and Development of Regional Infrastructure for Vehicle Electrification (E-DRIVE) model is available for 90% of U.S. census tracts, and covers nearly 90% of traffic, according to a press release from Ceres.

Electrify America Jeep 4xe Charging Network

The model uses primarily federal data, including environmental justice data from the EPA’s EJ Screen, allowing policymakers to consider demographic, economic, and environmental factors when choosing new charging stations, according to Ceres.

Policymakers can also focus specifically on region, state, metropolitan area, county, or transportation corridor, as well as by fast-charging plug type, or overlay information on commercial locations, potential access to home charging, and population density.

This tool could prove helpful as focus shifts to improving both the quality and quantity of charging infrastructure. With great product arriving, public charging is one of the great hurdles potentially preventing mass adoption.

EVgo charging station overhead view

EVgo charging station overhead view

As Electrify America has suggested that siting fast-charging stations often becomes a puzzle involving real-estate and the power grid—in addition to all the other factors.

Greater attention to siting chargers along more than road-trip routes fits right in with what the Biden administration has pointed to the shift to EVs as helping achieve greater equity.

Tesla plans to open the Supercharger network later this year to other EVs, and coordinated permit updating within and among cities would be a good step forward as well.

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