Fast Charging Infrastructure for Electrifying Road Trips to and from National Parks in the Western United States

Dong-Yeon Lee, Kaylyn Bopp, Matthew Moniot, Alicen Kandt

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


National parks in the Western United States draw over 80 million visitors every year, and most visitors rely on personal cars for their road trips (or long-distance travels). Travel to national parks represents distinct travel demand, as they are typically located in remote areas necessitating long-distance trips. This study investigates the quantity and locations of on-route fast charging infrastructure needed by 2030 to enable seamless travel to/from national parks using electric vehicles in seven target states in the region, employing unprecedented high-resolution spatial and temporal analysis. We find that the required number of fast charging ports for on-route charging infrastructure ranges from 1,200 to 22,000, depending on different assumptions of key input parameters - vehicle electrification rate, charging behavior, average gap between charging stations, port utilization rate, and towing trailers. Our analysis also indicates that electrical load for on-route fast charging infrastructure would peak in the afternoon, in the range of 70-400 MW, varying with the key input parameters. This study illustrates how different input parameters result in different degrees of impact on various aspects of charging infrastructure. We also examine the characteristics of projected charging infrastructure in terms of land use type, relationship with traffic volume, size of stations, and other variables.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages43
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-87100


  • behavioral science
  • charging behavior
  • charging infrastructure
  • electric vehicle
  • EV
  • EV charging infrastructure
  • EVSE
  • fast charging
  • load profiles
  • long-distance travel
  • national parks
  • road trip
  • site selection


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