National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis

Matteo Muratori, Eric Wood, Clement Rames, Marc Melaina

Research output: NRELPresentation


This presentation describes a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory quantifying the charging station infrastructure required to serve the growing U.S. fleet of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). PEV sales, which include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), have surged recently. Most PEV charging occurs at home, but widespread PEV adoption will require the development of a national network of non-residential charging stations. Installation of these stations strategically would maximize the economic viability of early stations while enabling efficient network growth as the PEV market matures. This document describes what effective co-evolution of the PEV fleet and charging infrastructure might look like under a range of scenarios. To develop the roadmap, NREL analyzed PEV charging requirements along interstate corridors and within urban and rural communities. The results suggest that a few hundred corridor fast-charging stations could enable long-distance BEV travel between U.S. cities. Compared to interstate corridors, urban and rural communities are expected to have significantly larger charging infrastructure requirements. About 8,000 fast-charging stations would be required to provide a minimum level of coverage nationwide. In an expanding PEV market, the total number of non-residential charging outlets or 'plugs' required to meet demand ranges from around 100,000 to more than 1.2 million. Understanding what drives this large range in capacity requirements is critical. For example, whether consumers prefer long-range or short-range PEVs has a larger effect on plug requirements than does the total number of PEVs on the road. The relative success of PHEVs versus BEVs also has a major impact, as does the number of PHEVs that charge away from home. This study shows how important it is to understand consumer preferences and driving behaviors when planning charging networks.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at Transportation Research Board (TRB) 97th Annual Meeting, 7-11 January 2018, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-70779


  • all-electric vehicles
  • electric vehicle chargers
  • electric vehicle charging equipment
  • electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • electric vehicle supply equipment
  • electric vehicles
  • EV
  • EVSE
  • PHEV
  • plug-in hybrid electric vehicles


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