Quantifying the Tangible Value of Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: CEC-600-2020-004

David Greene, Matteo Muratori, Eleftheria Kontou, Brennan Borlaug, Marc Melaina, Aaron Brooker

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The lack of an extensive public recharging infrastructure is an important barrier to the growth of the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market. Because charging infrastructure is likely to be underutilized during the early stages of market development, it is difficult for decision makers to decide how much to invest in public charging stations. Quantifying the value of public charging infrastructure to current and potential future owners of PEVs is essential for estimating the benefits of charging stations to current PEV owners and for predicting the impact on future PEV sales. This paper estimates consumers’ willingness to pay for public charging infrastructure in the context of utility maximization. The objective is to provide a method for valuing charging infrastructure that can inform investment decisions and be used in forecasting models to predict the impacts on future PEV sales. A basic theory of the tangible value of charging infrastructure is developed as a function of PEV type, range, recharging time and existing infrastructure. Existing simulation studies provide functional relationships that quantify the ability of charging infrastructure to enable additional miles of electrified travel. The enabled travel functions are used to predict impact of infrastructure deployment on incremental electrified travel for 1) plug-in hybrids and 2) intra-regional and 3) inter-regional travel by all-electric vehicles. The willingness to pay for increased electrified miles is derived from the willingness to pay for increased electric driving range, based on econometric studies of plug-in vehicle choice. The result is a set of three functions that can be used to calculate the marginal willingness-to-pay for public charging infrastructure as a function of vehicle attributes, existing charging infrastructure, energy prices and annual vehicle travel.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages97
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Prepared for the California Energy Commission by NREL

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-70340


  • charging infrastructure
  • charging station
  • e-miles
  • electric vehicle supply equipment
  • electric vehicles
  • willingness to pay


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