DC Fast Chargers are key infrastructure for encouraging more people to purchase plug-in electric vehicles. Because a DC Fast Charger can replenish most of the range of a PEV within 30 minutes, fast charging is more convenient for busy people than Level 2 public chargers, which take several hours to replenish EV range. Fast charging infrastructure can also reduce range anxiety, which is a significant barrier to EV adoption, by providing a quick way to charge in an depleted-charge emergency. Publicly available DC Fast Chargers can help make the experience of driving an electric vehicle similar to driving a gasoline powered vehicle by minimizing wait times during trips.
However, DC Fast Chargers are more expensive to install and operate than Level 2 chargers. Siting DCFC in optimal areas helps minimize costs and ensures that new chargers are located in convenient, safe, and equitable places. The PH&EV Research Center collaborated with Pacific Gas & Electric, Energy & Environmental Economics, PlugShare, and Ricardo to develop a plan for siting DC Fast Chargers in PG&E’s territory. Researchers modeled charging demand to determine the areas in PG&E’s territory with the highest unmet future demand, taking into account EV adoption up to 2025 and existing DC Fast charging stations.