The growing, though still nascent, plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market currently operates primarily via level 1 and level 2 charging in the United States. Fast chargers are still a rarity, but offer a confidence boost to oppose “range anxiety” in consumers making the transition from conventional vehicles to PEVs. Because relatively no real-world usage of fast chargers at scale exists yet, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a simulation to help assess fast charging needs based on real-world travel data.

This study documents the data, methods, and results of the simulation run for multiple scenarios, varying fleet sizes, and the number of charger ports. The grid impact of this usage is further quantified to assess the opportunity for integration of renewables; specifically, a high frequency of fast charging is found to be in demand during the late afternoons and evenings coinciding with grid peak periods.

Proper integration of a solar array and stationary battery pack thus helps ease the load and reduces the need for new generator construction to meet the demand of a future PEV market...(Read more...)