Recent years have seen significant growth in electric vehicles from virtually none to more than five million globally. Advancements in technology, a more environmentally conscious public and cheaper running costs are bringing goals by governments for all new public and municipal vehicles to be powered by electricity within reach.
Alongside the growing demand for electric vehicles is the need for more charging locations and addressing ‘range anxiety,’ especially where suitable infrastructure is unavailable. Electric vehicles still tend to have shorter ranges than petrol or diesel vehicles, and charging takes longer than filling up with traditional fuels, from 30 minutes to up to 12 hours.
New forecasts estimate that if the UK government is to meet its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050, it will have to spend £240 billion installing an average of 4,000 electric vehicle charging points a day. With already strained budgets, how can local councils make the best use of resources, available space and existing infrastructure, ensuring drivers have access to charging locations where they need them the most?
Partnering with the PTV Group with support from the Cambridgeshire County Council, Wood carried out a pilot study to establish the optimal location for additional electric vehicle rapid charging points that provide the best return on investment and value to electric vehicle drivers by servicing the highest volume of trips.
Applying PTV’s VISUM traffic planning software to the Council’s existing Strategic Transport Model, a new specialist tool was unleashed, allowing the isolation of existing data for long-distance trips and maximising the number of trips serviced by a set of potential locations. Factoring assumptions for potential battery ranges and forecasts for electric vehicle uptake, the tool also rated possible locations for charging locations based not only on traffic volumes, but also the origin, destination and route of every passing car, and assessment of other charging stations along the route where people could recharge during longer trips.
A clear picture of options combined with our expert transportation planning insight determined that five strategically positioned charging point hubs would increase the number of trips covered by 130%, achieving maximum value and return and providing a solid foundation for future decisions.
By unlocking optimal electric vehicle charging locations, Wood innovations are providing practical outcomes supporting a transformative journey to net zero.