Ridehailing services provide a unique opportunity to help build a fast-charging network that is not only financially sustainable, but also provides inclusive access to charging in currently underserved areas.
BOULDER, Colo. (PRWEB) June 08, 2021
Analyzing 101 million miles traveled by ridehailing drivers, researchers at RMI have found that many in Los Angeles lack charging stations in the low-income neighborhoods they serve. This pattern that skews the benefits of electric vehicle use, such as improved local air quality, to wealthier enclaves.
In a new report, EV Charging for All, the authors suggest that electrifying ridehailing fleets, as Uber and Lyft have pledged to do, combined with coordinated investment, could accelerate an equitable transition to EVs by bringing fast-charging stations to low-income neighborhoods.
"Ridehailing services provide a unique opportunity to help build a fast-charging network that is not only financially sustainable, but also provides inclusive access to charging in currently underserved areas," said EJ Klock-McCook, an RMI principal and one of the authors of the report.
Specifically, the team identified the following:
- Most public fast-charging stations are in or near high-income areas, where early adopters of EVs tend to live—but not necessarily where ridehailing vehicles do business.
- The uneven distribution of charging stations pulls electric ridehailing vehicles out of low-income communities. As a result, gasoline vehicles (and their tailpipe pollution) are more prevalent in low-income areas.
- Building out a robust DC fast-charging network can provide cost-effective charging to all city residents, including those with lower incomes who have, to date, been largely left on the sidelines of transportation electrification.
- With the right set of policies and programs, the buildout of this network will be financially sustainable for electric vehicle service providers.
The report comes just weeks after California approved its new Clean Mile Standard which requires ridehailing fleets to electrify 90 percent of miles served by 2030. EV Charging for All provides critical insights on how to get there. The report estimates:
- How many chargers are required to support ridehailing fleet electrification.
- Where chargers will be needed to meet the needs of ridehailling drivers while minimizing cost to electric vehicle service providers.
- The economic viability of a DC fast-charging network customized to the needs of ridehailing drivers.
- Increased access to charging in low-income areas created by a ridehailing-specific DCFC network.
“When policy priorities, climate needs, and the needs of lower-income individuals align with the economics of building and operating infrastructure, it’s a recipe for rapid change,” says Dave Mullaney, a principal on RMI’s Carbon-Free Mobility team.
In addition, the report focuses on investing in DC fast-charging infrastructure with ridehailing companies as anchor customers to support a path to an equitable EV transition that every US city can follow.
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RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
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