Working Paper 002: Electrifying Urban Ridesourcing Fleets at No Added Cost through Efficient Use of Charging Infrastructure

TitleWorking Paper 002: Electrifying Urban Ridesourcing Fleets at No Added Cost through Efficient Use of Charging Infrastructure
Publication TypeUnpublished
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBauer, Gordon S, Amol A Phadke, Jeffery B Greenblatt, Deepak Rajagopal
Type of WorkWorking paper
Keywordselectric vehicles, transportation
Abstract

Ridesourcing fleets present an opportunity for rapid uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) but adoption has largely been limited to small pilot projects. Lack of charging infrastructure presents a major barrier to scaling up, but little public information exists on the infrastructure needed to support ridesourcing electrification. With data on ridesourcing trips for New York City and San Francisco, and using agent-based simulations of BEV fleets, we show that given a sparse network of three to four 50kW chargers per square mile, BEVs can provide the same level of service as internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) at lower cost. This suggests that the cost of charging infrastructure is not a significant barrier to ridesourcing electrification. With coordinated use of charging infrastructure across vehicles, we also find that fleet performance becomes robust to variation in battery range and placement of chargers, suggesting that such capability may help enable electrification. Our results suggest that mandates for ridesourcing electrification could encourage efficient utilization of fast-charging infrastructure, bringing down costs for all BEV users without significantly increasing the cost of ridesourcing services.